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Surge Art: Supporting Local Talent In China

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I have a very serious love/hate relationship with art partly because I consider myself an artist. Tortured and emotional by nature, I’ve always dumped my feelings onto the pages of Microsoft Word or the Internet because I have terrible handwriting and even worst spelling. And I’m poor; like all the time. Which is a true mark of an artist if I ever saw one.

So whenever one of us has the opportunity to pay his or her rent on time, I always like to come out and support! Even if I can’t buy anything, it’s the thought that counts right?

So I’d like to give a big XIE XIE (Thank you) to SURGE Art for creating an accessible platform for artists to express themselves AND feed themselves. After all, eating is important.

In China, is all about guanxi, or “relationships,” and my guanxi runs deep within SURGE Art much to my excitement. It’s a collection of like-minded people who are cultured, China-veterans, and speak dope-ass Chinese; basically it’s my kind of party. It’s extremely difficult to find competent foreigners who can swim between the Chinese and Foreigner market in China so I admire SURGE Art for their staff and their use of MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) for their headquarters location. They also have an “open bar” policy at most of their events and I would like to personally thank SURGE Art for making their events so “adult-friendly.” After studying and working all day, there’s nothing I rather do than have a few glasses of wine while fantasizing about the next few glasses of wine that await me at the bar.

Stay classy Vanessa.

SURGE Art knows what’s up, who’s hip, and how to introduce art into the burgeoning China market. Here’s a small overview about who SURGE Art is and what’s their deal:

Since its inception in 2006, SURGE Art (formerly known as Affordable Art China) has been the leading platform for art discovery. SURGE Art showcases China’s most promising emerging artists in its popular art fairs – selecting talents from renowned artist communities to prestigious art schools – and making their works accessible to the public.

The most recent SURGE Art event that I went to was the Art Fair opening in MOMA Beijing on April 29th. For the event, the stunning MOMA hallways were filled with paintings, sculptures, and installations that were all under 30,000RMB. There were live auctions, an open bar, and plenty of opportunities to socialize with Beijing’s elite ex-pat and Chinese corporate crowd. It was a great opportunity to network, collectively see all my friends at one time, and scope out the new people in town. With such a high turnover rate for ex-pats, you never know who’s coming to town next.

At the end of the event, I hopped on the back of a friend’s motorcycle and a group of us took to the streets of Beijing. We zipped between cars and cyclists, racing to the closes burger joint nearby and for once, it felt like I was back in the States. This is something people underestimate about China. You can create a life for yourself here that is beyond your comfort zone, but at the same time, you can always revisit the little things you miss whenever you want. And I’m very passionate about burgers and motorcycles.

Here’s a few other photos!

The Artists Create Pieces For Auction Right In Front Of You! 


Serious Fashion Event. Come Hard Or Don’t Come At All.


Gorgeous Location.


Live Installations.  

Surge BarIncentives.

See you at the next event? Make sure you say hi and snap a #selfie with me. Hashtagnoshame.



Peking Productions

Aaron Berkovich is one of my personal friends and long-time supporters. He believed in my dreams before it was cool.

He’s been shooting in Beijing for the later year and by photographing travel, parties, people, and food, his intimate images allow him to share his own journey with like-minded people. Like his page here.


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