Step into Beijing’s local art scene at the Nugget Independent Arts Fair on January 23

A city’s art scene often reflects the nature of life there – and Beijing is no exception, offering artists’ works that are often raw, personal and uncensored, but still manage to cater to a variety of audiences. aesthetics and personal tastes.

And there’s no better place to find that grit and punk than at nugget’s Indie Arts Market, happening this Sunday in the hutongs near Andingmen.

Their first market of the year will feature a selection of Beijing-based creators, touting everything from artwork and comics to zines and more. There will even be a tattoo artist on site to provide you with artwork that you can take wherever you go.

To learn more about the market, we spoke with nugget co-founder Jen Rao.

Hi Jen! Can you tell us a bit more about what makes Indie Arts Market so special?
Fostering appreciation for independent arts and DIY culture has always been a philosophy we’ve found important at Nugget Records. When creating the label in 2019, the keywords we wanted to focus on, and I think we managed to stick to it, were “tapes, illustration & DIY”. So, creating a space for independent publications and original artwork to display, discuss and buy is vital for the city’s independent art scene!

The Independent Arts Market offers a selection of some of the most exciting independent creators Beijing has to offer! Most of the participating artists have been working with their respective mediums for a while now, but will no doubt have new work to debut! There will be a diverse group of artists selling their wares, including those specializing in comics, collage, tattoos, illustration, block printing, and 3D printing! You can get your hands on original artwork, prints, zines, jewelry, bags, hand-bound notebooks and more! You can even leave with an original tattoo if you wish! So come join us at the first art market of 2022, get inspired and support your local artists and businesses!

Is this the first iteration of an event like this? How long has Nugget been running them?
nugget records have been frequenting the art markets since our inception in 2019 (this was before the nugget café even existed) after all, half of the founders are visual artists! When we released our first tapes, it was accompanied by the release of Volume 1 of our self-titled zine, which contained interviews with the bands, reviews of our releases and the tapes we were listening to, artwork and even a recipe! The first market we attended was a zine fair organized by Shui from the Hole in the Wall collective in 2019. When nugget (the cafe/bar/live house/studio) opened in 2020, we knew we wanted to organize small markets that focused on zines and other mediums that allowed for uncensored, personal expression. Last year, we organized a few markets, especially for Record Store Day and Cassette Store Day.

Among the artists involved, are there beginners or notable people who participate?
N-SOMA will present its range of jewelry, toys and 3D printed objects at the Indie Arts Market. Fei Fei of FEIsLINOCUT has been a major player in the scene for years, however, his interest in block printed cards and fabrics is a relatively new direction. For comic book writer Krish Raghav, this may be the last market he’ll attend in Beijing for quite some time, so come see it while you still can! Potentially the most exciting for some people is the pop-up tattoo station from tattoo artist and “visual alchemist” Dongbay 東北 whose personal style is distinct and bold. We have many more in store for you, the only way to find out is to come and find out!

The Nugget Independent Arts Market will take place on Sunday, January 23 from 1-7 p.m. in Nugget Coffee. Free entry.

READ: Q&A: Nugget Café founders on opening an expat-owned business in Beijing

Images courtesy of the artists, nugget

Christopher S. Washington