Following international standards for creative communities, the Guangzhou Redtory Art & Design Factory District, of which the RMCA is a part, has nurtured a wide range of cultural industries, institutions, outlets and amenities to create a living hub in the center of the city - a Central Art District (CAD) - that complements the Central Business District (CBD) nearby.
The name “Redtory”refers to the spirit of the time in the 1950s, when the canning and food processing factories that characterize the site were built, in that it was an age that was both “red and devoted.”
In a material sense, the name reflects the red-brick architectural complexes of the repurposed former factories that cover the district that in the Chinese language sounds like both the “红(red)专(devoted)厂(factory)” and the “red brick factory.” Its English name, “Redtory,” however, perhaps in a sonorous combination of opposites, is derived from the collision of the words “red” and “factory”.
David Elliott is a British art historian, curator, writer and teacher who has directed museums in Oxford (MoMA 1976-1996), Stockholm (Moderna Museet, 1996-2001), Tokyo (Mori Art Museum, founding director 2001-2006), and Istanbul (Museum of Modern Art, 2007). He is currently Vice Director and Senior Curator at the Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA) and Arts District in Guangzhou and chairman of the Advisory Board of MOMENTUM in Berlin.
He has held guest professorships at the Humboldt University, Berlin (Rudolf Arnheim Professor in the History of Art 2008) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Department of Cultural Management 2008-2016).
A specialist in Soviet and Russian avant-garde, as well as in modern and contemporary Asian art, he has published widely in these fields as well as on many other aspects of contemporary art. In 2008-10 he was Artistic Director of The Beauty of Distance: songs of survival in a precarious age, the 17th Biennale of Sydney; in 2011-12 he directed The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: rebirth and apocalypse in contemporary art, the inaugural International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Kyiv; from 2012 to 2014 he was Artistic Director of A Time for Dreams, the IV International Moscow Biennale of Young Art; and from 2014 to 2016 he was Artistic Director of The Pleasure of Love, the 56th October Salon in Belgrade.
During 2015-18 his exhibitions have included Art from Elsewhere. International contemporary art from UK galleries (Birmingham, Eastbourne, Bristol), BALAGAN!!! Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places (Berlin), Shen Shaomin THERE IS NO PROBLEM (Guangzhou), Social Fabric: new work by Kwan Sheung Chi and Marianna Hahn (Hong Kong) and Bread & Roses: Four Generations of Kazakh Women Artists (Berlin).
Art and Trousers: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art, his new book, will be published by ArtAsiaPacific, Hong Kong/London in 2019.09.18.