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Selection for Folding the Axis: Seeking New Cultural Exchange Formats

Folding the Axis: The Public Roof

Folding the Axis

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically reduced mobility and hindered the connection and exchange with art practitioners from other corners of the world. In this unprecedented time, the rules of the cultural sector are tested, and art activities of the year being shelved. Since June 2020, we have launched this open call as a channel to collect new formats of exchange, international networks or platforms, and experimental forms of artistic collaboration. Finally, we have selected 6 projects that provide ideas to sustain conversation in the times of pervading immobility.


The breakout of COVID-19 epidemic left people around the world trapped in their houses. Everyone seemed to be an isolated island. The vanishment of physical distance has deconstructed and reorganized the relationships between people through the connection set up by the internet and social media. This gives us an opportunity to reconsider the relationship between technology, environment and society.

Top Art Space (TOP) over the past few years has tried to provide an interactive environment that encourages and supports occurrences of idea conflicts, connects people and stimulates the imagination. Work-based on physical space has undoubtedly faced challenges in the wake of the epidemic. While offline authentic communication is invaluable, the need for online extension and reflection is also equally urgent.

During the epidemic, we have learned about the specific situation faced by different independent arts organizations in the context of a common crisis, and also saw different paths of response. Some have already taken shape, while others are still developing. Behind each paths, there are some different keywords: people and community, action and connection, platform and production, etc.

We want to keep the work based on the present and continue the previous way of working at the TOP: about the dialogue and conversation, which in order to present the thoughts and imaginations, the hesitations and auras in these paths. Just as discourse is deductive, it constructs reality, and it also constructs reality from deviations.

TOP has maintained contact with independent art spaces and artists in Switzerland, artists such as Yves Netzhammer, Augustin Rebetez, Roman Signer, Barbara Signer, independent art space such as Hamlet, Longtan has involved the visits and exchanges with Guangzhou art institutions and artists in the past few years.

The selected project “The Public Roof” will focus on the post-epidemic period, when international travel and exchange are limited, how to start exchanges between institutions and artists on specific topics, and how to build exchanges and cooperation between China and Switzerland.

about the team

TOP Art Space (TOP) was established in July 2016. The establishment of this space originated from a conversation between Han Fei and Li Zhenhua, about “what to do” and “nothing to do”. They finally concluded that TOP is a house of the spirit located on the roof of an urban village. We provide an interactive environment that encourages and supports occurrences of conflicted ideas, connects people, and stimulates imagination. We invite different people to get together and connect with TOP on the basis of shared interests. From this TOP becomes more flexible and pluralistic with the participation and substitution of different people.

(Banner image: Top Sharing & Reading Room Open Event, Fong Fo: Extra, 2019)


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