How Gay Art Survives in Beijing, as Censors Tighten Grip

By Marjorie Perry
For an exhibition called "Love is Blue," ART.Des displayed a sculpture, The Innocence, in the foreground by the artist Yang Yang and an oil painting by an artist who prefers to remain unnamed. Credit: Marjorie Perry
From the outside, the facade of Destination (a prominent Beijing venue that expressly welcomes gay people) is downright drab. But inside this four-story cultural center on the east side of the city, the works in the nonprofit art gallery can push boundaries. Since the center’s opening, its clientele has remained mostly gay men, but it’s more than just a place to find a date. The center provides anonymous H.I.V. testing, practice rooms for a men’s choir, yoga and dance classes. And on the third floor, the art gallery, ART. Des, provides a window into the current state of gay art in Beijing. [More]