HomeShop is a lively community of artists, freelancers, entrepreneurs and creative minds the midst of Beijing's hutong alleyways. Originally, HomeShop started as a storefront arts initiative that has since organically grown into an open platform to question existing models of economic and artistic production.
We sat down in HomeShop's kitchen to chat with one of the collective's co-organizers Twist Qu:
China Residencies: Tell us what Homeshop does?
Qu: We hold events here with our neighbors. Exchanges, swaps, people exchange things that they do not often use, that maybe someone else needs. We offer many different services with our creative skills. We also make a magazine about our activities here, so far we published three newspapers.
CR: You also rent space here, for people to use as offices
Q: One reason we rent space is we have to pay the rent here, but it is not the most important thing. The most important thing is people coming here, working here, and talking with us, exchanging ideas. People who come here have different backgrounds, they work in different fields, they have different knowledge and experience.
Many people make friends here, when they leave here, their friendship lives on.
CR: What entices people to rent space in Homeshop?
Q: That's a good question. The rooms here are very expensive, we rent this big room for around 3,000 RMB a month. But people still prefer coming here, I think they come here not simply for the room, but for the people here. I think they come here because this is a place for people to meet, of course the setting is not so bad too. People's first impression of here always that it's a nice space.
CR: What do you want Homeshop be like in 5 years?
Q: I hope we can have more projects to do, and that we can find some funding to do them. Sometimes people invite us to do some projects in other places, we even go abroad. I hope we can go further. We want people outside of China to come here, and I also wish we can do something with the local local community here.
I want this space to open to the world.
Editor's note: We were very sad to hear the news of HomeShop closing this month, but we wish the wonderful co-organizers, Elaine Ho, Michael Eddy, Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga, OuYang Xiao, Uemura Emi, Cici Wang and Twist Qu the best of luck in their future endeavors and encourage all readers in Beijing to visit and participate HomeShop's final events!
This interview was conducted in Beijing by Crystal Ruth Bell & Kira Simon-Kennedy for China Residencies.