Art Projects

The deadline for Art Grant Applications for Dragon Burn 2020 (Intergalactic Harmony) is Saturday February 22nd! Follow this link to begin your DB artist journey!

Need more info? Read below for a comprehensive guide on creating an installation.

How does Burning Man and Dragon Burn Art compare?

Burning Man is nominally the world’s biggest outdoor art event. Burning Man art is typically the fun sort: interactive sculptural installations you can climb all over, combined with lights and flames. Burning Man is like a playground for grown-ups. Dragon Burn follows these same ideas.

‘Hammockville’ installation 2015
‘Hammockville’ installation 2015

All the art at Burning Man and Dragon Burn is brought to the event by participants… participants like YOU! Ordinary folk who want to try something new or make something happen- If you have been spending too much time at work and too little time creating something; if you have been to Dragon Burn, experienced the arts installations of others and been inspired to build something yourself; if you are an experienced maker, artist, creator; if you are a complete beginner and have never tried to create an art installation before but you have an idea;… this opportunity is for you.

Have a look at the images of past art at Dragon Burn on the DB gallery and if you think “I think I could try that” then you can! And to support you in doing so, Dragon Burn runs a system of arts grants to help you fund your art project. The application is quite easy but you need to have design for your project ready before you apply. The deadline for applications is Feb. 22nd, but you don’t have to wait until then to get building.

'Tinsel Town' installation, 2015
‘Tinsel Town’ installation, 2015

What are art grants?

Art grants are funding granted to artists to cover their raw material cost. It does not include labor or transportation fees. (We do pay separately for a truck from Shanghai to the Burn but you must get your art to the art truck in Downtown Shanghai).

This year, we have a budget of 45,000RMB and are hoping for roughly 35 projects.

Photon, 2017
Photon, 2017

How do Art Grants work?

The project team may apply for up to 100% of the project material cost although many contributors ask for less. Since art projects are often considered a gift by the artist, typically they request 0–80% reimbursement and chose to do their own fundraising projects, upcycling, and borrowing to lower costs. This allows us to approve more projects and create an improved burn experience.

Before approving the project and again after the burn, the Ministry of Arts will make an assessment of the art project based on the below criteria and adjust the grant accordingly. After the event, the grant may be adjusted again if the project fails to live up to the scope of the application.

  • Do we like it
  • Accessibility
  • Safety
  • Sustainability
  • Leave no trace
  • Delivery

Your project needs to be planned and costed and receipts/evidence of spending submitted.

Floating on a Raft, 2016
Floating on a Raft, 2016

How to get involved with your art project?

Step 1: Buy a ticket!

Or plan to once they’re on sale

Step 2: Source your items!

What will you need to make your installation? How much does each item cost? How many of them will you need. (Try to up-cycle and recycle as much as possible!)

Step 3: Submit an application!

Applications must be in by Feb 22nd. We will then review them to decide on the allocation of art grants. (read further for explanation)

Step 4: Form a team! Don’t work alone.

Call out with your friends, the Dragon Burn artist chat, the official Dragon Burn wechat group, or any other channels you may have. We will also have a second collective meeting on March 4th to help collaborate find partners!

Step 5 – Get creative!

brainstorm, make a plan and a budget. Map out:

  • Shopping list – where can you get these materials? Cost efficiency?
  • Think – how much truck space and manpower is needed?
  • Actions checklist: assign roles and responsibilities
  • Form a WeChat group with regular meetings
  • Fundraise yourselves!

Step 6- Build Build Build!

Step 7- Test build 2 weeks before the Burn.

Use the rest of the time to trouble shoot!

Step 8- Pack it on the art truck the week before the Burn.

Step 9- Assemble it at the Burn and let the community enjoy!

Step 10- Burn it or pack it out? Don’t forget LNT.

Find out about LNT here!

A good project:

  • fits the principles and Burn ethic
  • is ambitious but realistic
  • is cheap!
  • Practical – people, weather, truck
  • has good ‘buildiness’
  • is interactive

WeChat: DragonBurnArt