China’s Recharge Foundation Announces Inaugural New York Exhibition, Launches Branded Partnerships Program for Artists

Lorin Gu, founder of the Recharge Foundation.


The Beijing-based Recharge Foundation, founded by collector Lorin Gu, will open its first show in New York, “HUMANMAKES: The Imperial Artisans of Modern China,” next week. On view from May 2 to 16 at 555 West 25th Street in Chelsea, the pop-up exhibition will focus on jewelry, clothing, and design objects crafted using ancient techniques.

Pieces by three artists and one collective—Shenglin Wang, Chu Yan, Lu Meiying, and the Beijing Oriental Crafts Treasure Filigree Inlaying Plant—will figure in the presentation, which also marks the launch of Humanmakes, a commercial affiliate established by the Recharge Foundation that will facilitate partnerships between brands and artists.

“We’re living in an interesting time where the boundaries of mediums are constantly overlapping,” Gu told ARTnews. He added that the upcoming exhibition, which will take place in a temporary space, will create “synergies” across the mediums and crafts on view. Marquetry, weaving, and metalwork are among the traditions examined in the show. 

Graff, a purveyor of diamonds and other jewels, has partnered with the Recharge Foundation to present “HUMANMAKES: The Imperial Artisans of Modern China.” Through this collaboration, the artists in the exhibition will create pieces to be sold through the jeweler.

Gu explained that, through these partnerships with brands, the foundation seeks to forge “more sustainable trajectories for the artists themselves.”

The Recharge Foundation has also joined forces with the New York Foundation for the Arts—with which it recently created the $5,000 Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art for painters living in the United States—for the exhibition. Together, the organizations will host a conversation with the artists.

Within the next year and a half, the foundation hopes to open a permanent outpost in New York’s Hudson Valley, where various arts organizations, including Parts & Labor, Magazzino Italian Art, and JDJ, have recently set up shop.

“It’s intended to be a very global program,” he said. “Each exhibition will be unique and interdisciplinary in nature.”

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