Art Despite Everything

16—25 June 2023

University of Exeter
MA Curation

Art Vending Machine

The Art Vending Machine (AVM) is a curatorial project run by Art Work Exeter, dispensing packet sized art created by local and international artists. Located at the Exeter Phoenix the AVM is stocked with zines, micro-ceramics, carvings and digital media all sure to surprise. 


With an undergraduate background in Economics, I have since worked with a private art gallery practice in my hometown of Chengdu, Sichuan, China, as well as a period of internship in 

Shenzhen and a collaboration with the artist Cang Xin's art project, The Teeth Altar. I decided to come to the UK to study curation at Exeter. My main focus was to work with local artists and to be involved in helping to develop artistic activities. So during my internship, I worked on the 2023 curatorial Art Vending Machine project in Exeter and also undertook a placement at Art Work Exeter. I gained an insight into how local artists and festivals communicate with each other and how large-scale projects are carried out.


Bebe Ashley

Matta Dart

Ellie Niblock

James Purvis

Same Year

Churning out unique creations with the clunk of a coin, from June 2023 the AVM will be stocked with five different items stored and sold in groups of 25 each, all contained in cardboard boxes measuring 58x90x22mm. 

Curatorial statement: 

“My curatorial passion for this project comes from presenting the audience with a specific whimsical idea of the artist, a fragment of their spiritual world in a corner, or an opportunity to sell the reality of a dream that needs to be fulfilled. As an art vending machine converted from a cigarette machine, the smell of cigarettes is a symbol of the artist's ethereal dreams. The cigarette-sized art box contains some of the artist's surprise or astonishment, either uncomfortable or fascinating, dreaming of making a unique aura from the scent of a cigarette.” 

- Guolin Qin

AVM2 Guolin
AVM1 Guolin