Starting your art career in a new city in Europe? Having you considered moving to Berlin? I just came back from my trip to Berlin. During the 30th anniversary of the fall of Berlin wall, we made some art projects with artist Li Wei. I want to use this opportunity to talk about moving to Berlin as an artist. Visit our website: https://www.veryprivategallery.com #Berlin #Artist #Liweiart
Welcome back to my channel. If you’re
thinking about moving to another country
or another city this video is for you
Today I want to talk about moving to
Berlin as an artist. If you follow my
channel you probably have seen last week
I just visited Berlin with my good old
friend artist Li Wei and his friend Mr.
Chu. Mr. Chu is an artist / investor he
just purchased the art museum near Zehdenick
north of Berlin together we visited the
towns nearby his museum and also the
city Berlin we shoot some amazing
projects together and I would like to be
showing you in this video the places I
have visited and things I have seen
It was fortunate it was exactly the 30th
anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall
So we were at the good place
at the good time and
we had a lot of fun it was such
a historic moment and I was very
honoured to be there to be in Berlin at
this very moment and I would like to
share those moments with you just before
starting going into whether you should
be moving to Berlin I want to tell you a
little bit of background story of me and
Berlin in 2010-11 I was living in Germany
already but another city called Bremen
While studying in Bremen doing my
master degree I visited Berlin very
often and I had such an amazing time I
had a good experience and I always
dreamed about moving back one day moving
to Germany moving to Berlin maybe I’m
not giving you the non-biased opinion
about the city because I have fond
memories so hopefully I will analyze as
objectively as possible the pros and
cons of moving to Berlin as an artist
and hopefully this video can help you
decide whether this city is right for
you let’s start with the positive points
the point number 1 Berlin has amazing
public goods and services very well
established and managed for example it
has the train networks regional train
and also the tram the buses if you live
outside of Berlin you can easily access
the city without a car
and if you decide to have a car
you can also move around fairly
easily with the freeway and their
freeways are truly free not like in
other cities I’m living in like right now
in Spain a lot of the freeways are
still paid and that’s the main reason
Mr. Chu decided to purchase the
museum you don’t really feel that it’s
an hour driving because it feels like
half hour it feels like not so long
because it’s very well managed and very
well designed. Also public universities
are also part of the public goods and
services they are free if you’re
thinking about studying art: visual arts
and art performance arts you can check
out the schools in Berlin and in other
parts of Germany they are practically
free just to pay the matriculation fee
which is nothing compared to other
countries in the world and the rankings
could be quite high depending on the
program and just go and check out you
might be finding something that suit
you, suit your curriculum and you can
coordinate your trip and your plans
moving to Berlin according to the agenda
of your schools the next thing I want to
talk about is the multiculturalism of
Berlin
no matter where you are from what color
you have eye color hair color skin color
or in religion or maybe other
kind of beliefs you are welcome here and
you will not receive any kind of bias at
least this is how I feel as a person of
color I was living in Australia before
coming to Germany and I felt quite some
bias and some kind of hatred against
Chinese immigrants for variety of
reasons and I was worried moving to
Germany I was worried that they would
treat me differently but when I arrived
I realized that they actually treat me
with more care and with you know more
thoughtfulness and not to offend me in
any way I find them very cute and I
don’t find any inconvenience and Berlin
is such a multicultural City with a lot
of international artists and
international students I think you’ll be
welcomed in a city with such
multiculturalism
the 3rd point I want to talk about is
the art scene in Berlin. Berlin has a
very good underground and above-ground
art scene so the underground art scene
is that you can check out different
Facebook groups and also our meetup
groups there are a lot of things going
on like music festivals and secret
openings and a lot of weird stuff but
very cool very fun around the city every
weekend if you want to visit a place
you’ll definitely not bore yourself and
also above the ground I mean the art
market is quite okay in Europe consider
that since 2008 there is a crisis in Europe
and in southern Europe the art
market has been hit quite crazily but in
Germany in other parts of Europe like
Switzerland Belgium and France they’re
the last remaining standing European art
markets. If you are entry level or
mid-career level artist you’ll be able
to find local art collectors for your
art because the art market is still ok
the next thing I want to talk about is
the location because Berlin is in the
heart of Europe you can take a
three-hour flight to any part any
direction and you can arrive in the
north in the south and you can be in the
East European countries you can fly to
England or in the Mediterranean
countries like France and Spain quite
easily and the flights are very cheap
there are two airports the TXL and the
Schönefeld. They both operate very
low-cost airlines and have great
connections to the city is very
affordable moving around from Berlin to
other places in Europe especially in the
Schengen area because you won’t even
need a visa to move around. Now let’s
talk about potential problems that you
might encounter moving to Berlin as an
artist the first problem is language as
you know they speak German although that
most of the educated people like college
students they speak English but the
local paper works the the bureaucratic
things are still done in German and if
you don’t speak the language you might
face a lot of difficulties like when I
was with Li Wei
and Mr. Chu, they did not
speak a word of German nor English so
they were pretty much stuck and wherever
they go they rely on help
like I would translate for them or they
would hire a translator and that is
really inconvenient if you would like to
stay in Germany for over a year I would
say definitely you need to take a German
lessons, ideally before coming to Germany
if you don’t have the time or
opportunity at least you should take
German lessons 50 to 100 hours in the
first year moving to Berlin otherwise
you are pretty much disabled because you
won’t be able to talk to other people or
getting around getting all the things
that Berlin has to offer
Point number two a German has very
regulated space in terms of business and
contracts and labor laws if you are
artists back in your country maybe in
America you just sell art in the flea
market and that’s it but in Germany is
not like that if you want to be a
freelancer artist if you want to have
your own company so art you need to
register absolutely everything you need
to have your medical care you need to
have contracts if you’re working for
someone or if you hire someone and
everything has to be regulated and you
have to declare you have to pay for
extensive amount of paperwork’s and not
only paying for the lawyers but also
taxes the local business friend told me
that he hired a manager for 3000 EUR
and he was paying 2600 EUR
for the social security
and other kind of taxes overall
it’s not worth it if you are thinking
about hiring someone there to help you
start your art business or career maybe
you should think twice maybe you should
like find other ways to work around like
establishing a company back in the home
country before coming to Germany because
it can be such a shock in terms of
business culture if you’re coming from
much liberal markets rather than are
very regulated a social state. Check out
local laws and regulations before coming
here you will find out what I’m saying
Number three high cost of living if you
come in from New York or LA you might
find the cost of living in Berlin is
quite okay but if you’re from other
parts of the world you consider that
it’s quite high especially the cost of
or rentals to run the apartment ten
years ago when I first visited Berlin it
was like 600 euro you can rent a good
size a good location but now it’s gonna
be over 1000 EUR you will not find a
studio apartment in the centre of the
town anymore
because a lot of investors come in they
think the Berlin has a lot of potential
is such amazing city and it’s the supply
and demand a lot of people came they
together had driven the real estate
prices and rental prices up and this is
like Paris this is like London so I
wouldn’t say it’s a unique problem to
Berlin if you have heard about the ‘low
cost of living’ in Berlin few years ago
check them out again maybe it is no
longer true so I would say update the
information before coming here you might
be surprised that right now it is not
the cheapest European capital anymore
I’m based in Madrid and I’ll say Madrid
is a lot cheaper than Berlin today so if
you’re thinking about moving to European
country with low cost of living outside
check out Madrid instead of Berlin maybe
this can be another video I’ll make
another video about moving to Madrid as
an artist on another occasion i guess
the last thing i want to talk about is
the weather and I think
this is the deal breaker for me
personally Berlin has harsh winters
long winters the sun falls down quite
early and is freezing cold you might not
even see the sun all day because it’s so
raining so cloudy. Originally I come from
Beijing it’s not a city with the best
weather and is known for these
sandstorms and smogs and I would say
Beijing winter is a lot better than the
Berlin winter because at least we got to
see the sun. In Berlin is so raining
and I was shivering taking the photos
raising cold I was wishing that I’m in a
Mediterranean town and I somehow
regretted being there for a brief moment
because the weather was so bad so for me
this is a deal breaker if you come from
a city like New York with harsh winter
with a cold weather maybe you don’t mind
so check out the weather and maybe for
you this is something that bothers you
especially if you like to draw outside unless
you draw in the studio the whole time
it doesn’t bother you then that’s totally fine
‘How was it?’
‘It’s just perfect. Have a look at it!’
Now you have heard the 4 pros & cons
of moving to Berlin as an artist, what about
you? Are you thinking about moving to
another city where is the city in mind?
Let me know in the comment below
I would love to hear from you
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Thank you very much for watching
See you in the next video