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Enclave on the Covers

Bao Dong


Enclave is a poetry journal, formerly known as "Poets Circle". Since 2009, I have been offering content on contemporary art, usually consisted of short reviews of an artist's practice, a few images of representative works, and then chose one among them for the magazine's cover.


In those years when the print media was still thriving, the term "ISSN" often echoed around the ears. "Poets Circle" used the ISSN of Harbin Literary Union, "HI Art" used the ISBN of Xinjiang Pictorial, and "Contemporary Art and Investment" of "Friends of Fortune." Both the title and ISSN number of "Poets Circle" belonged to others, so the design and layout were not my prerogatives. Each time I saw the cover, I would grumble, for which I have long been secretly wishing to replace it with appealing and lyrical covers when I have the chance. Soon the opportunity came; as censorship on content became more stringent to the extent that subscriptions were falling behind, the journal finally gave back its ISSN to Harbin Literary Association. Zhang Er bought an ISBN in Shenzhen and continued to publish the journal of poetry in "book form."


At first, we wanted to rename the magazine "79", but the publisher rejected it, then we decided on the name "Enclave". The confirmation probably happened during Jiang Zhi's exhibition opening At the Times Art Museum in Guangzhou when Zhang Er made the phone call or was he also there© I can't remember anymore. In any case, the magazine was renamed "Enclave".


In 2012, the first issue of "Enclave" revolved around "poetry as a canal," with Wang Jun on the cover. I happened just to have reviewed Wang Jun's artworks at that time. In each subsequent issue, I try to match the magazine's theme to an artist's profile with images of his/her artworks. If nothing were suitable, I would choose content from other artists. Over the last decade, we've published 26 issues. These publications inspired the exhibition theme and structure. The artists in this show have been on the cover of the magazine. Their works are arranged chronologically according to the time of publication.


¡°Enclave¡± is the most notable magazine in the poetry world. Besides its excellent design and layout, the artists' cover images are even more noteworthy. The fields of Chinese New Poetry and contemporary art hardly intersect. They are unfamiliar with each other and often filled with misconceptions. At first, it was called "Enclave" to underscore the special economic zone of Shenzhen. Now looking back, it also highlights the position of contemporary art, where may an enclave be discovered on the map of poetry.


March 10, 2021

Translated by He Xiao