For nearly two decades, this Brooklyn studio has offered Taiwanese artists rent for just $5

·3 min read
A man pointing at art on the wall.
Patrick Huang standing inside the BAS Brooklyn Artists Studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York.Huang Li-Hsiang
  • Since 2003, Patrick Huang has welcomed artists with ties to Taiwan to the BAS Brooklyn Artists Studio in Bushwick.

  • For a 30 day stay, he charges only $5 in rent.

  • Huang said this is his way of giving back to Taiwan's arts community.

Since 2003, Patrick Huang has welcomed artists with ties to Taiwan to the BAS Brooklyn Artists Studio in Bushwick. And the rent is only $5 for 30 days.

"He's a very well respected and well-known friend, teacher, uncle to all of us who's in the art community," Mia Min Yen, a Taiwanese musician, told Insider. "He would always say, if you guys need a place to crash, feel free to let me know. And he's always super supportive."

In the 1970s, Huang and his wife Sharron packed up everything after graduating from the National Taiwan University and made their way to the University of Minnesota for their Ph.D. At that time, Huang was deeply entrenched in Taiwan's independence movement, advocating for an independent and sovereign Taiwan free from influence from China. Once he moved to Brooklyn and became a realtor, it was vital for Huang to give back to Taiwan's arts and culture scene.

So, what better way to do so than create housing for those artists when they come to the US, he thought.

"I thought that was a practical way to support art and culture by offering a building good for them to use," Huang said. "And that's how this whole project started."

Outside of the studio.
Outside the studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York.Huang Li-Hsiang

The studio is located in the heart of Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood. The space is covered in artistic graffiti, an expression of the artists who live there. Huang said he houses painters, singers, and musicians for up to a month.

"I had a long history of doing something for the artists. And so these are just an extension of my career work," Huang added.

Huang houses no more than 12 artists at a time, with people arriving from all over the world, but they must have a connection to Taiwan. They can be Taiwanese, have a Taiwanese partner, or have studied in Taiwan. Outside of the five-dollar fee, Huang said guests regularly tip and leave a few dollars as donations.

"We are very fortunate that Patrick is able to provide a space like this for the performers and artists to stay at a very reasonable and sometimes no cost," Borcheng Hsu, an event curator who brings artists to the studio, told Insider.

A piano with BAS painted on it.
A piano inside the BAS Brooklyn Arts Studio.Huang Li-Hsiang

Artists come to New York for the Passport to Taiwan Festival

Hsu said most artists who arrive from overseas come to participate in festivals and art exhibitions that are taking place in New York, which can be very expensive. The most popular festival Hsu brings artists in for is the Passport to Taiwan Festival in Union Square.

"It is not a five-star hotel, but [it has] very convenient transportation. Its location is fairly safe. And Patrick really extends his service," Yin Peet, who stayed there briefly with her partner, told Insider. "No one has the financial means to stay in an over 100 dollar hotel bill when they visit the arts scene in New York or around New York. So this is a huge contribution for them to feel like they could visit New York."

Peet said that while the studio is small, artists only stay a few days at a time. She said she wouldn't be surprised if Huang hasn't hosted thousands of artists in a single year.

"I'm just very grateful the place exists," Peet said. "Patrick is one art angel, I think."

Read the original article on Insider