London gets look at China's new art

By BO LEUNG | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-06-07 17:59

Jade carvings meticulously placed on the ground to symbolize a river, and furniture made from palm fiber to represent a room for newlyweds are two of the highlights of a new Chinese contemporary art exhibition in London.

London gets look at China's new art

Visitors check out Pine Garden on Monday at Transient Existence - Roaming Spirituality in Things, a modern art exhibition in London.  [China Daily]

The House of Phoenix art gallery in Deptford is hosting Transient Existence- Roaming Spirituality in Things until June 15. It features the work of six artists from China.

At the opening ceremony, Wang Luxiang, the exhibition chairman and also an arts and culture scholar and critic, said the show signified a "two-way breakthrough" for art.

"The Chinese artists are breaking through traditional boundaries and altering their works for the modern art market. Meanwhile, modern artists from China are bringing traditional methods into their contemporary works," Wang said.

The collection also includes contemporary Chinese artist Bai Ming's porcelain and sculptures, and a circle of wardrobes brought from a flea market by artist Song Dong entitled Wisdom of the Poor - Enclosure Movement.

Wang explained: "The artists' work at the exhibition is different from what has been seen from Western artists, the materials used are traditionally Chinese. For example, the use of Suzhou silk, porcelain, and palm fiber, it is an expression of their deep thoughts on how society in China has changed in recent years."

Chinese jade carver Fan Junmin created an installation by placing jade pieces on the ground to create a shape that snakes through the gallery and represents the Yellow River, the second-longest river in China. According to Wang, the river-shaped jade installation was made to "create a scene of walking in our homeland and appreciating our own arts".

Bamboo mats have been rolled out throughout the exhibition room with the art works resting on top. Wang said this was an expression of the Chinese idiom xidi erzuo, which describes sitting on the ground, to depict a casual and relaxed attitude in closeness to nature.

Wang said he hopes to see more artists from China engage in the international contemporary art scene.

"China has the most active artist groups in the world, an art exhibition won't be complete without the participation of Chinese artists," Wang said."The global art scene is now focusing on Chinese works of arts, and artists from China are seeking a broader platform as well."


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