Wednesday, January 28, 2015

November Works

The Chinese overwhelmingly had a positive response to the color and design of my folk sculpture 'Soldier'.
My response to the ideas of society vs. the individual.
At the end of the month in November at Da Wang Culture Highland, we had an exhibition of works created during the month by myself, Daniel Unsworth, Tom Hayes (both from Great Britain), Joop Haring (Holland) and Haitao (China).

It was a great opportunity to focus on the work accomplished during this time and wonderful to collaborate with the other artists while installing too. There were challenges in communicating about lighting and other issues to the gallery workers who didn't speak english... a very interesting experience all around.

Below are some images of the event. It was enlightening to witness the reactions and interpretations of the local Chinese to my artworks. It gave me another opportunity to understand them and their values.

Tom Hayes is a ceramicist who also works with iconography and the meaning of symbols. Here he planted grass seed beneath a porcelain slip in the image of one of his generic icon shapes.

'Ant' is my version of a symbol of emergent behaviors in an environment void of an traditional culture and ruled from the top down rather than organically from the bottom up. It's primitive color and craftsmanship appeal universally, some viewers identified it with Aztec or pre-Columbian folk art tradition and the Chinese identified with the color and pattern as their own. More on the story behind the making of this piece in the next blog post... stay tuned!

Daniel is a talented young fibre sculptor from Liverpool. Here he is exhibiting his crocheted suspension using found materials and natural dyes.

'Colony' is an installation using found clamps used for staging apparatus, and gold leaf. They are interlocked from the bottom up in a precarious agglomeration.

A good perspective of just how large the gallery is!
Joop Haring with his ceramic piece about the growing Shenzhen from 2013.
This year's exhibition is called 'Birdhouses of China.' 

Small studies of bundles using porcelain slip. While in residence where there is a fully equipped ceramics studio...
one needs to explore the medium right?

A very large bundle created from found fabrics and other materials. I saw it as a study of oppression vs. expression.
The Chinese were more optimistic, they saw it as an expression of China exploring who they are,
what shape will they become?

And of course, my embroideries...
read here to learn more about these works.

his post is part of a series documenting my experiences in China. 
Please follow previous entries by using the blog archive in the sidebar to the right. Or click here for the beginning. 


  1. Great to see your work in that huge gallery! It really is quite an impressive space. When I was there, the walls were quite full of artwork that had been done by previously visiting artists. Do you know what they did with the art? I believe that one of the pieces was my own. I never actually saw it hung, but was sent a dimly lit photo of it there, at one point. I wish I had asked you to look for it, for me, and send me a better quality photo of it... Oh well! Maybe I have to go back there, in person (not such a bad thing)!

  2. Hi Claire, Your painting was hanging up in the reception area gallery just outside the main gallery where the talks are given. I think I may have a photo of it... will check and send it to you. They store the art in an air conditioned studio space when it's not displayed..there's quite a magnificent collection! I hope you get to return....