Art and Culture

Chinese calligraphy letter sets new auction record

16 May 2016

  • An 11th Century letter has set a new record price for a work of Chinese calligraphy, fetching 207m yuan ($32m; £22m) at an auction in Beijing. The letter is the last surviving work of Chinese scholar Zeng Gong, who penned it around 936 years ago, popular news website reports. It was snapped up by film mogul Wang Zhongjun at the China Guardian auction house on Sunday evening.

Demand still strong for quality Chinese art

April 6, 2016

  • A painting by late Chinese artist Zhang Daqian sold for nearly US$35 million at an auction in Hong Kong yesterday, the most one of his works has ever fetched, underscoring strong demand for quality Chinese art despite a slowdown in the market. The 2-meter-long scroll inkbrush painting “Peach Blossom Spring” more than tripled its expected price at a spring Sotheby’s sale to fetch HK$270.7 million (US$34.9 million), including the buyer’s premium.

Thousand-year-old Chinese painting brought to life

Apr 5, 2016

  • A famous painting has been brought to life in the central Chinese city of Kaifeng. The new take on traditional Chinese art has attracted many tourists.

Market for Chinese Art Is Increasingly in China

MARCH 25, 2016

  • But there is one area of collecting that is still capable of setting exceptional prices, seemingly regardless of where it is being sold or what is happening in the world: historic Chinese art. And yet Chinese decorative art and antiques was one of the few auction sectors that grew in 2015, according to the Netherlands-based European Fine Art Foundation, or Tefaf, whose annual art market report was published on March 9. Auctions of Chinese porcelain, jades, furniture and other antiques fractionally increased year-on-year from $2.1 billion in 2014 to $2.2 billion. Though this is still far below the heights of the $3.4 billion generated in 2011, the sector nonetheless “performed significantly better in terms of annual growth than fine art in China and many other countries,” the report says.

From Puccini to powder boxes, how China infused art deco era

  • The 1920s and ’30s saw an explosion in Western interest in ‘exotic’ China, and nowhere is this more evident than in the fashion, jewellery and accessories produced for a generation of newly liberated women, writes Patrick Lecomte

Returned Buddha Head Displayed at National Museum of China


  • Starting Tuesday, visitors to the National Museum of China in Beijing are going to have a rare chance to see the head of an ancient Buddha sculpture. The 1,500 year old Buddha head, which had been listed as stolen, has been returned to the mainland by Buddhist Master Hsing Yun of Taiwan. A private collector donated the 80 kg head to Master Hsing Yun, the abbot of Foguang Mountain Temple in the city of Kaohsiung, in 2014. Once he was told that it was the head of a Buddhist sculpture from the Youju Temple in Lingshou County in Hebei, the master immediately announced that he wanted to return it to its place of origin.

China: 3,600-year-old cosmetic sticks made from cattle heart found buried with female mummies

January 29, 2016

  • Scientists have discovered sticks made from cattle hearts which they say may have served as make-up tools in ancient China. The sticks date back to the early Bronze Age, about 3,600 years ago. The red sticks were found in Xiaohe Cemetery (1980–1450BC) in northwest China’s Xinjiang province, scientists said in their paper published online in the 28 January edition of the journal Scientific Reports. The sticks were covered with a layer of hematite powders, one of the most widely used red pigments to paint red on human skulls during that era.

Ice Lantern Festival Themed on 2022 Winter Olympics Opens in Beijing

Jan 16, 2016

  • The 30th Longqingxia Ice-lantern Festival opened on Friday in Yanqing District of Beijing, the theme of which is Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. This festival covering an area of 200,000 square meters includes three exhibition areas on illumination, ice engraving and entertainment. Among the snow and ice sculptures, there are 170 works themed on winter sports such as curling, alpine skiing and speed skating.

RAW: Chinese ballet “Dragon Boat Racing” debuts in NYC

Jan 7, 2016

  • The Chinese ballet “Dragon Boat Racing” debuts at New York’s Lincoln Center on Thursday. The ballet presents an epic love story in China in the 1930s. It combines Cantonese music and state-of-the-art theatrical artistry.

China: Fireworks, illuminations light up world’s largest ice and snow festival

Jan 5, 2016

  • Crowds gathered to celebrate the opening ceremony of the 31st Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival north-eastern Chinese city, Tuesday. The festival showcases the work of ice and snow sculptors from around the world, in a city which is famous for its freezing winters.

Impressive snow sculptures on display in NE China

Jan 4, 2016

  • More than 200 sculptures made of 150,000 cubic meters of snow are on display at a park in northeast China’s Jilin Province, featuring different cultures along the ancient Silk Road trade route.

Chinese treasures on display in Canberra as part of first collaboration between national libraries

2 Jan 2016

  • Chinese treasures dating back to the 17th century have gone on display at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. The exhibition, titled Celestial Empire: Life in China 1644-1911, provides a window into Chinese history, from the rise of a new dynasty to the arrival of western missionaries. National Library of Australia Council chair Ryan Stokes said the exhibition had been nearly three years in the making, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2012 with the National Library of China.

Sacrifice Ceremony Held at Fishing Festival at NE China’s Chagan Lake

Dec 27, 2015

  • A sacrifice ceremony was held on Monday at Chagan Lake for its annual winter fishing festival in northeast China’s Jilin Province. The ceremony, full of rich Mongolian style, was designed to offer sacrifices to the god of lake and awaken the sleeping giant net. People danced and beat drums to show their reverence and gratitude for the god.

Chinese orchestra seeks young fans for classical music

December 9, 2015

  • The China National Traditional Orchestra is fighting a battle familiar to anyone who performs classical music: getting young people to enjoy their art. And it’s often an uphill battle. Some of the pieces the 246-member orchestra and choir performs are thousands of years old. But the ensemble, founded by influential composer and conductor Li Huanzhi in 1960, is putting new twists on its traditional classical repertoire by incorporating elements of Chinese folk and contemporary music and getting creative with staging, lighting and sets.

China’s New Wave Of Designers

Dec 4, 2015

  • China-inspired couture has been having a bit of a moment lately. In June, Vogue Italia devoted an entire issue to the country, including four covers featuring Chinese models and an illustrated feature on young designers in Beijing. Meanwhile, this summer’s blockbuster at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” put the spotlight on the Asian superpower. An exploration into how Chinese aesthetics have inspired Western fashion, the exhibit became the museum’s most popular fashion exhibition and its fifth most-visited show on record. Still, for all our fascination with the East, what about China’s own designers?

Chinese Fashion Designer’s Bold Designs Win Global Customers

Nov. 24, 2015

  • Guo Pei opened her Beijing-based fashion company, Rose Studio, in 1997 after working as a designer for more than a decade. Since then, she has become one of China’s most famous haute couturiers. Earlier this year, Grammy Award-winning singer Rihanna wore one of Ms. Guo’s designs, a canary-yellow cape gown, to a ball at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The 55-pound dress took a team of seamstresses 50,000 hours over two years to make. Vogue magazine put a photo of the dress on the cover of its Met Gala special edition,…

Ancient Board Game Found in Looted China Tomb

November 16, 2015

  • Pieces from a mysterious board game that hasn’t been played for 1,500 years were discovered in a heavily looted 2,300-year-old tomb near Qingzhou City in China. There, archaeologists found a 14-face die made of animal tooth, 21 rectangular game pieces with numbers painted on them and a broken tile which was once part of a game board. The tile when reconstructed was “decorated with two eyes, which are surrounded by cloud-and-thunder patterns,” wrote the archaeologists in a report published recently in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.

International puppet show in China

Nov 12, 2015

  • As part of the 14th Asian Art Festival, the International Puppet Show have attracted over 300 puppet artists from 14 countries all over the world.

A jewel in the landscape: Incredible aerial shots show a palace garden in China that’s shaped like an emerald NECKLACE

10 November 2015

  • Stunning aerial photos of a necklace created from trees planted around May-ling Palace in Nanjing, east China, have recently emerged on Chinese social media networks. The trees formed a tear-drop shape around the palace itself, which becomes the ‘diamond’ in the centre, as well as a chain that extends far into the distance. Since the images have appeared, the palace has been dubbed ‘the most beautiful necklace’

Chinese vase sells for £114,000 at Carmarthen auction

5 November 2015

  • A chipped Chinese porcelain vase has sold for £114,500 at auction. Prior to being sold, the vase was valued at £150-£250, and was won by an online bidder from China. The sale was held at an auction house in Carmarthenshire on Wednesday.

China: Treasures of the Jade Empire, Channel 4

19 October 2015

  • The wealth of the Han Empire – China’s Golden Age – which existed for about 400 years was closely related to silk: there was extraordinary land-based trade with the West as far as the Roman Empire along the fabled Silk Road. Jade was also immensely precious because it was also thought to be a magical material, conducive to immortality, and exclusive to Emperors, buried in suits of plaques of jade, secured with golden nails (jade mummy portrait, pictured above). The excavation of the mausoleum of the King of Chou, a regional ruler during the period of the Eastern Han, indicated that some thousands of pieces of jade would have been attached to the lacquered surface of his burial coffin (main picture). Moreover pieces of precious jade were used to prevent, it was thought, vital essences escaping the body: all orifices of the aristocratic corpse would be so plugged.

How China Conquered the Dutch

OCT. 13, 2015

  • In 1558, a single Portuguese trading ship returning from Asia carried 1,000 pieces of Chinese porcelain. A Dutch ship making the same journey 50 years later brought 60,000 pieces. And by 1638, about 900,000 pieces of Chinese porcelain were transported via Dutch trading vessels. In the span of one century, the fine, thin, white ceramics made from a clay called kaolin and fired in blazing hot kilns went from being a unique treasure for a handful of wealthy European connoisseurs to a common household item, especially in the Netherlands. Today, this porcelain is known in everyday English usage as china, and as early as the 17th century it was already being copied throughout Europe.

‘Golden Bridge’ Crafted by Chinese Artist Unveiled at Milan Expo

Oct 02, 2015

  • Chinese artist Shu Yong’s “golden bridge” structure took inspiration from the well-known Zhaozhou Bridge. (Photo :
  • A Chinese artist’s giant golden bridge-shaped structure creation entitled “Golden Bridge on Silk Road” was recently unveiled at the Milan Expo. The structure is interpreted as the artist’s symbol abridging the Western and Eastern cultures. Standing at 6 meters with a length of 28 meters, the bridge also serves as an emblem of friendship, designer Shu Yong revealed. The “golden bridge” took inspiration from the well-known Zhaozhou Bridge, which was built over a millennium ago in northern China, the 41-year-old artist further revealed. The bridge is still in use today.

Yang Yongliang’s best photograph: misty Chinese mountains succumb to the city

1 October 2015

  • I used to paint traditional landscapes, but I felt the Chinese style had reached an apex – there was no way to progress. I wanted to find a new medium, a more contemporary one that could still capture the spirit of landscape painting. Digital photography seemed to be the answer. In China, landscape painting is less about describing the real physical world, and more about illustrating a mental state, a spirit – expressing your feelings in each ink stroke. Artists down the generations tend to paint the same landscape in different ways, according to what’s in their inner mind. In many ways, this is the opposite to western art. Chinese artists may present multiple perspectives in a single piece. It’s about seeing and showing objects beyond how they are.
  • Detail from a digitally rendered take on traditional Chinese landscape art by Prix Pictet nominee Yang Yongliang.

Mid-Autumn Festival 2015: China’s mooncake holiday celebrations in pictures

September 25, 2015

  • Lanterns will be lit and mooncakes exchanged this weekend for the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, a harvest celebration that falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The festival, which this year falls on 27 September, is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and neighbouring countries. It is the second most important festival after the Spring Festival and honours the full moon as a symbol of peace, prosperity and family reunion. One of the most important part of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival is to give mooncakes, traditional Chinese pastries, to your friends and family. Brightly coloured lanterns line streets or are set on water, giving rise to the nickname “lantern festival”.

Interview with Chinese violinist Lu Siqing

Sep 26, 2015

Ancient cliff paintings found in NE China

September 16, 2015

  • The file photo shows part of the ancient cliff paintings found in Dahinggan Mountains, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. (Photo /
  • HARBIN – Chinese archeologists have found more than 1,800 ancient cliff paintings in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. The works, the first of which was discovered in 2012, were painted by primitive hunters who inhabited Dahinggan Mountains at least thousands of years ago, said Zhang Wei, director of the provincial institute of cultural relics and archeology, on Tuesday.

Ink Remix: contemporary art from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong

16 September, 2015

  • A first look in Australia at a new phenomenon that is rethinking calligraphy and traditional ink art with a contemporary inflection.
  • And yet, these are the contemporary inflections that have been assigned to traditional Chinese ink art over the past decade, led by a new generation of artists who are using the medium to challenge the tradition and its perceptions, and to ruminate on the rapid changes taking place across mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
  • Video still of Charwei Tsai’s Tofu Mantra, 2005. Collection of Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Peng Hung-Chih’s Canine Monk video series; Photo supplied
  • Stills from Yang Yongliang’s video Rising Mist showing city scenes merged into Chinese mountains gradually dissolving to white as pollution takes over. Photo: Supplied
  • Peng Wei, Good Things Come in Pairs – no. 4, 2011-13, silk shoes with painted insoles.

Temari Balls: Mixing Mathematics with Beautiful Art

September 14, 2015

  • Temari balls are an ancient form of art that originated in China and got was introduced to Japan around the 7th century A.D., where it became very popular. In China, temari, beautifully decorated spheres, were often used in conjunction with lions who were thought to be mythological animals having a fun-loving and friendly disposition. The Chinese have a rich tradition associated with Temari, especially in a ceremony called “Exercising the Lions” whose purpose is to expel demons. In this case, they use one big Temari, representing the Sun. There is even a legend, where the mythological lion is regarded as a provider of milk. The people place hollow, beautifully decorated balls out in the hills of the countryside hoping that the mythological lions would find the balls and leave some milk inside.

‘China: Through The Looking Glass’ Is The Met’s Most Popular Fashion Show Ever


  • Andrew Bolton, curator of the Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, should know. His latest hit, China: Through the Looking Glass, has been his most successful and ambitious show yet. After being awarded a three-week extension, it will be taking its final bow on Monday. That’s right: If you haven’t joined this party, it’s about time you head to the Met. As of September 1, more than 761,000 visitors have walked the galleries of the transformed Asian Art wing and been transported into a fantasy version of China, where high fashion, movies, music, and objects of art have been combined to produce something that is more immersive performance than traditional art exhibition.

Chinese artist spends 50 years creating incredible carvings with PEACH STONES in bid to revive ancient craftsmanship

1 September 2015

  • A Chinese man has spent 50 years creating tiny works of art using peach stones. Hu Yinsong from Tongxiang, eastern China, has been carving the stones since his teens, reported People’s Daily Online. The city has the tradition of gifting children with peach stone accessories. It is intended to ward off evil spirits.

*China: Through the Looking Glass show breaks Metropolitan museum record *

Chinese fashion exhibition is most visited ever at New York Metropolitan museum of art’s costume institute, smashing record set by McQueen show

19 August 2015

  • A New York exhibition exploring Chinese influence on western fashion has become a summer smash-hit, attracting a record 670,000 visitors in a sign of China’s growing clout in America. Spread across 16 galleries, China: Through the Looking Glass is the most visited show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume institute and has been extended for three weeks.
  • Art work by Andy Warhol and a dress by Vivienne Tam are displayed as part of China Through the Looking Glass at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
  • A dress by Li Xiaofeng is displayed as part of China Through the Looking Glass at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
  • The exhibit focuses on the influence of Chinese aesthetics on western fashion and looks back at some of the history of Chinese design. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

‘Sky Ladder’ Made of Fireworks FULL VIDEO – 500m ‘Stairway To Heaven’ With Fireworks in China

Aug 12, 2015

32 Chinese cultural relics return home from France

July 20, 2015

  • Thirty-two gold ornaments stolen from ancient Chinese tombs and held by French collectors were formally handed over to northwest China’s Gansu Provincial Museum on Monday. Head of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Li Xiaojie, presented a gold ornament to Gansu provincial governor, Liu Weiping, at a hand-over ceremony Monday, marking the relics’ return.

Musicals Set to Soar in China Once Local Projects Start to Flow


  • Industry executive Ivy Zhong has scored with overseas projects, but is banking on the domestic market. Ivy Zhong, formerly of troubled Chinese indie film company Beijing Galloping Horse, branched out into musicals last year and was swiftly rewarded when one of the projects she invested in, An American in Paris, won four Tonys last month. It was only months ago that Zhong set up Beijing-based China Broadway Entertainment with Sean Hsu, chairman of digital entertainment firm China Digital Culture. The company put what has been reported as “several hundred thousand dollars” into An American in Paris.

In pictures: 3D art in China’s rice paddy fields

24 June 2015

  • 3D imagery has now reached China’s rice paddy fields. Farmers in the north-eastern Liaoning province, made use of different colours and varieties of rice saplings in order to mimic the 3D effect. The fields are housed as part of a theme park in Shenyang city, which also caters to weddings and camping trips for tourists.

The Chinese Want Their Art Back

JUNE 20, 2015

  • Chinese art has become a prized liquid asset for superrich collectors, who, instead of putting their treasures on display, often deposit them in carefully guarded, climate-controlled warehouses. But the media’s emphasis on the white-hot market for contemporary Chinese works overlooks a more interesting story: the effort by the Chinese government, state-run companies, private collectors and even, quite probably, some criminal networks to bring Chinese antiquities back home.
  • Take, for example, 12 animal heads wrenched from a zodiac fountain that once glistened below the European-style Hall of Calm Seas at the palace. In 2000, auctions held in Hong Kong by Sotheby’s and Christie’s featured three of the heads. China’s Bureau of Cultural Relics urged the auction houses to withdraw the bronzes, citing a Unesco convention. When both companies declined and the auctions went ahead, the winning bids were cast by the Poly Group. They went on view at the Poly Art Museum in Beijing, which subsequently secured three more zodiac heads. One of the three was donated by a Macao gambling tycoon; the other two were bid on at a 2009 Christie’s sale in Paris by a Chinese buyer who then refused to pay for them. In 2013, François-Henri Pinault, whose company owns the auction house, gave them to China as a good-will gesture.

Chinese Artist Creates Dragon Sculpture with 83,600 Pieces of Straw

June 9th, 2015

  • 70-year-old master craftsman Fangze Yu can bring mythical creatures to life using nothing but straw. His most recent piece of work is an impressive dragon that he hand-crafted out of 83,600 pieces of rice straw! Mr. Yu and his daughter spent four months working on the dragon at his workshop in China’s Jiangxi province. He started by creating a bamboo frame to support the structure. He then painstakingly assembled individual pieces of straw, using 10 different knitting and weaving techniques, to complete the 28-m, 35-kg masterpiece.

Review: Asian Art Museum’s ’28 Chinese’ samples contemporary works


  • San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is hosting a wide-ranging exhibit of contemporary art from China, filling several galleries with unusually bold modern images. But the artwork is also notable for arriving by a circuitous route, drawn not directly from China, but from the Rubell Family Collection of art in Miami. The museum declares that the exhibit, “28 Chinese,” “explodes narrow perspectives” on contemporary art in China. Granted, collectors Don and Mera Rubell visited 100 artists’ studios during six trips to China from 2001 to 2012. That gives them a wider perspective than just visiting galleries in that country or in the United State.

Vogue Italia’s Latest Issue Is Dedicated To China


  • Vogue Italia’s June 2015 cover is pretty major, in more ways than one. The issue, which features four stunning covers, is dedicated to China. The theme seems timely, especially with the Met’s Costume Institute exhibit, “China: Through The Looking Glass,” currently on view. There’s just something about the Asian country that’s undeniably intriguing to the the fashion industry, apparently.

Chinese Investors Star on Broadway

June 4, 2015

  • Who’s the latest behind-the-scenes investor on Broadway? China. Three of the hottest musicals on Broadway have Chinese backers as China starts expanding live theatrical entertainment at home and looks to New York for expertise. China Media Capital, a state-backed private-equity fund, has invested in the production company behind Tony-nominated “Hand to God” and “Something Rotten!” Beijing-based China Broadway Entertainment is a backer of “An American in Paris,” which is nominated for 12 Tonys. “This is the first season that Chinese companies are investing on Broadway,” said Simone Genatt, chairman of Broadway Asia, a New York-based production and licensing entertainment company primarily focused on Asia. “They’ve been doing Broadway musicals in mainland China for the last decade, but this is the first time China is here in New York.”

Feature: China’s presence “fantastic, huge” at major U.S. book expo


  • NEW YORK, May 28 (Xinhua) — “The Chinese presence at the expo is fantastic and huge, it’s amazing,” Brian Wray, a writer in New York City, told Xinhua Thursday during the BookExpo America (BEA) 2015 being held here from May 27 to May 29. “It’s very impressive. The Chinese books are very, very interesting,” he said. “This is my first day here, so I’m looking forward to getting to know more Chinese writers and their books.” Wray’s comment is echoed by many present at the prestigious annual expo, which for the first time invited China as the guest of honor for the BEA Global Market Forum, themed “Experience the Future Through China.”

Swiss and Chinese painters present joint show in Beijing


  • A ten day art exhibition entitled “Eastern Abstraction VS Western Figuration–Tan Ping Dialogue with Luciano Castelli,” opened on May 21 at the National Art Museum of China, featuring the work of artists Luciano Castelli, from Switzerland, and China’s Tan Ping. The exhibition offers insight into the practice of contemporary Chinese oil painting, which developed largely independently of neo-expressionism, said Huang Mei, the curator of the exhibition. It is for this reason domestic art critics have hailed the arrival of Castelli, a representative of neo-expressionism painting who has been active since the 1980s.

Chinese painter’s work sells for record high amid sluggish sales in art market

18 May, 2015

  • A painting by a modern Chinese painter has fetched a record price for his work, despite sluggish sales in China’s art market. The picture, Eagle, Rock and Flora, by Pan Tianshou was sold for 279 million yuan (HK$354 million) by the auction house China Guardian at a sale on Sunday. The picture of an eagle standing on a flower-covered rock was previously auctioned in 2005 for 11.7 million yuan.
  • One art expert said pictures such as Eagle, Rock and Flora, right, can still fetch high prices at auction in a slow market if collectors genuinely love an artist’s work. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Reviving the tradition of Cantonese opera in teahouses

10 May, 2015

  • After the second world war, Cantonese opera lovers enjoyed nights out at Chinese restaurants, sipping tea while opera singers performed in a casual setting different from dressed-up shows in big open-air bamboo theatres. Seventy years on, bosses of the West Kowloon waterfront arts hub want to revive the opera-with-tea tradition, but with a modern appeal targeting new opera audiences. To that end, a “teahouse theatre” would be part of Xiqu Centre – the venue earmarked for Chinese opera, or xiqu, and slated for completion in 2017.
  • A ‘Teahouse’ scene from Fifth Brother Rescuing Younger Brother. Photo: Nora Tam

The great catwalk of China: 41 radical new designers

June 29, 2015

  • (CNN)The obsession of Chinese luxury shoppers with Western brands is old news. Now, a new book entitled Fashion China is turning the spotlight on the top local brands vying for the international spotlight. Written by Irish fashion curator Gemma A. Williams, the book provides an introduction to 41 of the country’s most exciting designers, from Fashion Fringe award-winner Haizhen Wang to couturier Laurence Xu. “We’re creating a snapshot of what is going on over there,” says Williams. “Designers play by their own rules, and it creates such an interesting dynamic.”

New York instills new meaning in ‘made in China’

May 18, 2015

Janelle Monáe at the Met Gala 2015 | China: Through the Looking Glass

May 4, 2015

Rihanna at the Met Gala 2015 | China: Through the Looking Glass

May 4, 2015

Lady Gaga and Alexander Wang at the Met Gala 2015 | China: Through the Looking Glass

May 4, 2015

A Splashy Entrance by Rihanna Puts Chinese Designers in the Spotlight

MAY 8, 2015

  • Rihanna’s Met Gala dress, designed by Guo Pei. Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times
  • When Rihanna wore a fur-trimmed yellow satin gown by the Chinese-born designer Guo Pei to the Met Gala on Monday night, it became the talk of Twitter, which erupted with jokey comparisons to omelets and pizzas. Memes using cartoon characters like SpongeBob SquarePants were rampant. “The fashion world pretty much came to a standstill,” Glamour magazine wrote of the “jaw-dropping” cloak, while Time magazine declared that the singer stole the show. Yet Ms. Guo isn’t the first Chinese-born designer to create a media meltdown with a spectacular design. The “X-Men” star Fan Bingbing wore a bright yellow dragon dress by Laurence Xu to the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and The Hollywood Reporter wrote that it “launched her into the style stratosphere.” “Sensational!” the website Red Carpet Awards proclaimed.

New York party of the year kowtows to China

May 4, 2015

  • Sarah Jessica Parker arrives for the Costume Institute Gala Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, on May 5, 2015
  • New York (AFP) – China’s march towards global ascendancy has taken another leap forward — at least when it comes to New York high society and its most glittering fashion extravaganza, the Met Ball.
  • For Chinese actress Li Bingbing — “so excited” to be going for the first time — it shows that Western attitudes towards her country, for so long a communist bogeyman in the United States, are beginning to change.
  • Li played a Chinese scientist in 2014 blockbuster “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which grossed $320 million at the box office in China, eclipsing the $245 million made in the United States. “They purposely add Chinese culture, they purposely add Chinese elements, pick up Chinese actors, outfits, in the movie because they want more viewers from China,” explained Li.

China’s influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

03 May 2015

  • This evening, the Metropolitan Museum’s annual Costume Institute exhibition launches with its traditional gala. The theme? China: Through the Looking Glass, a celebration of half a millennium of Chinese influence on European luxury goods. It’s also the culmination of China’s decade-long ascent to the very top of the fashion game. Despite Chinese president Xi Jinping’s policies to combat corruption and discourage extravagance – which has resulted in the Chinese market wavering over the past 18 months – it is still the main focus of Western luxury brand expansion.
  • ‘In The Mood For Love’ by Wong Kar Wei, artistic director of the Met exhibiton; Valentino A/W 2015

Chinese Artist Xu Bing Explores Thorny Issues in SCAD Exhibition

April 24, 2015

  • Atlanta is represented by the phoenix, the mythical bird that rises from the ashes as the city did after its Civil-War scorching. Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing knows a thing or two about the symbol, which takes on a slightly different significance in his culture. Throughout Chinese history, Mr. Xu says, the phoenix joined the dragon in representing luck and prosperity, but when he was commissioned for an art installation at the World Financial Center in Beijing, he couldn’t help but notice the misfortune of those working in the shadow of the glitzy tower as the coming-out party of the 2008 Olympics approached.

Young, Chinese and rich: New breed of buyer entering art market, says auction house

21 April, 2015

  • A younger generation of China’s rich is entering the art market, according to an official at the auction house Christie’s, and it is hoped they will offset a slump in sales partly created by the government’s crackdown on corruption on the mainland. Many of the new buyers have studied or worked overseas and have a good knowledge of art, said Cai Jinqing, the president of Christie’s China. “We’re seeing a new generation of Chinese collectors with a strong enthusiasm for art,” she said.

A blitz of colour: Stunning images of water carnival in China where thousands gather on boats to pray for good fortune

16 April 2015

  • Awash with a sea of colour, sounds and smells, a stunning water carnival has exploded into life in China. The annual Water Temple Fair in Jiangnan, China, sees thousands gather on boats to pray for good fortune for the upcoming year. Locals dress up in traditional costumes, while boat races, drumming and dragon dances bring a carnival atmosphere to the town of Jia Xing.
  • Superstition: People travel from nearby towns to join the Net Boat Fair. Other Water Temple Fairs are held around Chinese New Year. Fishermen from the area take their boats out for show, hoping for good fortune and blessing
  • The traditional local folklore carnival pays homage to Liu Chengzhong, a figure who led people in annihilating locusts in the Yuan Dynasty

Check out the Mona Lisa… in chalk!

Apr 16, 2015

Chalk artist creates masterpieces on streets of China

April 21, 2015

  • (CNN)Artist Cong LanGui uses the streets of China as his canvas. He says he never aspired for fame, but his chalk works of art are quickly becoming recognizable across the country. Chinese netizens have been sharing photos of his drawings on social media.

Chinese Painter Cui Sets Record With $30 Million Landscape Work

April 13, 2015

  • “The Grand Snowing Mountainous Jiangnan Landscape.” by Cui Ruzhuo. Each of the eight panels are painted with ink and color on paper and measures 292 centimeters (115 inches) by 143 centimeters. Source: Poly Auction Hong Kong via Bloomberg
  • An eight-panel series of paintings by Cui Ruzhuo sold for HK$236 million ($30 million) at Poly Auction Hong Kong, setting an auction record for a living Asian artist. “The Grand Snowing Mountainous Jiangnan Landscape,” completed in 2013, sold on April 7 and broke the previous record of HK$185 million also set by Cui at Poly Hong Kong in April 2014, the auction house said in a press release.

Meet the young Chinese designers who are redefining fashion

A new book shines a light on a group of passionate young mainland designers who are out to redefine what ‘Made in China’ means

13 April, 2015

  • In the eyes of most Western consumers, China is the place where most of their clothes are made, but not designed. But the mainland’s own nascent fashion scene is growing, as can be seen by the latest edition of Shanghai Fashion Week happening right now, where native designers are not hard to spot. A new English book, Fashion China, written by an Irish-born fashion curator Gemma Williams (available at Page One stores as well as on Amazon) is attempting to document the country’s vibrant, albeit fledgling, fashion design industry.

A riot of colour as tens of millions of Chinese return to their ancestral villages for the annual ‘Tomb Sweeping Festival’ to honour their ancestors and crowds flock to stunning ceremonies

8 April 2015

  • Tens of millions of people in China marked the annual ‘Tomb Sweeping Festival’ this weekend by travelling home to their ancestral villages. Families across the country descended on graveyards to clean their tombs of the deceased and honour their loved ones, burning fake paper money and leaving their favourite food and drink to ensure they are not poor or hungry in the afterlife.

Dragons, deities, diamonds descend on Shanghai for China’s leading design fair


  • (CNN)From March 27 a cavernous, Russian-built exhibition center in Shanghai is brought to life. A circular sculpture, measuring 13 feet in diameter and encrusted with more than 8,000 silver-blue crystal droplets, will be mounted in pride of place.
  • John C Taylor’s Dragon Chronophage clock, with its vast, gold-plated face, is an eye-catching presence, as well as Paul Kelley’s acrylic, brass and steel furniture.
  • According to Ross Urwin, Creative Director of Design Shanghai, its founding concept is to allow international designers to be shown side-by-side with established and emerging Chinese talent. “China’s design aesthetic is evolving at such an accelerated rate and one of the key motivations is the desire for the expression of individuality,” he says. “Within the lifestyle and design sector, this is being achieved by combining contemporary, mid-century and classic furniture with limited edition pieces to create an eclectic, personalized interior environment.”

Fusion of Western and Chinese styles on display


  • Hua Tianyou (1901-1986) is recognized as an important and representative artist in the development of modern Chinese sculpture. He was among the earliest to study in France and his achievement in blending Western techniques with Chinese temperament are recognized in a display of all his works at the National Art Museum of China.

Worldwide Art Sales Continue to Rise with China Among the Top Markets

Mar 13, 2015

  • Global art sales experienced a record 7-percent growth for 2014, with China still among the top three markets, according to a report published this week from the European Fine Art Foundation. The report said that sales for the previous year reached $54.1 billion, the highest recorded amount ever for the international art market.

China’s New Generation of Artists

March 12, 2015

  • Young Chinese artists are the hottest commodity in the art world right now. Prices hit records for works by artists such as Jia Aili and Hao Liang, both of whom sold paintings for more than $1 million each last year, even though they are flat or falling for many of the country’s best known contemporary artists. Works by both groups will be among the thousands on display in Hong Kong this week as Art Basel, Asia’s biggest contemporary art show, and several other exhibits draw collectors from around the world. On Wednesday night, an overflow crowd packed the opening of a show called “Inside China,” which aims to promote little-known Chinese artists internationally.

Asian women wielding art-world influence

March 6, 2015

  • Adeline Ooi Director Asia Art Basel, Emi Eu Director Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Clara M Kim Independent curator, Hu Yanyan CEO and managing director of China Guardian Auctions Co Ltd and China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co Ltd Melissa Chiu Director Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Ancient Chinese Vase Set to Fetch $7.7 Million in Hong Kong

March 02, 2015

  • Hong Kong: A simple Chinese vase made over 800 years ago and unveiled in Hong Kong on Monday is expected to fetch HK$60 million ($7.7 million) when it goes under the hammer next month, Sotheby’s said. The plain octagonal piece, tinted a milky blue, was created during the Southern Song Dynasty — which ruled southern China from 1127-1279 — and is just 20 centimetres (eight inches) tall.

Record-Breaking $15.2 Billion Worth of Art Was Sold in 2014

February 26, 2015

  • Art has once again proved itself to be a stable investment as global art sales reached record-breaking heights totaling $15.2 billion, reports the Telegraph. The billion of dollars worth of art that was sold at auction during the year was a 26 percent increase from 2013, Artprice stated in its annual report, which is produced with the China-based Chinese art platform Artron. Of the auction transactions, 1,679 sales of $1 million or more were recorded—four times the amount that was recorded more than a decade ago.

Celebrity chefs discuss art of Chinese cuisine


  • More than 40 celebrity chefs from around China met at Da Dong Peking Roast Duck Restaurant’s Worker’s Gymnasium branch recently for an opening event of the Celebrity Chef’s Committee, an organization under the World Association of Chinese Cuisine. Deputy director of the WACC Xing Ying and General Secretary Shang Haling attended the activity, during which the chefs discussed the art of cooking and innovative ways of preparing dishes. Dong Zhenxiang, founder of Da Dong Peking Roast Duck Restaurant, is the committee’s chairman. Zhou Xiaoyan, a famous chef and professor of cooking with Yangzhou University, is vice-chairman. Seven members of the committee went onstage at the restaurant to explain their cooking concepts, while attendees sampled dishes from Da Dong’s new winter menu.

Xu Bing’s WRITING BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH Opens Today at Frost Art Museum

  • Xu Bing: Writing Between Heaven and Earth opens today, February 21 at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU. Acclaimed worldwide for propelling contemporary Chinese art onto the global stage with his epic installations, Xu Bing has been invited from Beijing to Miami to present a lecture on February 21st from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and the opening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. The artist’s lecture is at the University’s Graham Center GC140 (seating is expected to fill quickly, registration in advance is recommended to The exhibition encompasses 5,000 square feet and features the artist’s iconic installations plus newer artworks that provoke viewers to challenge their perceptions of cultural identity and language, including a never-before seen artwork that Xu Bing is creating specifically for this exhibition at the Frost Art Museum (through May 24 at 10975 S.W. 17 Street, Miami, FL 33199 – link to map/directions and hours).

Who Are the Top10 Most Expensive Living Chinese Artists at Auction?

February 13, 2015

  • While the United States remains the largest market for the sale of fine art by value, the Chinese market has continued to hold its own at the number two position. Even with declining sales over the past two years, the sheer volume of China’s market has kept it firmly in place.
  • Who are the top 10 most expensive living Chinese artists at auction? artnet News was keen to find out. With the help of artnet’s Analytics team and Fine Art and Design Price Database, we perused auction results from 2005 to 2014 and have selected the top 10 artists by lot. The results are below.

Made in China by Wen Wei Dance explores cultural colours

February 16, 2015

  • Wen Wei Wang, left, and Gao Yanjinzi perform in the Wen Wei Dance presentation of Made In China, which will be performed from Feb. 18 to 21 at the Firehall Arts Centre. Photo courtesy of Chris Randle.
  • Lunar New Year falls on February 19 this year, a colourful celebration which is bracketed by the Vancouver run of Wen Wei Dance’s multi-hued new work, Made in China. “Made in China”, says the company’s artistic director, Wen Wei Wang, “traditionally meant cheap materials, cheap labour. But this work showcases our personal colours as Chinese people.” It is a piece, Wang says, that was a long time coming. Born, raised and trained in China, Wang moved to Canada in 1991, and danced with Ballet British Columbia for seven years before founding Wen Wei Dance in 2003.

Artist in China paints using only his feet.

Feb 11, 2015

The Chinese-French Connection

A Hong Kong Exhibit Showcases Likenesses of 18th-Century French and Chinese Furniture

Feb. 5, 2015

  • During the reign of the Kangxi Emperor in the 17th century, French Jesuit missionaries such as Joachim Bouvet thrived as tutors and diplomats in the Chinese court. At a time when chinoiserie, Chinese-inspired objects of art, was becoming fashionable among the French elite, Bouvet and his colleagues served as purveyors of culture and knowledge between the two empires. Hong Kong’s Liang Yi Museum explores one aspect of this connection with its new exhibit, “Great Minds Think Alike: 18th Century French and Chinese Furniture Design.”

Small Cities: Art for China’s Modern Heart

January 30, 2015

  • In his recent exhibition at the Chinese Academy of Oil Painting, emerging artist Zhou Dong showed off his works painted over the past five years that depict the conditions and spirit of third- and fourth-tier cities. Though Zhou’s art is often absent figures, viewers can still feel a strong sense of emotion and strength from his poetic scenes.

Composer pioneers ‘made in China’ musicals

January 27, 2015

  • (CNN)In 1982, songwriter San Bao fell in love with musical theater — then an alien art form in China — when he saw a videotaped version of CATS, which became the longest running musical in Broadway history. Fast forward three decades, and San Bao, who has enjoyed a successful career writing pop songs and helming music production at the Beijing Olympics, wants to make home-grown musicals to rival some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest hits.

Li Hongbo’s Paper Sculptures

Jan 19, 2014

Increase in demand for Picasso in China risks skewing art markets

January 4, 2015

  • The passion of wealthy Chinese collectors for Pablo Picasso has inflated the value of the Spanish master’s louder and sexually explicit later pieces. Chinese collectors’ willingness to pay top prices for works from Picasso’s late period has hugely increased their value in recent years, with a brash 1969 canvas by Picasso entitle Le basier sold for $4.2m (£2.74m) in 1969 are selling for $18m, and auction houses setting up private viewings in China for wealthy collectors.

Chinese Artist Du Zhenjun Chosen to Design Rolland Garros Poster

Jan 06, 2015

  • The tournament poster for the French Open tennis tournament, Roland Garros, will be designed by Chinese artist Du Zhenjun. The Grand Slam event has a 124-year old pedigree. The posters for the tournament are a matter of French cultural pride.

Investing in China’s Art Auction Market

December 19, 2014

  • China’s art and antiques market is the world’s largest, with 2013 sales exceeding US$8.5 billion, up 28.8 percent from 2012.The overseas market of Chinese art and antiques in 2013 was US$2.3 billion, representing an even larger increase from the year before of 42 percent. China’s affluence is reaching beyond China and Chinese art. In November 2014 at a Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) auction, Wang Zhongjun, chairman of the China’s film studio Huayi Brothers, bought Van Gogh’s 1890 painting Still Life, Vase with Daises and Poppies for a record US$62 million – more than double the US$28.2 million for a Picasso that Dalian Wanda paid at a Christie’s auction one year earlier.

China becoming a major player in international art world


  • Lu Jingjing traveled for more than 20 hours from China to get here to the buzzing, banging, barely organized chaos at the Miami Beach Convention Center by Monday, joining hundreds of her colleagues from around the world in the frenzied preparations for Art Basel Miami Beach. “Everyone knows the U.S. art market is the biggest in the world,” says Lu, director of Beijing Commune, one of China’s top contemporary galleries. She is no stranger to the international art scene, having showcased at Art Basel fairs in Hong Kong and Switzerland. But their Miami debut is still a significant step. “It’s not always easy for Asian galleries to be here — you’re a latecomer with a lot of strong competitors,” Lu says. “I cannot wait to see what happens here.”

Billionaire Liu Pays Record $45 Million for Thangka

Nov 26, 2014

  • A 15th century Tibetan silk “thangka” tapestry that set an auction record for a Chinese work of art selling for $45 million to Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian on Nov. 24, 2014.
  • Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian purchased a Tibetan tapestry for HK$348 million ($45 million) at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong today, breaking the record for the most expensive Chinese work of art he set in April.
  • “I am proud to bring back to China this significant and historic 15th century thangka which will be preserved in the Long Museum for years to come,” he said by phone according to a Christie’s press release.

Modern Chinese art steeped in tradition

Nov 14, 2014

  • The Vancouver Art Gallery’s newest exhibit is designed to showcase contemporary Chinese artists, through 30 large-scale artworks – from installations to digital animations. Those works, although quintessentially modern, are still influenced by centuries of tradition, something evident by another exhibit running simultaneously at the gallery.

World’s leading galleries flock to Shanghai Art Fair

Published on Nov 13, 2014

10 artworks that will change the way you see China


China’s Terracotta Warriors Come to Life in Beijing 3-D Production

Oct. 21, 2014

  • The show’s roughly 45 performers sing Chinese songs, subtitled in English, that draw on Broadway’s hallmark short, snappy numbers as well as traditional Chinese opera. Dennis Law
  • “Terracotta Warriors 3-D Show,” which is playing in Beijing through November, is a theatrical production with a high-tech twist, says Dennis Law, who wrote and produced the show. The musical, performed on stage before a special screen, tells the tale of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who ruled between 220 and 210 B.C. from the central Chinese city of Xian. Spectators wear 3-D glasses to take in special effects on the screen behind the performers, such as shooting arrows as well as bats that swoop behind singing and dancing concubines and eunuchs.
  • Chen Jiao as the empress in Terracotta Warriors 3-D Dennis Law

New wave of artists offer a fresh view of China

26 September 2014

  • There is more to Chinese art than Ai Weiwei – that is the message from the organisers of the UK’s largest ever exhibition of contemporary art from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. More than 30 artists are giving a snapshot of current Chinese art with an exhibition across six venues under the title Harmonious Society, part of Manchester’s Asian art triennial.

Imperial Qianlong-Era Chinese Vase Sells for $25 Million

Sep 19, 2014

  • Source: Skinner, Inc. Via Bloomberg. A Qianlong-era vase fetched $24.7 million at Skinner, Inc. auction in Boston this week. It had been estimated at $150,000 to $250,000.
  • A 3-foot-tall 18th century Qianlong-era vase fetched $24.7 million at a Skinner, Inc. auction in Boston on Sept. 17 as wealthy Chinese collectors fought for pieces of their cultural heritage. The price for the multi-tiered, baluster-shaped vase was about 165 times its low estimate of $150,000. It set the record for a Qing dynasty vase in the U.S. and was one of the top Chinese artworks sold at auction globally. The winner was an anonymous Chinese collector in the room, according to the auction house.
  • Source: Doyle New York via Bloomberg A pair of Chinese porcelain vases, which were estimated at $10,000 to $15,000, fetched $1.2 million at Doyle New York.

Wallace Chan carves humans into precious stone

Published on Oct 5, 2014

Now that’s what we call street art! World’s largest and longest 3D street painting is unveiled on a Chinese university campus

18 June 2014

  • A famous Chinese artist has created the world’s largest and longest 3D street painting, in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, China. The artwork, which is named Rhythms of Youth, occupies an area of 2737.5 square metres and was created as a gift to the upcoming 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Chinese artist makes waves, and ice, to highlight environmental pollution

19 June 2014

  • Artist Yin Xiuzhen symbolically washes Tasmania’s Derwent River. Photograph: Rémi Chauvin/MONA
  • Yin Xiuzhen tells me that when her work Washing River debuted, onlookers in the southern Chinese city of Chengdu asked the artist if they could take her work home with them. Not for aesthetic reasons, mind you, but because the work consists of big blocks of ice – ice that could be used at home in the fridge.

Chinese Artist Exhibits Gorgeous ‘Sculptures’ Built By Bees


  • The Beijing-based artist and beekeeper Ren Ri is a focused man. His new three-part series — titled “Yuansu” in reference to the Chinese word for “element” — turns bees into his collaborators. Yuansu II features sculptures made by bees, of beeswax.

Lost national treasure returns to China


  • A combination photo shows China’s national treasure Minfanglei: its lid (above) and the body (below). [File Photo:]
  • Chinese art collectors from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and overseas have worked together to bring an ancient ritualistic bronze ware item, lost overseas for nearly a century, back to China on Saturday June 21, 2014, from New York-based fine arts auction house Christie’s, according to CCTV news. Thanks to the efforts of a group of Chinese collectors, Christie’s auction house announced on March 19, one day prior to the auction date, that an agreement between the auction house and the Chinese side had been reached, and the bronze item would be sold to an association of Chinese collectors without going through the auctioning process.

The Chinese art market: an analysis of 900% growth over 10 years

17 April 2014

  • TEFAF’s report structures China’s art market into two main sales channels: the auction sector – representing around 70% of recent sales – and the gallery and private dealing sector (including gallery sales, sales by private dealers and sales by artists).
  • The report records a total of 335 registered auction houses in Mainland China (licenced by the Chinese Auctioneers Association) – of these 28% are based in Beijing, 14% in Shanghai, and 14% in Hong Kong. Beijing and Hong Kong form the market’s centres, though the number of new auction houses opening in both Shanghai and Beijing is said to be on the rise.

Young Chinese designers increasingly head to London art, fashion schools

Business remains the top draw for young mainlanders studying in London but enrolment in creative arts schools has tripled in recent years

13 April, 2014

  • Chinese students who go abroad have a reputation for studying “pragmatic” subjects like business or science, but an increasing number are staking out identities in London’s design and fashion worlds.
  • “There is obviously a huge creative talent base in China, and London offers a great place to study,” said Phil Nettleton, a spokesman for the city’s official promotional organisation, London & Partners. “Names like the Guildhall, St Martins and the Courtauld resonate throughout the art world as symbols of excellence and cutting-edge thought.”

Is affordable art the next big consumer trend in China?

April 24, 2014

  • If the current interest in art among the middle class in China becomes a genuine cultural trait, it could spur the emergence of a lucrative affordable art market. Affordable art is mostly made up of contemporary artworks that are bought by individuals for their homes and has developed into a huge market in developed countries. Almost one in every four adults in the UK bought affordable art in 2012 worth a combined US$8 billion. About 70% of art bought in the West is affordable, according to 2012 data from Surge Art, a Beijing-based art dealer and consultancy. In China, the figure was 33%; the signs are that this proportion is set to grow quickly.

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China

April 2nd, 2014

  • For many Chinese artists, their country’s long, illustrious, and in some ways hide-bound visual traditions are an elephant in the studio when it comes to making contemporary art. The weight of history is always present on some level, and it is just a question of whether and how it is acknowledged. Kudos therefore go to the Met for mounting this timely, important exhibition to examine the intersection of traditional Chinese art with contemporary art-making practices. Kudos also to the curator, Maxwell Hearn, for featuring some of the finest art made in China in the last three decades, from rock stars of the 1980s New Wave movement such as Gu Wenda, Xu Bing, Cai Guo Qiang, and Ai Wei Wei, to lesser known skilled artists. The exhibition’s placement amidst the Met’s permanent collection underscores the inevitable connections between the past and the present. Ultimately however this exhibition’s potential to illuminate contemporary Chinese art to the Western viewer is more constrained than aided by its location.
  • Xu Bing, “Book from the Sky,” Ca. 1987 – 91. Photo courtesy the artist.
  • Yongliang, “View of Tide,” 2008. Lent by M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong. Photo courtesy the artist.

Art made of building bricks on display in S China


New and Asian buyers propel Christie’s art sales to record high

Jan 22, 2014

  • (Reuters) – Christie’s art sales surged to a record high of £4.54 billion ($7.13 billion) in 2013 as new buyers and rising Asian demand contributed to a buoyant art market in a fragile global economy.

‘Ink Art’ at Metropolitan Museum of Art plays with Chinese tradition

‘Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York features artists including Ai Weiwei drawing on tradition in unexpected ways.

January 11, 2014

  • Sun Xun’s “Some Actions Which Haven’t Been Defined Yet in the Revolution” is a 2011 woodblock animation video in “Ink Art.” (Metropolitan Museum of Art / December 6, 2013)
  • In the 1980s Chinese artists began experimenting with “ink flow” and abstract imagery. In a 1985 group show, Gu Wenda presented large-scale paintings in which he combined genres and reconfigured the very components of Chinese writing. “Ink Art” includes three panels from his landmark series “Mythos of Lost Dynastie–Tranquility Comes from Meditation.” “I tried to combine the two highest forms of Chinese art, calligraphy and landscape,” says Gu.
  • The exhibition features several works by Ai Weiwei, probably the best-known Chinese artist today. “Map of China” is a wooden map of China pieced together from remnants of Qing temples. Says Hearn, “I see the symbolism here of China as a jigsaw, a fusion of many different regions and ethnicities.”Elsewhere, in a room of Ming furnishings, are two examples of his reconfigured furniture — one is two stools fused together, the other is a table bent in the middle, with two legs placed on the wall.,0,6395002.story

Five Myths About Chinese Contemporary Art


  • 1. It’s All About Speculation, 2. It’s All About Forgery, 3. There Are No Rules, 4. It’s Only a Local Market, 5. It’s All About Mao

A Western Approach to Displaying Chinese Art

Published on Oct 24, 2013

Made in China: how landscape painting was invented in the east

21 October 2013

  • A detail from Saying Farewell at Xunyang, by Qiu Ying, c1500-50 Photograph: John Lamberton/Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Or was it? The invention of landscape painting is one of the great moments of European art. Painting nature is a way to get inside yourself. To this day, people enjoy doing watercolours in the outdoors as a form of meditation. Leonardo’s discovery of the mystery of nature – which you see in all his paintings, with their dreamy rocks and pools – is the invention of a new kind of inner life. Yet it is a lot less original than we might like to think. There is an uncanny likeness between Leonardo’s rocks, trees and rivers and the rocks, trees and rivers that Chinese artists were painting centuries before he was born. It is bizarre: that 1473 drawing actually looks like a reworking of classic Chinese paintings such as Li Gongnian’s Winter Evening Landscape. When was that painted? I look at the label in the V&A’s new exhibition Masterpieces of Chinese Painting. It says 1120. That’s 353 years before the very similar sketch by Leonardo.

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900, V&A, review

27 Oct 2013

  • For many of us in the West, knowledge of Chinese artistry doesn’t extend much beyond Ming vases, blue-and-white porcelain and Kung Pao pork. A fascinating new exhibition at the V&A, however – the UK’s first big show of Chinese painting since 1935 – will go a long way to changing that. China’s artistic tradition stretches back, pretty much uninterrupted, to Neolithic times. Yet, its creative peaks find no place in Western art history, which hails Europe (and latterly America) as the focus of all progress. It’s a conviction that seems ever more absurd the further one walks around this exhibition. Some of the Song dynasty landscapes (960-1279), for instance, are as expressive and subjective as any European art before van Gogh.
  • Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk (detail), possibly by Emperor Huizong, early 12th century
  • Chen Rong, Nine Dragons (detail) 1244

Unscrolling the history of China’s art

29 September 2013

  • Most of us have some grasp of how European art evolved, but Chinese art can seem – if not quite as impenetrable as Beijing’s smog – aloof. The exhibition’s senior curator, Hongxing Zhang, who has been involved in much delicate negotiation to bring this show to London (with exhibits coming from China, America, Japan and Europe), is with us on this trip. His modest charm does not conceal his erudition or purpose. His aim is to demystify Chinese art. The exhibition starts in 700, ends in 1900. He says: “I hope people will look at the work as tangible, having an impact on the senses, and not consider Chinese painting as a foreign thing but have a direct encounter with it and understand its beauty.”

Is Chinese Contemporary Ink Painting the Next Big Thing?

October 7, 2013

  • Liu Guosong’s ink painting ‘Midnight Sun’ achieved HK$6.3 million at Sotheby’s, several times above its pre-sale high estimate.
  • The biggest names in Chinese contemporary art, from Zeng Fanzhi to Yue Minjun and Liu Ye, have all made their mark in oil paintings. But the foundation of Chinese art isn’t oil, but ink, a traditional art form that has informed Chinese aesthetics and culture through the ages. Art dealers and auction houses are saying the traditional is new again, marketing contemporary ink paintings to mainland Chinese buyers. Their hope is to expand and diversify the art market in China by tapping into an art form that domestic audiences are familiar with.

Top 10 most sought-after Chinese painters in 2012

March 30, 2013

  • 10 Wu Guanzhong 吴冠中 (Auction Revenue: US$62.19 million), 9 Wu Changshuo 吴昌硕 (Auction Revenue: US$ 77.1 million), 8 Huang Binhong 黄宾虹 (Auction Revenue: US$83.01 million), 7 Huang Zhou 黄胄 (Auction Revenue: US$106 million), 6 Lu Yanshao 陆俨少 (Auction Revenue: US$112 million), 5 Fu Baoshi 傅抱石 (Auction Revenue: US$152 million), 4 Li Keran 李可染 (Auction Revenue: US$ 167 million), 3 Xu Beihong 徐悲鸿 (Auction Revenue: US$176 million), 2 Qi Baishi 齐白石 (Auction Revenue: US$270 million), 1 Zhang Daqian 张大千 (Auction Revenue: US$287 million)

A Building Boom as Chinese Art Rises in Stature

March 20, 2013

  • After years of fevered activity, museum building and expansion in the United States have slowed to a crawl under a low-lying economic cloud. In Europe, where the climate is even stormier, venerable state-financed institutions go begging for cash. In China, by contrast, the fiscal sun shines. Museums — big, small, government-backed, privately bankrolled — are opening like mad. In 2011 alone, some 390 new ones appeared. And the numbers are holding. China is opening museums on a surreal scale.

‘Asia’s largest art museum’ set to open in Shanghai

28 September, 2012

  • The new China Art Museum (中华艺术宫) covers 166,000 square meters with 64,000 square meters of display space.
  • “Speaking of the size, China Art Museum is the largest art museum in China or even Asia,” said Teng Junjie (滕俊杰), an official who was involved in the planning of the museum, as reported by China’s state news agency Xinhua.

China Super Rich Use Boom Money To Open Their Own Art Museums


  • Wang and billionaire investor Liu are part of a new generation of wealthy Asians that is better known for splashing out on extravagant toys such as private jets, mega-sized yachts and supercars. Some, instead, have built big art collections and now aspire to showcase their refined sensibility to a wider audience.
  • A growing interest in philanthropy is one reason behind the private museum boomlet. Rapid growth is creating thousands of new millionaires in Asia each year. Their ranks grew to 3.3 million in 2011, surpassing Europe for the first time, according to Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. Between January last year and March this year, China’s top 100 philanthropists donated $1.6 billion, according to the Hurun Report, a Chinese rich list. That’s about a fivefold increase from 2004 when the list started.