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Looking Back: Affordable Art Fair Battersea 2019

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea to see us last weekend, and especially to those of you who went home with a print from one of our talented Chinese artists.

Thanks as well to the Affordable Art Fair team who made it such a great experience for us. We appreciated the lively and fun atmosphere, the scattered lights glowing across the black ceiling, the coffee and the shuttle from Sloane Square every 15 minutes.

It was our first time as an exhibitor there and we were thrilled to see queues outside the door every morning, the friendly faces who kept everything running smoothly and the creativity that went into making it an exciting event for everyone. We enjoyed connecting with families who spent the day there sharing the experience of contemporary art with toddlers, babies in prams and even their dogs, young couples who just bought their first home, art enthusiasts from all generations, journalists and gallery owners.

We were happy to connect with Western-educated, second-generation, Chinese-British artist and news editor Wuon-Gean Ho who will be sharing some of ArtChina founder Aimin’s comments on Chinese art across borders at her talk in Chongqing, China this Friday.

We also met with students from the University of Kent who will feature some of Zhu Kecheng’s work at Studio 3 Gallery in May, exploring the subject of “female nude” with a collection of art that shows how women’s bodies have been depicted in art from the 17th century through the present day.

Favourites from our collection on display were the prints of young Mu Beini and Cao Ou as well as seasoned artist Yu Chengyou. We found visitors were especially interested in and intrigued by the traditional Chinese woodcut technique used by several of our artists, in particular Cau Ou who adds a modern twist. Our artists are very much Chinese, but several of them bring international influences into their work.

This was also our first show where we added a QR code to our booth so visitors who were interested could go directly to our website.

For anyone who stopped by and wished they would have bought a piece that caught their eye, reach out; prints of the artwork on display at the Affordable Art Fair are still available.

Find us next, with a selection of prints from a different set of Chinese artists, at the London Original Print Fair at The Royal Academy of Arts in April and at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead in May. Stay tuned for more information on both upcoming exhibitions.

Mu Beini: Exhibiting Works at The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea – London

One of the talented emerging Chinese artists whose work we’ll be exhibiting at The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London next week is Mu Bieni. We caught up with her to hear her own interpretation of a few of her works.



Interpretation of the works of “MOMO” series:

Image: “MOMO 2”, 55 x 50cm, Offset Lithography 

It is generally believed that an artist’s ability to express lies in being attracted by visual things and using their instincts to grasp and communicate their essence. My own desire, however, has gradually shifted to adapt the medium of painting; by using this visual format, I work to express the endless accumulation of human emotions that are invisible to our eyes. I don’t know when, but at some point, my creations all began to relate to the theme of “emotion”. The “MOMO” series of works are all experimental drawings based on this “emotional diary”.

With the shift of generations, no matter who you are, it is easy to record the current lifestyle at any time. However, no matter how superior the performance of technology is, it is difficult to record the immediate emotional activities of people. Therefore, I am more interested in extracting factors that can be visualised from the records of daily life, and then express them in an imaginary and illusory way.

In daily life, there are many emotions that are entangled in things and ties. In all sorts of accidents and locks, we live each day and write different stories. I chose those inexplicable fragments that impressed me, digested and reinterpreted them, and then released them. I took the inconsistencies and ghosts felt in this process and reflected them in my work. Although the original form of things and emotions may not exist anymore, I tried to give them new names in a psychedelic way. Let them be the source of my creative ideas and become the mirror of emotional reflection. It may be that I am very interested in people’s deep psychological emotions. I hope that through the visual expression of painting, through the way of appealing to the viewer’s perceptual cognition, we can express our common emotions such as sorrow and sadness, and even beyond. Personal experiences such as infatuation, surprise, jealousy and other complex feelings can be experienced in this way.



Interpretation of the series of works in “The Tibet Book of  Living and Dying”:


Image: “The Tibetan Book of Living and dying”, 45x 35cm, Offset Lithography

The series of prints, “The Tibet Book of  Living and Dying”, is an illustration of a book created for the religious story of the same name. This book explores how to recognise the true meaning of life and how to accept death correctly. After reading this book on serious life issues, I have incorporated myself into the creation of an independent life in nature and an understanding of one’s life and death. The works are complicated and simple in expression. Starting from the point of the picture – like the spring silkworms are silky – little by little, gradually spreading the imagination of life and death into a whole picture.

We look forward to presenting Mu Beini’s works at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea from March 7-10. Please use code “ARTCHINAHP” to purchase half-price tickets and come and see us at stand J3!

Cao Ou: Exhibiting Works at The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea – London

We’re thrilled to be exhibiting the work of Chinese artist Cao Ou at The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London next month. We caught up with him to find out more about his work. Read on to find out what he had to say (translated).

On the “Reconstructed Landscape” series: 

“Due to the transformation of modern time and space, the modernisation of technology has caused people to lose their natural diversity. However, technology has unified the forms of buildings and roads. When we live in it, we cannot avoid being affected by it. In this case, the concept of landscape should not be placed in a fixed, stylised traditional context. I have been thinking about how to break the traditional aesthetic of people’s habitually.” 

Image: “Reconstructed Landscape-2”, 50×88cm, water-based woodblock, 2014

“This set of experimental prints is based on the Song Dynasty painter Wang Ximeng’s ‘A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains’, all reinterpreted with a few shapes, which constitutes a visual representation of the landscape, rationally using simple shapes to become a complex composition. The shapes are pilled up into a triangular stacking game. The colours overlap repeatedly, and the use of primary colours creates a dizzy effect.”

Image: “Reconstructed Landscape-4”, 50×88cm, water-based woodblock, 2014

“I have always been attracted by the beauty of repetition. I am sensitive to the unified form of mechanised production in life, such as the tall windowsills, the parallel patterns on the walls, and the uniform patterns in clothes. I have always been attracted by these complex and unified forms of beauty, so I chose to use geometry as my linguistic symbol to express the content of the picture in pure form. Sometimes simplification can make the theme of the picture clearer and clearer, more intriguing and more interesting.”

Image: Reconstructed Landscape-3″, 50×88cm, water-based woodblock, 2014

On the “Advanced Animals” series: 

“I found my inspiration from the song ‘Advanced Animals’ by Dou Wei (a famous Chinese rock singer). All of my titles are part of the lyrics. The lyrics of “Advanced Animals” show various gestures that reflect people’s lives. One’s life experience decides its character. Due to different psychological characteristics different social circles and working circles are formed. I hope through this series to make the viewers to reflect on their own current environment and find the true colours of themselves.”

Image: “Advanced Animal”, 20x35cm, water-based woodcut, 2015

On the “Theatre Landscape” series: 

“This series of works continues and expands on the expression of “Reconstructed Landscapes” with a flat style, using the images to express the multiple relationships between landscape, culture and people or with themselves – tourism, protection, possession, destruction, etc. I hope that the audience will see that this group of works can trigger deeper thoughts on the relationship between humans and our environment.”

Image: Theatre Landscape – Floating Mountains & Sea”,  40x60cm, water-based woodcut, 2018

“All my works are printed on Chinese rice paper or Bark paper. The inks are mainly Chinese ink and watercolours, gouache. I use the traditional Chinese water-based printing method called ‘Do Ban’ as the main technique.”

Here’s a short video of Cao Ou at work:

Cao Ou’s cut from ArtChina on Vimeo.

We look forward to presenting his works at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea from March 7-10. Please use code “ARTCHINAHP” to purchase half-price tickets and come and see us at stand J3!

ArtChina at the Affordable Art Fair, Battersea – London (March 7-10, 2019)

We’re pleased to announce our participation in the Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Spring show from 7th-10th March, 2019.

Visit our stand to discover stories of China through our artists and their artwork.

We’ll have the work of six contemporary Chinese printmakers and other artists on display.

Established artists: 

Yu Chengyou: Dreamlike Chinese Landscapes

Dreamlike Chinese landscapes and natural scenes are the subject-matter of Yu Chengyou’s work. The purity of classical eastern philosophy is a dominant feature. The result is a combination of abstract constructs and natural still objects that capture perfectly the beauty of Northern China. Yu Chengyou was born in 1953 in China’s Shandong province. He is currently Dean of Heilongjiang Printmaking Institute and Vice-Director of Harbin Art Museum. Throughout his career, he has won many awards for his work. These include the Golden Prize from the Japanese Association for the Promotion of Chinese Prints in 1993, and silver awards at successive annual China National Print Exhibitions. 

‘Winter in the Lianghe Village’, Yu Chengyou, woodcut, 100x150cm, 2011

Yang Qi – Post Expressionism Painting

Yang Qi was born in Wuhu China in 1952. He lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Anhui, China and a Ph.D at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He holds a number of professorships at a wide range of institutions including The Institute for German Expressionism, The Academy of Fine Arts Xian and Eastern China University in Shanghai. Qi has also held many curatorships and lecturing positions and was, in 2014, the Chinese representative artist to UNICEF in Germany. Yang Qi has exhibited around the world at a number of galleries, museums and institutions including the National Art Museum of China in Beijing and the Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany. Examples of his work are held in many collections, including China Art Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, China, Art Foundation La Roche, Basel, Switzerland, and the British Museum in London, England.

‘The Way to Fantasy’, Yang Qi, acrylic on canvas, 200cmx180cm, 2017

ArtChina are also proud to announce that the works of young, emerging Chinese artists, will also be on show at the exhibition.

Emerging artists: 

Cao Ou

Cao Ou was shortlisted for the First Muban Educational Trust (London) Woodblock Printmaking Award in 2014. His ‘Reconstructed Landscape Series’ is currently held in the British Museum’s permanent collection. This artwork below is reflecting on our declining environment today, warning us that, if we don’t act immediately to protect our environment, soon it will disappear and we will only be able to enjoy it as a display in a museum.

‘Theatre’ from ‘Landscape Display’ series, Can Ou, 50x50cm, 2019

Mu Beini

Mu Beini was born at 1983 in Wuhan, China. She graduated from the high school of Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, received her BA from Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Fresco and Comprehensive Materials Painting and, in 2011 completed an MA from Niigata University in Japan, Department of Environmental Art, Modern Art. She is currently a lecturer at the Printmaking department of Hubei Academy of Fine Arts. This series below is titled ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’, inspired by a spiritual classic from one of the foremost interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism to the West by Sogyal Rinpoche.

‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’, Mu Beini, 4 prints, 50cm x 40cm / per print

Zhu Kecheng

Zhu Kecheng studied at the Xian Academy of Fine Arts, Shanxi and at the Camberwell College of Arts in London. Her work, a series of stone lithograph prints, explores how body language reveals hidden truths and how unconscious body behaviours greatly affect our daily lives. Freud said: “He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.” Zhu Kecheng also explores the different nuances of Eastern and Western body language.

‘Thinking in Hat’, Zhu Kecheng, lithograph, 38cm x 56cm

Kelly Mi

Kelly Mi has been painting since childhood. She is an actor and producer. Her recent work uses anime style to explore the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on our lives. She imagines that in the future, the babysitter will be replaced by AI entities. In this piece below, the smaller machine frog takes up the position of nanny and cares for the bunny who is much bigger than itself. This seems to be convenient. But whereas Mum and Dad are freed from the heavy work of caring for their children, when they try to let go of their own responsibilities they forget that their family can never be replaced.

‘Super-Power Babysitter’, Kelly Mi, screenprint, 50cmx50cm

There are more prints to see from these talented Chinese artists, so mark your calendars and visit us at stand J3. See you there?

More information:

Affordable Art Fair Website
Affordable Art Fair on Facebook

Use ARTCHINAHP for half price tickets. Each code admits two guests!