Words by ArtChina Founder Aimin Liu
Sunday was our last day exhibiting at this year’s Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair. It was our second time participating in this event. We loved seeing lots of locals walking around with their friends and family, and the fair attracted many printers and students as well, searching for new ideas and inspiration. Alongside the artworks on display at the fair, there were plenty of hands-on activities for children and fascinating talks for the adults. Fair director Jack Bullen very excitedly told that us that tickets sale increased 300% compared with last year! And It has showed during the fours days as a steady flow of people walked through the stands.
One of the most appreciated pieces in the ArtChina stand was “Cranes in the wetland” by Yu Chengyou. This popular image draws upon the nature surrounding the northern China, with wildlife that, through the simplicity of his style, seems tranquil and uncluttered – quite a contrast to the metropolises’ of modern China. It speaks of seeking solace from the madding crowd and industrialisation of China. His work promises something better for us, a peaceful world for which we can strive. These are prints of vision and style, created with analytical precision and imagination that is unique to Yu Chengyou.
One of our youngest artists, Cao Ou’s “Theatre Landscape” series continually caught viewer’s eyes. In this series, he continually uses repeated patterns to form landscapes, the same motif which shows the artist himself strongly concern about our present climate changes and environmental issues. In these latest prints, he executes both technique and aesthetics very well. By contrasting classical objects with modern geometric landscapes and wildlife in his work, he evokes a strong visual effect and the artwork draws out the viewer’s emotions. He certainly has achieved his goal, and at the same time, has also improved his talent in his artistic practise.
One of our young female artists, Kelly Mi’s “AI Series’” which asks what artificial intelligence can do was also very well received. One of her pieces we had on display shows a mechanical babysitter and a robotic lover, depicting perfect harmony. Are there really substitutes for human needs for family bond and true love, Kelly wonders?
A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by our stand to admire the work of these talented Chinese artists and others, and especially to those of you who went home with a piece of artwork for your walls.
The above prints are all available in our online shop, so if you missed us at the fair, there’s still time to catch up!