Twenty-one of the outstanding UK based artists Chinese Arts Centre have worked with over the years talk about their practice and their experiences as an artist of Chinese descent working in Britain. Their deeply personal accounts reveal overlapping concerns and issues, from the institutional racism of the British art world in the 1980s, to a complete dissatisfaction with the way Chinese artists have been programmed in the past, to the intense current interest in Mainland China and the impact on British Chinese artists. The individual experiences account different stages and perspectives on the development of British Chinese arts.
Artists featured include Lesley Sanderson, the only artist of Chinese descent to have exhibited with the artists of the Black Art Movement in the 1980s, controversial performance artists JJ and Cai (aka Mad For Real) who moved to the UK from China twenty years ago and caused controversy in the 1990s by jumping on Tracey Emin’s My Bed, and rising star Gordon Cheung, who’s spectacular solo show at Chinese Arts Centre this year is just one of 15 shows he is involved with internationally this year.
All the interviews are accompanied by images of the works which reveal the sheer wealth of talent among the artists. With such divergent practices – from Lisa Cheung’s interactive community projects to Denise Kum’s acrid multimedia installations, from Anthony Lam’s dramatic photography to Gayle Chong Kwan’s foodstuff landscapes – 21 provides not only an account of the artists’ experiences, but is a visual feast of works by some of the leading art practitioners working in Britain today.
To provide a critical framework in which the individual artists’ interviews can be understood, Chinese Arts Centre’s curators past and present come together for a discussion on the development of British Chinese arts over the last two decades and discuss the changing role of Chinese Arts Centre as it shifts to respond to the globalised art world.
Artists: Anthony Key, Anthony Lam, Denise Kum, Dinu Li, Eric Fong, Erika Tan, Gayle Chong Kwan, Gordon Cheung, Jiang Jiehong, JJ and Cai, Kwong Lee, Lesley Sanderson, Lisa Cheung, Ming Wong, Nora Fok, Pamela So, Shelley Wilson, Suki Chan, susan pui san lok, Yeu-Lai Mo, Yuen Fong Ling
About the Editor:
Ying Kwok has been Curator at Chinese Arts Centre since 2006. As a practising artist educated in both Hong Kong and the UK she has a thorough, sensitive understanding of contemporary Chinese arts
About the Interviewers:
Sarah Champion is the CEO of Chinese Arts Centre. She has curated both VITAL International Chinese Live Art Fesitvals 2006 and 2007 and a regular speaker on contemporary Chinese arts.
David Hancock has worked at Chinese Arts Centre since 2001 and is a practising artist, lecturer and Chinese Arts Centre’s residency co-ordinator. David works closely with resident artists to support their development.
21 will be officially launched on Thursday 9 October 2008 at the private view of Interval by Suki Chan, one of the artists featured in the publication.
For email interviews, images and further information on Chinese Arts Centre, please contact Felicity Clarke at Chinese Arts Centre on:
+44 (0) 161 832 7271
Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1EU
+44 (0)161 832 7271
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