In late August, 2012, I travelled to China as part of the 7-day
“Paint Chengdu Artist Exchange”.
Based in Perth's sister city, Chengdu, we were guided through the city
by our hosts, The Chengdu Foreign Affairs Office, and then given a studio and 2.5 days in which to produce two paintings
inspired by our impressions of the culture and/or landscape in Chengdu. These were
later exhibited at the "2012 China International Friendship Cities Conference” in Chengdu.
It was a chance for Perth artists to experience Chinese culture first-hand and a unique opportunity to promote our own art practice internationally – while also representing the artistic output of Perth to the rest of the world.
Thanks to the International Relations Office of the Lord Mayor (Perth) for helping with the organisation of the project; the Department of Culture and the Arts for the Artflight grant, and especially to our hosts in China – Chengdu Foreign Affairs Office.
Considering the time constraints, I’m fairly happy with the paintings I produced (below). These have now become part of the permanent collection of the Chengdu FAO and will be displayed at an International Museum in Tianfu Square (central Chengdu city).
It was inspiring to know that opportunities for artists extend well beyond political and cultural divides. With this in mind, and in attempt to build on the positive experiences of
the initial project, three of the four Perth artists involved plan to each create a small
series of artworks based our experiences of Chinese/Australian cultural connections.
We hope to exhibit these in a group show in 2013.