Amazing China
技藝中國


2.10.-5.10.2020 at 71Duke street London

Breaks Through the COVID-19 Shadows, Themed Exhibition “Amazing China” held in London

As one of the themed programmes during London Craft Week (LCW), “Amazing China” opens on October 2nd on 71 Duke Street, a popular business area in London. The exhibition is hosted by National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shanghai), co-organized by Shanghai Art Collection Museum, in the full support of China National Tourist Office (CNTO) in London. This is the third year that the Base has participated in London Craft Week.

Four Exciting Online Activities

Because of the COVID-19, London Craft Week was postponed to this October which was usually held in May. The host of the Amazing China exhibition, National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shanghai) and the co-organizer, Shanghai Art Collection Museum, have achieved the curation and coordination in February and March when the pandemic was hitting hard in China. Then the team has overcame many challenges such as the sudden change of exhibition venue, soaring overseas logistics costs and limitations on traveling to the UK. Under such conditions, both the host and co-organizer of the exhibition still proactively took part in various events and pooled resources from all parties to launch a series of online marketing and promotion activities. Since May, the online marketing activities have been carried out on the bilingual social media channels of CNTO London “All under One Moon”, the “Virtual Preview” of LCW and the themed promotion event “To Craftsmanship” held by the Base via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WeChat official account and LCW official website both in China and abroad. LCW specially featured the 24-hour global online video promotion project——“Create Day”, which will help Chinese craft makers to expand opportunities for works display and future cooperations, and further inspire people with good wishes for work and life. The Base has selected 15 videos that planned to be posted on the official website of “Create Day” on October 10th (Createday.org). Along with this event, the bilingual social media platforms of CNTO London and the official promotional platform of the Base will release more videos and photos of the makers, to enrich the online promotion.

Cultural poverty alleviation and mutual cultural exchange at home and abroad

“Amazing China” this year includes both exhibition on site and online events, with the curatorial thinking on “the beauty of art in daily life”. The exhibition displays more than 50 objects and video works of more than 30 craft makers and institutions from 12 provinces and cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Fujian, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hebei and Anhui. The objects  include cloisonné enamel, lacquerware, Longquan celadon, Dehua white porcelain, Yixing purple clay teaware, Suzhou embroidery, silk tapestry, tin carving, bamboo carving, micro carving, paper art, Jingde creative ceramics, inside painting, basketry, drama painting, woodblock printing, pith painting,art and museum derivative gifts. The exhibition also showcases a mix of selected national and provincial intangible cultural heritage skills and video clips from ethnic minority groups in Yunnan and Sichuan, including embroidery, silver ornaments, lacquerware, paper cutting, tea-making, inkstone carving, etc. The Base explores the possible approach to alleviate poverty in Yunnan and Sichuan via promoting cultural products and seeks opportunities of international cooperation via the influence of this exhibition and international platforms of LCW and CNTO London.

The exhibition is also exploring the new direction of digital culture and tourism and digital cultural interactivities by presenting augmented reality works designed and developed by Shanghai 3D Film Co., Ltd. Five videos recording intangible cultural heritage crafting will be displayed in interaction with the visitors and other  objects. This is an effort to effectively promote intangible cultural heritage with new technology and new media, and facilitate the exchange between Chinese and international craft makers.

In this exhibition, the Xiong Enamel is a typical example of cultural exchange and mutual learning at home and abroad. Enamel making techniques was introduced into China from the Mediterranean coast in the Southern Song Dynasty, and developed into the popular “cloisonné” in Ming and Qing Dynasties. Xiong Songtao, the inheritor of this intangible cultural heritage, applied the cloisonné to making watch faces. His exquisite and creative enamel watches represent the mutual exchange of crafts and mutual appreciation between China and overseas.

 

Inheritance and innovation of young craft makers

Events this year also focus on contemporary young craft makers and inheritors of intangible cultural heritage. While rooted in traditional culture, their works enrich the language of cultural heritage, expressing their ideas with international cultural language while refining traditional symbols. The Base aims to speak with the power of the young and encourage the young generation to inherit, innovate, promote and develop intangible cultural heritage by presenting Chinese traditional culture and contemporary craftworks on the LCW platforms facing the UK and European audiences.

Among these young craft makers, Kong Xiangxi uses classical cultural elements as decorative visual patterns on creative ceramics to create abstract shapes. Lei Jingyi specially created in 2 months a 4-meter long paper art work “The Journey of Chinese Plants” for this exhibition, showcasing 37 kinds of plants unique or native to China in paper fibre, as a homage to Zeng Xiaolian, the creator of the original painting, famous botanist, professor and painter. Qiao Mai is a representative inheritor of the national intangible cultural heritage “Suzhou Taohuawu Woodblock Prints”, and while participating in public education activities, she designs and runs a the brand “Qiaomai Atelier” to promote cultural derivative products. Wang Jinpeng is the fifth generation inheritor of inside painting that was listed as the first batch of Chinese intangible cultural heritage, and he explores the research and publicity of inside painting techniques based on his learning and internship experience at Sotheby and Christie’s. As a new generation of purple clay teaware artist, Jiang Feier prefers making small pieces full of cultural tastes, which naturally reveals her enjoyment in life. Didi Wu combines her years of learning in Kyoto and London and uses rattan, kudzu and grass produced in Fuzhou’s local villages to weave, exploring spatial structure and cultural village stories with the long history plant basketry skills. Wu Weiping, while adopting the artistic concept from the China Academy of Art, blends the introverted spirit of traditional Chinese philosophy into Longquan Celadon to create a different texture. There are also young celadon craft makers, such as Lan Ningli who integrates Longquan techniques with artistic utensils in daily life, Cui Xianliang, a craft maker inspired by Chinese legends, and Fu Piaopiao, who uses Hui-style architecture as design elements.

The Base hopes that the exhibition can take Chinese craftworks as a bridge for cultural communication and exchange between China and other countries. During the COVID-19 period, craftworks can be used to warm people’s hearts and allow Chinese and British people to communicate and appreciate from each other. Meanwhile, the Base will continue with the theme of “Amazing China” and develop it as a branded cultural experience, facilitating international exchanges and cooperation via showcasing and promoting outstanding intangible cultural heritage works to European audiences.

“Amazing China” on 71 Duke Street in London Craft Week 2020 will open until October 5th.

 

冲破疫情阴霾,“技艺中国”主题展在英国举行

2020伦敦手工艺周“技艺中国”主题展于10月2日在伦敦中心商业街区杜克街71号正式开幕。该展览由国家对外文化贸易基地(上海)主办,上海艺术品博物馆协办,并得到了中国驻伦敦旅游办事处的全力支持。这已是国家对外文化贸易基地(上海)连续第三年参与伦敦手工艺周。

四大线上活动精彩纷呈

受疫情影响,伦敦手工艺周由5月延迟到10月,主办方国家对外文化贸易基地(上海)和协办方上海艺术品博物馆在国内疫情较为严重的二、三月份完成了策展和组展工作,并历经了展场临时更换、物流成本倍增,赴英入境受阻等重重困难。在此条件下,主协办方仍努力争取参与到各项活动中去,联合各方资源,推出了一系列线上宣传和推广活动。从5月开始至今,线上系列活动已陆续结合中国驻伦敦旅游办事处中英文社交频道“天涯共此时”线上推广活动、伦敦手工艺周“线上手工艺数字品鉴”活动和基地“致匠心”主题预热宣传活动,在推特、脸书、影格、微信公众平台、手工艺周官网等海内外社交平台发布此次活动详情。其中,本届伦敦手工艺周特别推出的24小时环球线上视频推广项目——“创作日(Create Day)”将帮助中国手工艺人持续拓展展示合作渠道,进一步振奋人们对工作和生活的美好愿望。目前,推送的15支手工艺人视频将于10月10日在“创作日”官网(Createday.org)进行播出。同时配合此活动,驻伦敦旅游办中英文平台和基地官方平台也将陆续在线推出更多视频内容和手工艺人的图文介绍,延续线上活动的影响力。

文化扶贫连通海外,中外文明交流互鉴

本次“技艺中国”主题展分为线下展览和线上系列活动,均以“生活中的艺用之美”为策展方向,展示了来自北京、上海、广东、浙江、江苏、江西、福建、云南、贵州、四川、河北、安徽等12个省市的30余位手工艺人及机构的50多件展品和视频作品,类型涵盖景泰蓝、漆器、龙泉青瓷、德化白瓷、宜兴紫砂、苏绣、缂丝、锡雕、竹刻、微雕、纸艺、景德镇创意陶瓷、内画、篮编、戏画、木刻版画、通草画及文博衍生品等。其中,展览还精选了来自云南和四川少数民族的国家级和省级非遗技艺组拼和视频画面,类型涵盖刺绣、银饰、漆器、剪纸、茶艺、砚雕等。上海基地积极借助线下展览、伦敦手工艺周国际平台和驻伦敦旅游办海外平台展示了云南省和四川省的非遗手工艺作品,以探索文化产品的精准扶贫渠道和国际合作契机。

上海基地在策划本次展览时也探索着数字文旅和数字文化交互等方向,线下展览将呈现由上海汐梦传媒设计研发的增强现实作品,五组非遗手工艺制作视频将与现场观众观展和其他展品陈列形成互动,借此希望用新技术手段和新媒介有效传播非遗文化、促进中外手工艺进一步交流互通。

本次展览中,熊氏珐琅作品是中外手工艺交流互鉴的典例。珐琅技艺自南宋时由地中海沿岸传入中国,至明清时期发展成为流行的“景泰蓝”。非遗景泰蓝传承人熊松涛将珐琅技艺应用到手表表盘上,其创意制作的精美珐琅表盘作品代表着手工艺的双向交流和文明的互相鉴赏。

青年手工艺人的传承与创新

今年的活动也将侧重表现当代青年手工艺人和非遗传承人的活力,其作品在承继传统文化的同时又丰富遗产的表现形式,提炼传统符号的同时又以国际化的文化语言来创新表达。以年轻的力量来发声,在伦敦手工艺周的国际平台和以英国为代表的欧洲文化圈呈现中华传统文化和当代手工艺,上海基地鼓励年轻一代继承并创新、弘扬并发展非物质文化遗产。

其中,孔祥希用经典文化元素作为视觉图案装饰,用创意陶瓷来塑造抽象的空间造型;雷婧一为本次展览特别制作了4米长的《影响世界的中国植物》,历时2个月用纸纤维呈现中国独有或原产的37种植物品类,同时向原画作者、著名植物学家和教授级画师曾孝濂先生致敬;乔麦是国家级非遗“苏州桃花坞木版年画”代表性传承人,参与公共教育活动的同时通过品牌“乔麦年画”设计并运营文创产品;王金鹏是国家首批非遗内画技艺的第五代传承人,借由苏富比和佳士得的学习和实习经历探索内画技艺研究和传播的模式;蒋菲儿作为新生代的紫砂手工艺人偏爱制作富含文人趣味的小品杂件,自然流露出乐在其中的生活状态;Didi Wu结合在京都和伦敦多年的学习经历,采用福州本地乡村所产的藤、葛、草进行编织,用历史悠久的植物编织技艺探索空间结构和文化乡村的故事;吴卫平用中国美术学院的艺术理念,将传统哲学思想中的内敛精神糅合进龙泉青瓷元素,制造不同的肌理表现手法。另有青年青瓷手工艺人:如将龙泉手工艺和艺用生活器皿融合的兰宁莉、用神话故事为创作灵感的崔现亮、以徽式建筑为设计元素的付飘飘等。

上海基地希望此次展览能以手工艺作为中外文化沟通和交流的桥梁,在疫情期间借手工和手作温暖人心,使中英民心相通、文明互鉴;同时,延续“技艺中国”这一主题,将其深化并形成品牌化的文化活动,面向欧洲观众持续推进优秀非遗作品的展示和推广,拓展国际交流与合作渠道。

2020伦敦手工艺周“技艺中国”线下展览将持续至10月5日。