'Amazing China' shines on London Craft Week
To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the P.R.China, “Amazing China: A Multidisciplinary Exhibition of Chinese Arts & Crafts” kicks off at The Hospital Club on the evening of 10 May during the 2019 London Craft Week. It is also an event of “China Weeks when culture and tourism blend.”
The exhibition is jointly hosted by the National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shanghai) and the China National Tourist Office, London, with guidance and support by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of China in the UK, and the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism.
The opening ceremony was attended by YU Peng, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of China; XUE Ling, Director of the China National Tourist Office, London; Guy Salter MVO OBE, Chairman of London Craft Week, along with exhibitors at LCW, international professionals in the field of craft and design, buyers, brand agents, and the media.
In his opening remarks, Mr Yu recognized LCW as a platform for showcasing traditional and innovative Chinese arts and crafts to the world, which will enhance and promote international integration and cooperation between Chinese craftsmanship and the world’s innovative design, bringing new creativity to the cultural symbol of "Beautiful China."
Mr Salter welcomed “Amazing China” to join LCW for the second year and noted the global recognition of China for its great traditional works of arts and crafts, which are gaining increasing popularity across the world. The LCW looks forward to the presence of more Chinese crafts to showcase the latest achievements and promote global exchange and cooperation, said Mr Salter.
The exhibition, “Amazing China,” presents a visual feast of Chinese craftsmanship including creations ranging from clothing, embroidery, lacquer to ceramics and enamel. Debuting on LCW this year are more than 100 exquisite artworks created by some 40 national or provincial artists, masters of intangible cultural heritage and young designers, who demonstrate the perseverance of inheritance, innovation and integration of Chinese craftsmanship.
“For the second time, the ‘Amazing China’ exhibition shines in the European market,” said ZHAO Yanshuang, Executive Vice General Manager of the National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shanghai). “We look forward to further expanding the global horizon for inheritors of traditional Chinese arts and crafts and enhance their initiatives to connect new ideas and resources from the international market.
The Beauty of Inheritance
The exhibition showcases artworks of nearly 20 national intangible cultural heritage crafts, including brocade weaving of Song Dynasty, silk tapestry with cut designs, snail and mother-of-pearl inlaying, Fuzhou bodiless lacquerware, Dehua porcelain, Jianzhan calyx, silver accessories of the Miao and She people, Suzhou embroidery, horsetail embroidery of the Shui people, woollen embroidery of Gaoqiao, grass weaving of Xuhang, stone carving of Shoushan, furniture making of Ming Dynasty, together with and more than 10 traditional crafts such as gold and silver filigree, enamel, tinware making, gilding, wet polishing of raw lacquer, and clay figurine making.
The Beauty of Innovation
Zhang Ping, a master of Suzhou embroidery, applied this craft not only in restoring cultural relics preserved in the Palace Museum, but also in developing embroidery derivatives, such as embroidered pictures and modern clothing, breathing new life into this age-old embroidery art.
The craft of Hetian jade carving, one of the oldest Chinese carving arts, has seen continuous emergence of new subjects, designs, and aesthetic styles over its long history. The magnificent carving art shown in 3D projection offers an exceptionally attractive scene at the exhibition.
Known as the “living fossil of Chinese embroidery”, the horsetail embroidery of the Shui people features a bold combination with silver accessories of the Miao ethnic group to create ornaments and metal accessories in elegant, luxurious and exquisitely mysterious styles.
The Beauty of Fusion
The exhibits also show the fusion of beauty in different art forms, including the Hanguang conical china bowl created by LI Youyu with flying apsaras motifs designed by CHANG Shana, a marriage of splendid Dunhuang cultural elements and exquisite chinaware. Similarly, Dehua white porcelain sculptures entitled Warm, Fairytales, and Midsummer Fruits present a bold union of fine china of the East and classic fables of the West. LIU Meiling, an artist of the Shanghai School, showcases the majestic beauty of Chinese landscapes through a delicate cheongsam collection Walking Landscape.
A series of concurrent events will take place during the three-day exhibition, such as workshops on Chinese movable-type printing, clay figurine making, hand-painted cheongsam classroom and international masterclass.
“Amazing China” is scheduled to end on Sunday 12 May.