An Eastward Calling exhibition Aug 30th 2014 at Dong Yue Art Museum
Approaching four years of living here in Beijing, over a dozen group shows later, the time has arrived to toss procrastination out the window and embrace a very special opportunity for my first solo exhibition here.
The date is set, August 30th 2014. The venue is spectacular and beautifully proportioned. Dong Yue Art Museum was originally the Hall of Nine Heavens . It is on the eastern side of the old imperial Daoist Dong Yue temple grounds.
Dong Yue temple now serves as Beijing Folk Museum. Rebuilt many times over the centuries since 1319, this particular building honoured Lei Gong, god of thunder. The imperial hexagon symbol (one hierarchical step below the forbidden city) can be still seen on parts of the building. During this afternoon’s visit, I could feel the centuries breath down from the ornate roof beams.
The work that will be shown stretches from landscapes of Carlow, Ireland, to roofscapes of Prague , the saltwater Creek of Dubai, the rolling hills of Yunnan and the canals of Beijing. I will also include some of my textile work.
Museum Curator Mr Yuan Qiulai shows my friend Summer names of patrons inscribed on to pillars who have helped rebuild (Jiu tian pu hua palace九天普化宫) the Hall of the Nine Heavens over the past five centuries.
Amid all this excitement yet there is more!
I have some TV coverage while preparing for the exhibition. Previously I have only had a couple of short TV interviews in Dubai many years ago where I had my first solo at the now sadly defunct Art Attack Gallery. But here in Beijing, on this occasion a far more intense and exciting experience working on a 30 minute documentary called My China.
This is a new series of CCTV (China’s National TV Channel) programmes featuring foreign individuals working and living in China. The programme will feature the highs and lows of preparing for this upcoming exhibition with some everyday events.
Last week I was filmed in my little kitchen washing fruit and cutting watermelon. Unfortunately for the watermelon I hacked it in numerous uneven attempts, even Zu the cameraman said “Buhaoyisi” ie that’s a bit embarrassing – I presume because… I being the artist and all. Yet I struggled on. The film crew are such good fun to work with and so reassuring and flexible. Every time I fall flat on my face Director Wang Qingfeng tells me it was really great, we just need another take falling at a slightly different angle. It’s quite fascinating to learn a little about the craft of film and how important it is to know every clip you have and how it might fit with something else yet to be filmed.
This week I headed off to the framer and the CCTV crew were there recording my sadly insufficient language skills. Luckily the framers are easygoing when trying to figure out solutions. We somehow got through it but there was one bit I had no clue about and I am wondering will that miscomprehension be revealed when I see the framed work in a few days.
I am thrilled to learn that Irish Ambassador Paul Kavanagh will be officiating the opening reception.
Please use the contact page if you are interested in coming to the opening 3pm, Sat August 30th, Dong Yue Art Museum, 99 Chao Wai Street, Beijing, I can send you a map for directions.