24 – 27 April 2015
EIGHT ART HOTEL Shanghai
I knew Shanghai would be special from people’s reactions when I mentioned my three week adventure back at home in England, in the small Yorkshire mill town where I work as an artist and run my own gallery, but nothing prepared me for the feast that was about to bombard my senses as the plane approached the airport just two weeks ago.
My main goal was firstly to GET to Shanghai, then paint and maybe even organise a show there, all within three weeks. I like a challenge. With much help from many people I have done it. There are 16 finished paintings on show, all but three painted in Shanghai.
A never ending black worm with legs, snaked its way across the sea, into infinity, as the plane approached Pudong. As we descended, I realised this was some kind of roadway with cars moving along it. It was the first of the sights that I will never forget of my three week odyssey to Shanghai.
From that moment on I decided to keep a visual diary of all the treats that I was about to encounter. To jot down notes at the end of each of the 21 days and draw very spontaneous images of the highlights. I started off well, but then the “show” took over! There are just four of the completed ‘diary’ pieces in the show but ….back to the beginning of my adventure.
About a year ago, one of my friends, Sue Vickerman, poet, novelist and artist’s model, had burst into the life room in great excitement, declaring she was going to Shanghai for a year, “You’ll have to come Jane. You could paint, you’d love it.” the seed was planted. I dreamt of painting, artist’s exchanges, exhibiting….
Out to the blue, in February I got an email “Can you come now, we come back in July?” My mind was made up, how could I miss the chance of a lifetime opportunity. “We may even be able to get you a show, it’s like that in China – things just happen”
I found a flat, booked a flight and here we were approaching Pudong with “worm”, the first of the amazing sights.
Each day I went out, improvised portfolio in hand and drew around the city, returning to our flat at night, to convert the meagre sketches to paintings.
Space, not making a mess (in our pristine apartment), limited materials and time were restricting factors. Usually I work large and free, to be confined to the smaller pieces of paper, the biggest we could get in our suitcases, was challenging. I soon burst onto some huge pieces of found cardboard and was away. This exhibition is the result of what followed.
I will never forget the amazing sights, sounds and smells of this remarkable city, but without a doubt, the memory that will remain with me forever is the kindness, consideration, friendliness, respect and ”can do” attitude of the amazing people we have met in Shanghai.
Thank you so much to everyone who has made this experience so special, and to EIGHT ART HOTEL for this wonderful exhibition.
大概一年前，我的朋友Sue Vickerman, 一个诗人，作家和艺术人体模特，兴奋地冲进人体写生室，向我们宣布了她将要去上海居住一年地消息。“你一定要来，你可以画画，我肯定会喜欢的。” 种子就这样被埋下了。我渴望画画，艺术家交换，展览…
突然间，在二月份，我收到一封邮件；“你现在可以来吗？我们要在7月份回去了。” 然后我下定了决心！ 我怎么能够错过这个人生难得的机会呢？ “我们也许可以让你开个展，在中国就是这样的－事情在冥冥中就发生了！”
我永远也不会忘记这让人难忘的城市里惊人的景观，声音和气味。可毋庸置疑这城市让我永远记忆犹新的我们在上海遇到的人们的善良，关心，友好，尊重和“可以”的处事风格。感谢所有让这次经历如此特别的人也感谢Gallery 8 让我的展览梦想成真。
Translation: Yi Chen