At 6.30pm local time on 14th August, “Art and Peace – an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art” opened at London’s Mall Galleries. Several VIPs spoke at the opening ceremony, including:
Lord Timothy Clement-Jones CBE, Member of the House of Lords and Deputy Chair of the All Party Parliamentary China Group;
Ms. Frances Blois, Honorary Alderman of the City of Westminster;
Mr. Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador;
Mr. Liu Dawei, Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association;
Mr. Anthony J Lester, Chairman of the British Artists’ Federation Exhibition Committee;
Ms. Suzanna Mu, Founder of Sino-European Arts UK and curator of “Art & Peace” in London.
Other attendees included Ms. Val Duschinsky, Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Brent, Mr. Xiao Xioa Wei, a cultural counsellor of the Chinese Embassy and a Chinese delegation including Mr. Sun Rucheng, Deputy Director of the Exhibition Department of China Federation of Fine Arts, Ms. Tao Qin, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Artists Association, Mr. Liu Zhong, Director of international Department, and nearly 300 professionals and art lovers from the British political, business and art communities, such as the British Museum, the Royal College of Art, as well as art critics and collectors.
Before the opening ceremony, we successfully held a high-level academic seminar on the difference between the Chinese and Western art traditions, featuring talks by Liu Dazhong, Deputy Secretary Tao Qin, Mick Davies, Vice-Chairman of the Royal Society of British Artists, Tony Hunt, Vice-Chairman of Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, and Graham Kill, Chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Institute of Directors.
“Art & Peace – An Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art” is part of the China Arts World Tour, and is hosted by The China Artists Association. The exhibition celebrated the 45th anniversary of the establishment of ambassador-level diplomatic relations between China and the United Kingdom. The Tour aims to promote and strengthen mutual understanding and exchange between The China Artists Association and fine art communities around the world.
The exhibition was hosted by the China Artists Association and organised by Sino-European Art UK.
For a warm Monday evening in the August holiday season, this was an unprecedented gathering of so many professionals. Mall Galleries was crowded with hundreds of excited art lovers, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
At the show’s unveiling, Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, described the contemporary art exhibition as representing the Chinese people’s keen aspiration for peace.
Liu Dawei, chairman of the China Artists Association, stressed that communication and understanding is a core value for any bilateral relationship.
We know that Brexit is happening and the UK is leaving the EU. The country needs to develop new relationships and grow existing ones with non-EU countries. Good trade relationships depend on good cultural and other relationships so that we understand each other better as partners.
China is going to be an important partner going forward – arguably the most important partner. This event is part of building stronger post-Brexit relationships with China so that, based on a better understanding through culture, we better understand each other as trading partners.