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Discover the potential of art and design

Updated: 2012-11-11 15:15
By Chen Nan ( China Daily)
Discover the potential of art and design

Liu Qingyang displays her own design, in which she borrows elements from baroque costumes and turns them into simple and modern styles. Provided to China Daily

Eight Chinese artists and designers, who are University of the Arts London alumni, are having a joint exhibition titled London Echo at VA Space in Beijing's 798 Art District.

They display artworks, which reflect their experiences in London and their Chinese roots.

The exhibition, which gathers videos, clothes, oil paintings and installations, is divided into two parts: Designers Liu Qingyang, Du Yang and Yang Jing present their artworks carrying strong Chinese cultural elements. The other five artists, including Wang Yiquan, Yang Mao and Jiang Peiyuan, showcase their avant-garde and personalized ideas.

"When I was in London, I liked walking in the tunnels nearby Greenwich. The light became my inspiration," says Yang Mao, who is displaying his series of oil paintings portraying tunnels, lights and people. "It felt like walking from one world to another, like I went from Beijing to London."

Beijing-native designer Liu Qingyang started taking drawing lessons at 6, moved to Hong Kong at 9 and later set off to study textile design in London's Central St. Martins College of Art & Design.

"London is a place of mixed culture and it has got the newest and edgiest designs," she says.

Liu returned to China in 2008, took a tailoring course and began designing her own clothes. A year later, she launched fashion label Chictopia.

The 26-year-old designer says that she borrowed some elements from baroque costumes and turned them into simple and modern styles.

"I think the way I use color and my cultural background have made my designs unique," she says.

Jiang Peiyuan, who graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, and spent nine years working there, says that the relatively slow pace of life in London gave him lots of space to create.

"I remember the first class I had in London, which deeply inspired me. A professor asked me, 'Can you create art without your paint brush?' That question changed my ideas about art," Jiang recalls. "Education in China taught me that the brush is the tool of artistic expression but I learned (at UAL) that I can say more with other materials."

Discover the potential of art and design

According to Bob Masterton, director of International Centre of UAL, the percentage of international students from China in the UK is higher than from any other country. Art and design is ranked as the fifth most popular area in higher education study for full time Chinese students in the UK.

"They have the potential to change today's China art and design scene," he says. "These artists and designers, who have the huge courage to experiment, are the future of Chinese contemporary arts."

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