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Chinese New Year exhibition at Paul Smith's London store celebrates female artists

By Wang Mingjie in London | | Updated: 2024-02-10 01:05
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The artwork "The Twins", created by Chinese artist Li Jiayue, is on display at the exhibition The Woman and the Moon, which will be held at Paul Smith's flagship store in London from Feb 10 to March 3. [provided to China Daily]

In celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 10 this year, an exhibition will be held at Paul Smith's flagship store in London. The showcase, running from Feb 10 to March 3, will feature contemporary female artists sharing Chinese heritage.

Curated by Gemma Williams, author of Fashion China, the exhibition highlights the works of five interdisciplinary artists from various parts of the world. Through their art, these talented individuals offer a unique and thought-provoking perspective on femininity and Chinese identity in the modern era, titled The Woman and the Moon, as a nod to the immortal Chinese moon goddess, Cháng'é.

These artists are dispersed across the globe, with locations ranging from Chengdu to San Francisco, Taiwan, and London. Their art transcends traditional boundaries of high and low culture, as well as national and global perspectives, and forges networks of empowerment while questioning established norms.

Utilizing diverse mediums such as illustration and embroidery, their work derives inspiration from the mundane aspects of daily life, infusing them with poetic significance. Their artistic creations can be discovered in publications, connected to renowned brands, and showcased in galleries, pushing the limits of art's engagement with society, popular culture, and fashion.

Li Chenxi, based in Chengdu, utilizes watercolor lines to accentuate the female form, inviting viewers to delve into the lives and narratives behind her artwork through the subtleties of her characters. In London, Charlotte Mei infuses her collaborations with renowned brands such as Hermès, Nike, and Lego with a playful yet heartfelt aesthetic.

The artwork "The Knot", crafted by Chinese artist Li Jiayue, is being showcased at the exhibition  The Woman and the Moon which will be held at Paul Smith's flagship store in London from Feb 10 to March 3. [provided to China Daily]

Tang Wenching, situated in Taiwan, creates compositions that are clean and deceptively simple, employing graphic lines and flat color blocks, drawing inspiration from the ordinary aspects of everyday life. Yimiao Shih, also hailing from Taiwan but currently residing in London, explores cross-cultural narratives in textiles through innovative machine embroidery techniques.

Li Jiayue, currently based in San Francisco and New York, has garnered significant acclaim for her textural works that capture the evanescent moments of daily life.

Li Chenxi, when describing her artwork, said: "The female figure takes center stage. Colors, emotions, gestures, and the uniqueness of each face captivate my senses. I strive to capture not only their outward beauty but also their inner melody."

As the Chinese New Year holds immense cultural significance in China and continues to gain international recognition, symbolizing the transition from the old to the new and carrying renewed hopes for the future, Li expressed her delight in presenting her works on this auspicious and momentous day.

Li Jiayue, who previously participated in a group show in London, stated: "I'm thrilled and honored to be part of the exhibition and celebrate my favorite holiday in London. My work reflects my emotions and observations from everyday life, portrayed in a surrealistic and dreamlike manner, highlighting the multifaceted experiences and identities of womanhood. I hope the viewers can feel and experience the authentic Chinese culture and derive inspiration and joy from the artworks."

The curator, Williams, who has been actively promoting Chinese creatives since 2015, shared her perspective, saying, "Over this period, I have witnessed a silent reclamation of what it means to be a woman and the spaces women occupy in China today.

"'The Woman and the Moon' exhibition provides a glimpse into the driving forces behind this movement. It encapsulates a sense of belonging rooted in practices rather than geographic locations, extending from Taiwan to New York. Instead of grand gestures, it celebrates the beauty found in the miniature and everyday aspects of life. It re-establishes traditional expressions of femininity and Chinese culture, transcending male and Western perspectives," she added.

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