Culture express

By Lin Qi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-07-19 07:53:40

Culture express

John McLean works in his studio in London. The British abstract painter's works are now on display in Beijing. Photos provided to China Daily

British curator Philip Dodd brings John McLean's works to Beijing, in ongoing effort to have more Western artists shown in China, Lin Qi reports.

After helping stage Irish-American artist Sean Scully's second China show in April, British curator Philip Dodd is now presenting Scottish abstract painter John McLean's works in Beijing.

Like Singing and Dancing, McLean's retrospective being shown at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, has dozens of his paintings since the 1960s-rich in colorful shapes and inspired by music.

The artist once said that although abstract, his works are mostly affected by natural light.

McLean couldn't attend the opening ceremony on June 30 due to poor health. But he talked about his artistic concept in an email from London: "When a bird sings, no one asks what it means. In that sense, my paintings have the same meaning as a bird's (song)."

For Dodd, 67, Scully and McLean are Western artists he believes can connect with Chinese artists and viewers as their creations are influenced by Asian cultures. While Scully is a karate black belt, McLean's brushstrokes reflect his understanding of Korean ceramic-making techniques.

Dodd, who has been assisting Sino-European cultural exchanges since the late 1990s, sees the two artists as significant to building ties between China and the West.

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