Posted Monday, 18 November, 2013 by Rob Martin

Trials of a travelling artist

HSoA tutor, Caroline Deane, tells of the hassles encountered when exhibiting in China.

Photograph of Caroline being interviewed on Chinese TV
Caroline being interviewed on Chinese TV

I sent my pictures off to the gallery in Beijing in early October 2013 with Mr FEDEX - my husband and I followed. The problems started when my work was held in customs with no explanation from the authorities. Our guess was that we were caught up in a sort of bizarre game of tit-for-tat between the British and Chinese governments. Apparently the UK government were making immigration, visas and import deliveries from China difficult so the Chinese were replying in kind.

So my paintings sat in the customs warehouse and the printing of the exhibition catalogues, invitation cards and the framing of the paintings, were delayed. Also, my visa was refused, not once but twice, due to ridiculously small 'irregularities'. Then, when it seemed things couldn't get much worse, the gallery developed structural problems. It was decided to relocate the show to another gallery, a new one, not too far away and in a good area, thank heavens.

Then, finally, the gallery director managed to persuade customs to release the work. However, I had to pay a £2000 penalty. I am still unsure why.

So, it felt like a miracle when I finally walked in the sparkling new gallery and there were  all my paintings, beautifully framed. The private view was very busy but I only sold a few works. The next day I gave a lecture at Beijing School of Fine Art. The press were there and suddenly the pictures were flying off the walls and in no time at all everything was sold.

On my last day before I flew home I met the director of another gallery, situated in the heart of 798 district and she really liked my work. 'There is clearly a huge market for Caroline's work, she said'.

I guess the moral of the tale is persistence pays!

China TV Interview

CCTV News.mp4 (26.05M, 2013年12月16日 11:13 到期)
在线预览 | 下载

China Radio Interview

周日早六点三十,FM91.5 播出。

Click on the images to see larger versions

Images from the
interview on Chinese
TV, and Caroline's
paintings hung in the


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