Posted Wednesday, 10 February, 2016 by Isabel Langtry

Visual Firecrackers for the Chinese New Year 2016


This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Monkey, celebrated with a series of wonderful events from around the world, and Burgh House Museum in Hampstead, London, is no exception, beginning with the mischievous Dance of Chinese Lions, and music by Julia Liang (violin) and Alexander Kirk (piano) award winning young musicians. But now I'm getting over excited. 


It’s great bringing a group of artists work together, sparks fly. Visual sparks of course. 


The point is, a group of artist are exhibiting work together. The aim is to mash up artists working in China, and working in the UK, the art world at its best, the language we can all use to communicate with, express our common feelings. 

In bringing together the work of Chinese artists Baoyin Du, Haiyang Lou, Mao Zongzhong, Shoufan Piao with London based artists Xiaolan Gu, Malcolm Willett, Derek Ogbourne and interestingly, myself! We celebrate the Chinese New Year with visual firecrackers that explode in our imagination and reach out around us. 

The cymbals and gongs in this exhibition are brought together like dragons parading through the street. Pieces of time, all in a row. Work inspired directly or subliminally by the remembered exquisite colours’ of porcelain, gold, paintings, textiles, nature, our personal memories, our cultural undercurrents all coming together, we can all be inspired by these. 

Derek Ogbourne does it in a monumental way his painting 'Cleave of H', is majestic and incredibly intimate at the same time, mirroring aspects of 'Feeling Gone Away 2' by Mao Zongzhong and 'Women' by Huang He, both of whom paint with inspired bursts of sublime colour and woven abstract forms, complementing and contrasting. 

'Woman' by Huang He is like a dream about perspective, look out for Baoyin Du 'Untitled' which throws you into disorientation. My own piece, a bronze sculpture, echoes the shapes of Haiyang Lou's 'Bewildered Desire' both dance their way through space throwing up the twirling firecracker theme of the New Year. 

The artists have not yet met, more fireworks to come perhaps! 

The exhibition was planned as a feast for the eyes and an exchange of different visual ideas, the monkey is a mischievous figure, laying a path for fun and laughter, sparks and fire to come. 

Watch out these visual tentacles are reaching out and might get you - at least get you painting. Visit a Chinese New Year event and get your paints out, send your images to by February 30 and we will upload them onto our Visual Firecrackers Celebration Gallery. Get Creative!

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