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Art and Art Galleries in Xiamen, Made in China

Updated: 31 Dec 2008
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As a foreigner in China I’m truly amazed at the art the Chinese culture has produced. In the UK the only thing I ever saw relating to Chinese artistic skills would have been porcelain china, or performing artists such as jugglers or acrobats. Since I arrived in Xiamen and during previous trips to various cities, my eyes have been opened in appreciation of various aspects of Chinese art that were new to me.

 

European oil painting for instance probably produced the best painting ever known with Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa”, and besides this painting I could identify many other European masterpieces and the artists who painted them. Indeed most foreigners would know some famous paintings, and could also name several famous artists.

 

When the question of Chinese art arises however I know nothing. I just know what I like. Chinese water colours are unique with the things they depict. I love those big paintings that picture a scene of daily life. They show how a town or village operated hundreds of years ago, showing many diverse characters in the process. Compare this to a European art work, where usually you had a landscape devoid of people, or a painting with  maybe 3 or 4 subjects, or indeed a central, solitary figure.

 

Chinese art evolved differently, with it seems more detail and often more skill involved. Chinese porcelain for instance has been sought after by the Western world for centuries. Chinese silks and the designs on them are exquisite as are the embroideries I see here where in picture-like frames, the most beautiful scenes are creating by sewing coloured threads. I also admire the Chinese painted snuff bottles. These are painted on the inside by very skilled artists and they depict mainly people dressed in traditional clothes, a few hundred years ago. For me, these are the essence of China because they illustrate a dress tradition that has now gone.

 

I’m continually “wowed” by what I see in Chinese art, but, the average Chinese sees this as normal and cannot understand why I should get so excited about something they maybe see as mundane. Familiarity I guess. It’s not new to them.

 

Xiamen does not depict as much tradition as other places I visited in China. But, every now and then I see these artistic works I like and this satisfies the craving for looking at this art that is so culturally different to what I am used to.

 

Pablo Picasso; Salvadore Dali; August Renoir; Vincent Van Gogh; Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci I like much of the work these artists created. But ask me to name any Chinese artist and I’m at a loss. But, I’m satisfied with knowing what I like in Chinese art and happy that from time to time I can view it in Xiamen.

 

 

Art galleries in Xiamen

 

There are many small art galleries in Xiamen, often operated by private individuals. WOX list three of the major art galleries, they belong to private and state and couple attract a entrance fee.

 

1). Xiamen Chinese Art Gallery

 

Content: Chinese painting, Oil painting etc.

Opening hours:8:30am -5:00pm (only open when there is an painting show, and closed on Monday)

Address: Shapowei, on the side of Daxue Road, Siming District, Xiamen

Tel: 0592-5055790

Enter fee: 30RMB

Bus: 86 (at Zhong Hua Er Nv Meishu Guang Bus Stop)

 

 

2). Xiamen Boya Art Gallery

Content: Chinese painting, Oil painting etc

Opening hours: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Address: No. 13, Gongyuan Xi Road, Siming District, Xiamen

Tel: 0592-2032606

Enter fee: Free

Bus: 3, 4, 8, 12, 18, 19, 21, 27, 32, 32, 35, 51, 59, 87, 507, 832, 533, 534, 809, 812 (at Zhongshang Gongyuan Bus Stop)

 

 

3). Art Gallery at Xiamen Culture & Arts Centre

 

Coontent: Chinese painting, Oil painting etc

Opening hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Address: No. 95, Tiyu Road, Xiamen

Tel: 0592-5371751

Enter fee: Free

Bus: Xia2, 8, 24, 54, 73, 86, 88, 101, 201, 506, 806, 812 (at Wenhua Yishu Zhongxin Bus Stop)

 

SOURCE: WOX Info

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