‘Most exciting day of my life’ says sculptor Chen Dapeng

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Chen Dapeng unveils his bust of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday

For Shanghai-based sculptor Chen Dapeng, who is exhibiting his work at the London Olympia Winter Art & Antiques Fair, today has been ‘the most exciting day of my life.’

On Monday night he hosted a champagne reception on his enormous 200 sq m stand at London’s top exhibition venue. It was attended by some 200 people:art critics, buyers, journalists and photographers and, even, some relatives of the British Queen. The focus was very much on his controversial bust of the British monarch which has been offered to the British Queen as a gift but which has got caught up in a diplomatic quagmire.

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The controversial bust. Does it really look like Tom Hanks, Liberace, Prince Phillip or Robin Williams? Some Twitterers said it portrayed her ‘wonderfully’

Today the British press was full of articles about his work. There were features in the prestigious newspaper The Times, the influential broadsheeet The Daily Telegraph and the mass market tabloid Metro. This followed extensive worldwide web coverage on newspaper sites.

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Chen Dapeng with the bust at the This Morning, London, studio today

By 9.30 am today, Chen Dapeng was on the way to the ITV studios with his controversial bust of HM Queen Elizabeth II. At 1030 it was featured throughout Britain with a four minute live slot on This Morning hosted by revered national celebs Philip and Holly.

The reaction to the bust was instant. Thousands of people took to Twitter, some applauding it, others likening it to Tom Hanks, Liberace (who he? Answer, long deceased piano pounder), Prince Phillip (husband of the Queen) and, even, the late Robin Williams.

However, it was at lunchtime that the offers to buy the bust started to pour in. They came from New York (where Vanity Fair had publicised it), from Hong Kong, and from China itself.

However, the European agents for Chen Dapeng, Paul Harris Asia Arts, had already received two tentative offers to buy the bust at their champagne party on Monday night. Said Paul Harris today, “We were approached by two separate very serious people who said that if it was not going to Buckingham Palace they would like it. Then we received by email and telephone further offers from much further afield. This thing has gone viral. We are now fighting off enquiries.”

But what about the offer to give it to the Queen? Said Harris,”It needs the Chinese government to officially ask Her Majesty if she would like it and the bureaucratic channels are clogged up.”

Said Chen Dapeng, “The Chinese Embassy in London is useless. Despite the fact I have been appointed by Beijing as sculptor for UK-China Cultural Exchange Year (2015), they refuse to recognise me or to act until they get direct orders from Beijing. They are incompetent.”

Nobody from the Chinese Embassy attended Chen Dapeng’s champagne party although even the Argentinian Ambassador was there! Nobody at the Chinese Embassy would comment.

And the offers? The bust has been optioned to a British buyer at ‘around’ half a million pounds. However, the latest offers are well into the millions . . . Looks like Chen Dapeng is set for a great future far from his native China.

Frenetic setup day for Chen Dapeng at Olympia Art & Antiques Fair!

Today was a frenetic setup day for the Olympia Winter Art & Antiques Fair which opens at 5pm on Monday with a glitzy private view. On Shanghai sculptor Chen Dapeng’s stand it was all go. At 0800 in the morning, three large trucks containing almost 50 sculptures waited in line to decant their cargo all packed in wooden packing cases lately arrived from Shanghai. By 5pm all were unpacked and the stand completed! Our pictures tell the story.

 

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0900 Saturday Unpacking of crates begins . . .

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1700 The stand is all set up!  Photo Paul Harris

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The set up team from Fine Art UK together with Chen Dapeng (second from right). Photo Paul Harris

Chinese exhibits, buyers and media all seen at Olympia summer Fair

The Ajassa Arte Antica Cines stand at the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair

The Ajassa Arte Antica Cines stand at the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair

At the June 18 private view of this summer’s Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair many Chinese orientated exhibits, Chinese buyers and, even, Chinese media were all in evidence.

Exhibitors with strong Chinese exhibits included Turin-based Ajassa Antica, who exhibited at Olympia twice last year; a combined exhibit of Chinese porcelain and works of art by a group of Oriental dealers from Kensington Church Street, a noted centre for the genre; and Paul M Peters Ltd of Harrogate, Yorkshire. Peters, established for almost 50 years in the Yorkshire spa town, showed Chinese and Japanese antiques, as well as some European ceramics and objets d’art.

 The Paul M Peters stand at Olympia


The Paul M Peters stand at Olympia

There were many Chinese buyers visible in the aisles and on the stands, clearly taking advantage of the private view day. Additionally, Chinese Television were in evidence interviewing the organisers and exhibitors with Chinese items on their stands.

Tang Dynasty statue, Ajassa Antica stand

Tang Dynasty statue, Ajassa Antica stand

At the upcoming November 2-8 Winter Art & Antiques Fair the Chinese presence promises to  be even more pronounced. Shanghai-based sculptor Chen Dapeng has booked a very large 197 sq. m. stand at which some 40 of his impressive sculptures will be exhibited. Notable Chinese public figures will be accompanying him to the Fair to launch his exhibit with a champagne opening within the Fair’s own opening on the evening of November 2. Organisers of his exhibit, Paul Harris Asia Arts (www.paulharrisasiaarts.co.uk), promise “something very special” at the event as a new sculpture, a gift of the Chinese people to the UK, is unveiled.

The The Olympia International Art & Antiques (summer) Fair runs until June 28.

Shanghai sculptor Chen Dapeng announces Olympia exhibition: welcomed by Minister for Foreign Affairs

From Paul Harris in Shanghai SONY DSC The renowned Shanghai sculptor Chen Dapeng today opened a major retrospective exhibition of his quarter of a century of work and took the opportunity to announce publicly that he will exhibit at this year’s Olympia Winter Art & Antiques Fair (November 2-8 2015).

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More than 150 people attended for the announcement and exhibition opening. Minister of Foreign Affairs Xie Wei speaks.

Following his successful exhibition at the Carousel du Louvre in 2013, he now seeks to expose his body of work to the British audience. Several Chinese government ministers and other dignitaries attended the event which was held in the grounds of The Dragon Building in the Songjiang suburb of Shanghai.

The Dragon Building, built in the shape of China’s most significant emblem, was designed and built by Chen Dapeng and, together with other associated buildings, provides studios, workshops, offices and home for the 53 year-old sculptor. More than 150 guests from the media, government, business and academe attended the event which also featured tai chi demonstrations, and traditional Chinese music and dance. It was also attended by Ana Perez Grassano, the Paris-based Argentinian artist who is in Shanghai to paint Chen Dapeng. The event was filmed by Xinhua News Agency and Shanghai Television. It is an integral part of The Shanghai People’s Festival 2015.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs from the office of the government of Shanghai (now a region of some 25 million people), Mr Xie Wei, welcomed Mr Chen Dapeng’s efforts to export art from China to the west and evinced his support for the Olympia exhibition. Mr Chen Dapeng also publicly announced that Paul Harris Asia Arts (www.PaulHarrisAsiaArts.co.uk) has been appointed to represent him in the UK and to organise his exposure at Olympia. Paul Harris Asia Arts is a sister business to ChineseArt.co.uk.

A 200 sq m series of stands have been booked at the Olympia event and it is thought he may well be the largest single exhibitor at the Winter Art & Antiques Fair, the most significant public exhibition of its type held in the winter months.

Major show by Chinese sculptor Chen Dapeng to open today in Shanghai

From Paul Harris in Shanghai

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Today a major show of the works of Songjian-Shanghai based sculptor Chen Dapeng (www.chendapengsculptor.com) opens in the grounds of the sculptor’s house and studio complex. Dozens of top-level Chinese government, business and academic leaders will gather for the 4pm opening.

Chineseart.co.uk is in Shanghai to cover this event which presages a major London show this November. Our pictures show Chen Dapeng working today on some finishing touches; the grounds of his house dressed for the occasion.

The exhibition is part of The Shanghai People’s Festival 2015 currently running in the city.

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