Highlights of 2015 on Chineseart.co.uk

We look back on the year 2015 as reflected by the pages of Chineseart.co.uk

January 2015

London dealer Anita Gray offered this exquisite Kangxi figure for sale. Hardly surprisingly, it was snapped up in a matter of hours!

BD01-fv-fig-full

February 2015

Brought the sale of contents at Eden Hall, in the Scottish borders, by the Rt Hon Lady Loch. There were several items brough back tothe UK from Yuanminguan by the 1st Baron Loch (background and below a pair of sancai roof tiles).

Rt Hon Lady Loch

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The month also saw a spectacular, hihgly organised theft from Fontainebleau. Fifteen items were stolen from the Chinese collection, many of which had been looted from Yuanminguan by French soldiers. There has been no sign of them being recovered and the artefacts are reckoned by experts to have been ‘repatriated’ to China.

Chateau_Fontainebleau

March 2015

the Shanghai-based sculptor Chen Dapeng announces his participation in the Olympia Art & Antiques Fair, November 2015 (below).

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April 2015

We visit the porcelain city, Jingdezhen, for a series of articles. Below, The Jingdezhen Porcelain Orchestra.

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May 2015

We ask if Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian (below) has got his money back from producing copies of his US$36m. chicken cup. He drinks from the original below, and also the boxed reproduction which sells at around $60 !

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June 2015

We reported from Taipei on the chronic overcrowding at The National Palace Museum.

National Palace Museum (6)

July 2015

We turned our attention to the Chinese fashion industry in our article The Traditional Etihc in Chinese Fashion goes International. Below is Guo Pei’s stunning twist on Chinese blue and white porcelain. Also fashion label Doudu’s ‘Bodybelt’, a modern piece of lingerie based on traditional underwear.

guo pei hk fashion wk

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August 2015

We published this photogrpah of a painting offered for sale at the June Olympia Art & Antiques Fair: the mystery gil with the penetrating gaze, artist unknown. Nobody volunteeered any information who she might be!

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September 2015

London dealers Marchant, Kensington Church Street, celebrated their 90th anniversary with a collection of magnificient jades they had handled over the years.

Marchant jade 2

October 2015

A top Chinese official warns on the widespread destruction of the country’s cultural heritiage at the hands of tomb robbers and property developers. Below a photograph of the unique colonial style Arxan Shan Railway Station in northern China, destroyed by property developers.

 arxan shan railway station

November 2015

Chinese sculptor Chen Dapeng celebrates the opening of his first exhibition in London The Winter Olympia Art & Antiques Fair. His 200 sq m stand was organised by his UK agents Paul Harris Asia Arts. His bust of HM Queen Elizabeth II (below) proved controversial and received massive TV, radio and press coverage. It was, however, only one sculpture out of almost fifty works on display.

Paul-Olympia 29

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December 2015

The Berlin-based online auctioneer Auctionata put up a small Kangxi dragon vase for sale estimated at euro 5-10,000. It started at 5,000 and rose giddily to the heights of euro 875,000 – almost a million dollars.

lot lot34 dragon vase cu

 

Fashion in China: the traditional aesthetic goes international

 guo pei hk fashion wk

Very much based on a Chinese aesthetic, Guo Pei’s dramatic twist on blue and white porcelain presented at Hong Kong Fashion Week a couple of years ago.

It’s all about fashion in today’s China. New found wealth is fuelling a fashion boom in most of the larger cities of China. The luxury goods sector has always commanded the attention of Chinese shoppers, especially the younger ones. But most of those luxury goods were imported. The difference these days is that China’s own high end luxury fashion business is now powering on . . .

Recognition internationally came a couple of months ago when the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York unveiled China: Through the Looking Glass. This exhibition paid homage to the influence of pre-Communist China’s influences on Western fashion. The vast exhibition didn’t just fill the Hall of the Costume Institute, but also all of the Museum’s Chinese art galleries. It was notable that the show came exactly 100 years after the founding of the Met’s Asian art collection in 1915.

guo-pei Top designer Guo Pei

A month earlier, in April, a new book was published, Fashion China by fashion curator Gemma Williams: an anthology of writing and illustration of the work of no less than 41 Chinese fashion designers.

The Met’s opening party was graced by stars and personalities like Rihanna, who wore a creation by Guo Pei, often regarded as China’s first significant couturiere. Chinese actress and personality Fan Bingbing was also there, as was American Vogue‘s chief editor Anna Wintour lending her approval to the emergence of Chinese fashion onto the world stage. Other significant recent events have included the opening in Shanghai of The Conde Nast Center of Fashion & Design and the Istituto Marangoni. Already a fixture on the international fashion circuit, Masha Ma has had her own label in Shanghai since 2008. She now divides her time between Shanghai and Paris where she launches her creations at Paris Fashion Week.

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Traditional Chinese underwear given a modern lingerie twist. The bellyband by Dudou. Much of their underwear is fashioned in silk and hand-painted, a world away from the functional garments of the past.

chinese trad style undies Increasingly, Chinese fashion designers are becoming less ‘Chinese’ and do not feel the requirement to pay obeisance to Chinese history or culture. They are now developing their own identities and truly cosmopolitan, international designs. As Xiamen-based designer Shanguan Zhe (founder of the Sankuanz label), puts it, ‘It’s hard for me to say that my designs have just a Chinese aesthetic or just an international aesthetic.’

Shanguan Zhe of Sankuanz                                                                             Shanguan Zhe of Sankuanz