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

SONY DSC

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).

SONY DSC

April 2015

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

SONY DSC

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 !

wpid-liu-drinks-from-chicken-cup-lr.jpg.jpeg wpid-chicken-cup-boxed.jpg.jpeg

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

Sexy-lingerie-Chinese-traditional-bellyband-dudou-embroid-handmade

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!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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

SONY DSC

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

 

Taipei’s National Palace Museum suffers acute congestion

Taipei’s National Palace Museum, which we visited three weeks ago, is suffering from a serious problem: acute congestion. Local school parties fight it out for a place in the galleries with hordes of visiting mainland Chinese. Other locals and foreigners feel it to be a distinct squeeze as they battle it out with the escorted parties.

National Palace Museum (6)

A mainland Chinese party fights for space on the stairs at The National Palace Museum

Photo Paul Harris

The National Palace Museum houses possibly the best collection of Chinese ceramics to be found anywhere. Most of the collection derives from the Forbidden City in Peking. The best of the Palace Collection there was shipped off to Nanjing in the mid-1930s in the face of the Japanese invasion: some 2,000 crates of treasures were loaded onto carts drawn by bullocks and motorised lorries. When the Japanese approached Nanjing, the collection was further dispersed to many locations in central China. In 1945, most of the pieces were returned to Nanjing, where they were painstakingly catalogued. Eventually, in 1947, as the Nationalist resistance to Mao’s Communist forces ebbed away, General Chang Kai Shek ordered some 697,000 items from the Imperial collection to be shipped to Keelung in what was then known as Formosa (present day Taiwan).

In 1965, the present National Palace Museum was opened in a purpose-built building on the outskirts of Taipei. At any one time, there are only some 3,000 items actually on display but a series of revolving exhibitions mean that items are constantly being put on show from stocks held in places of safety. Currently, there are exhibitions of blue and white ceramics, jardinières and planters, and representations of birds and animals in painting and embroidery.

It is said that up to 60,000 visitors a day make their way to The National Palace Museum, which must represent full capacity. Our tip: on Friday and Saturday nights, the Museum is open until 9pm. On those evenings the crowd melts away as people either lurk at home or go out for family dinners. It’s the only sensible time to visit!