Co-sponsored by China Cultural Centre in Sydney (CCC), Australian Watercolour Institute and Australian Chinese Heritage Paper Art Club，”POETIC NATURE – a Joint Exhibition by Chinese and Australian Artist” was scheduled to open to the public at CCC from June 24 to August 13. Due to the Delta variant outbreak and the lockdown of Greater Sydney, this exhibition has been launched online and postponed until September 30 (Click here to view the online exhibition).
It’s a pity that we’ve had to cancel the opening ceremony and the Forum. For a better understanding of this exhibition, and to promote art exchange between China and Australia, CCC has specially invited 10 participating artists including David van Nunen, Wendy Sharpe, Bernard Ollis, Lan Wang, Hanna Kay, Fangmin Wu , John Dublewicz, Ginger Jingzhe Li, Simon Hua and Simon Choi, to record 10 short intro videos. They will generously talk about their work and their practise. We do hope you could be inspired with their talk and get a better understanding of these artists.
DAVID van NUNEN
David van Nunen is President of the Australian Watercolour Institute and a founding executive member of the Painters and Sculptors Association of Australia. In 2020,David van Nunen was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to the visual arts. He has been awarded a number of Artist-in-Residencies, notably at the Power Studio, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory; the Art Gallery of New South Wales (in conjunction with that institution’s 1991 Bohemians in the Bush exhibition); Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon Trust property on the Shoalhaven River and the Himalayas Art Museum, Zhujiajiao, China. Since 1974, van Nunen has held 41 solo exhibitions, including the Australian Embassies in Paris, Washington DC and Mexico City, and participated in over 150 group exhibitions in Australia, England, Scotland, China, America, France, Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Korea and Thailand.
In his tenure as President of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 2009, David van Nunen has consolidated strong cultural links with China. A sinophile with a particular interest in Chinese ink painting, van Nunen has made numerous trips to China, including as an international guest artist and judge at the Lushan International Watercolour Festival, Lushan (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016). He was also a guest artist in numerous exhibitions, notably the Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial; Qingdao International Watercolour Salon; Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial; Second Chinese Academy of Art Watercolour Exhibition; Qingdao-Jimo International Watercolour Exhibition 2016, Third Contemporary International Outstanding Watercolour Exhibition and Reinterpretation: International Watercolour Exhibition.
Wendy Sharpe is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and awarded artists, who lives and works in Sydney and Paris. Sharpe has won a long list of prizes, awards, scholarships and honours, these include winning The Archibald, The Sulman Prize, The Portia Geach Memorial Award (twice), The Adelaide Perry drawing Prize, The Calleen Art Prize and many others. Major commissions include a the Olympic pool size Mural at Cook and Philip Park College st Sydney and a commission by the Australian War Memorial, as an Australian Official Artist (the first woman since WW2). Major projects include working with the Asylum Seeker Centre Sydney, The State Library of NSW, The Australian Opera, the Australian Opera, Circus Oz, a commission from Art Centre Melbourne to draw the Australian Ballet, burlesque and drag performers. She has also been awarded many international residencies in places as diverse as Antarctica, Egypt, China and Mexico. Sharpe was artist in residence and worked with Hamlin Fistula Foundation in Ethiopia.
In 2020 Sharpe painted the major public mural “Women’s Empowerment” in Newtown, Sydney. She has been a finalist in the Archibald 7 times and in the Sulman Prize 14 times (more than any other artist). She has held over 60 solo exhibitions around Australia and internationally.
Bernard Ollis lives and works in Sydney and Paris. He has held over 80 solo exhibitions world wide since 1976, from London to Berlin, Paris to Shanghai, in particular, multiple solo exhibitions in the principle commercial galleries of Sydney, Canberra , Perth , Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland NZ . This includes Australian visual arts board solo touring exhibitions and numerous prizes and awards. His work is in the permanent collections of many important galleries/museums including Parliament House Canberra, The Australian National Gallery ACT, The National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art gallery, The Museum of the Northern Territory and The Royal College of Art London UK.
Bernard Ollis has had a long and distinguished career in art education. He was head of Fine Art at La Trobe University and the longest serving Director of the National Art School Sydney, for over 11 years. He now works full time from his studio in Sydney and Paris. Ollis has held over 80 solo exhibitions worldwide since the 1970’s including multiple exhibitions throughout Australia and New Zealand, Shanghai, Berlin, and Paris. He has had artist residencies in diverse locations such as the Arctic, Antarctica and Egypt. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, the Royal College of Art London, Queensland Art Gallery, The Welsh Art Council, the National Gallery of Australia, Parliament House Canberra, and many state and regional museum galleries throughout Australia.
LAN WANG 王兰
Lan Wang was born in Beijing in 1953. Since 16 she’d become a farmer in Northeast China. She studied art in the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts from 1977, and as a lecturer taught there since 1982. She got Master of Fine Arts in 1989, and move to Sydney to reunion with husband Jiawei in 1991. She had solo exhibitions in Coventry Gallery and Art Atrium Gallery, both in Sydney in past decades. As a member of Art Trail of Bundeena, she open her studio for public on the first Sunday each month from 2001 until now.
Lan won the Silver prize and the Bronze prize in the National Art Exhibition in 1989, 1984. Four of her works are in the collection of the National Art Museum of China. She said: “Painting is a language, just like any other everyday language. I want to use this language to sing in praise of nature, to express my feelings to the world, and my wish is to express something more enduring than what only is of material benefit.
“I think of painting as a playmate, a playmate more intelligent and stubborn than me. For many years we have enjoyed chasing one another, and having a lot of fun. At times there have also been arguments, however, I am glad that I have such a playmate. With it I am never lonely. I will only exist for a limited time, but art lives forever. Art sustains me, but to art I am a mere speck of dust. This is why I say I need art, even though I myself am absolutely of no consequence to art.”
Hanna Kay is an internationally established artist who was born in Israel, studied art in Vienna, lived a decade in New York, and has been living and exhibiting in Australia since 1990. Since 1974 she has held over 40 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibition in Europe, the USA, and Australia and her art is to be found in many public and private collections in Australia and around the world. She has been extensively reviewed and has received several awards.
In 2012 after visiting and exhibiting in China she has embarked on a PhDresearch project,which included a multi-dimensional body of work inspired by the Burial Pits of Xian. The artworks, entitled Shifting Horizons, have been exhibited at several venues in Sydney and various regional galleries. In 2019 she was awarded a PhD in Fine Arts and Philosophy from Sydney University. She has several books and monographs published, including “Notes from the Shed” – an illustrated journal focusing on the creative process and its inspirations, published Macmillan Art Publications.
FANGMIN WU 吴方敏
Fangmin Wu is an Australian artist based in Sydney, born in China and immigrated to Australia in 1990. Painting and drawing was his passion from an early age, He won his first art prize in provincial youth art competition in 1981, he was selected to be included in “A Great Biographic Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese Artists”. Wu engaged in printmaking during his early life in China, and has won numerous art prizes.
He began his solo art exhibition since 1997 after graduated from Sydney College of Arts with Honours Degree in Visual Arts. In recent years, Wu’s works have been selected for several major art exhibitions both in Australia and internationally, including: “Coming Home” Beijing art exhibition 2009; Blake Art Prize (2011,2013); St. George Art Prize (2012 ,2014); Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize 2015; Waverley Art Prize 2015; Fishers Ghost Art Award (2016, 2018, 2020) First Chinese artistic achievement art exhibition 2016, Clifton Art prize and Miradas international Art Prize 2018; Highly commended prize at Bayside art prize in 2018, In 2020 he won the first prize in drawing at the Liverpool art prize.
Wu’s artistic creation is extensive, his art making is reaction to current international events and a reflection on social issues. However, his landscapes not only capture beautiful scenery, but they also translate unique stories of time with historical traces that offer a modern connection. Creating in a style that blends realism with expressionism, he favors oils, acrylics and mixed mediums. Wu’s works have been widely collected, both privately and public, notably by the N.S.W. Nepean Public Hospital and Australian National Gallery.
John Dublewicz is the Australian son of Polish WWII refugees. The self taught artist began exploring timber sculpture after building his family’s home in Sydney’s South East. His initial works were basic, highlighting the natural forms and patterns in each piece of wood. John has since refined his skills, and now turns tree limbs and burls into creations, finding comparisons between the features of each timber piece and an animal they remind him of. Characters of Australian native fauna are of particular interest to him.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show Standard of excellence achiever, and multiple winner, likes to bring a smile to audiences with the subtle personality he instills in each piece and the hidden compartments inspired by antique furniture. In the past John was a master of the track, gaining an Australian record for his talent in sprinting, he went onto share his love of fitness as a high school PE teacher. On the cusp of retirement now, John looks forward to a future focusing on his Sculpture work.
GINGER JINGZHE LI 李惊蛰
Ginger Jingzhe Li has been working in art industry for numerous years, she achieved a Master Degree of Art Administration in the College of Fine Art, UNSW in 2003. Li is an artist, Chinese writer, curator, and publisher. She has curated and organised many exhibitions both in China and Australia, including A Visual Story about China – Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis travelling exhibition in Shanghai and Linyi (China 2016). Ginger has been a selected artist joining in many group exhibitions, and she has been prioritised and chosen to display her artworks three times in a row with Sculpture@Bayside 2018, 2019 and 2020 on Kyeemagh Beach.
She does many practical and different topics of painting, drawing, paper-cutting, etching, ceramics and sculpture works. Ginger ‘s art work has been collected by China National Art Gallery, Beijing in 1995. She is the founder Australian Chinese Heritage Paper Art Club Inc, with other members and established an art project of Mobile Colour Plates in participation of cultural integration for the Chinese community of Sydney, and has been supported by Georges River council and the NSW government Australia.
SIMON HUA 华胜虎
Simon Hua (Hua Sheng Hu) was born in Shanghai1962 he studied graphic design at the Shanghai Publishing and Printing college. Before moving to Australia in the late 80s, he was an art editor for the Shanghai Translation Publishing house. Simon has lived in the beautiful country of Australia for over 30 years and has developed an interest in Aboriginal art, due to its cultural significance and traditional style.
His fondness for Aboriginal art has led him to visit Northern territory to meet some of the local artists. Simon admires the devotion of Aboriginal artists and their ideology of creating artwork to tell stories. His adoration for art has led him to visit museums around the world ranging from Europe to America. With his favourite location being the Paul Klee museum in Berne Switzerland, this is due to Paul Klee’s style truly resonating with Simon’s view on art. This revolves around the notion of art being abstract rather than a replication of reality and using art to express human emotions.
SIMON CHOI 蔡西蒙
Simon Choi was born in Guangzhou, P. R. China. Taught by famous masters, he studied painting from a young age. Although a student of oil painting, he is deeply interested in Chinese ink wash painting and this influence is reflected in his abstract oil paintings. When creating artworks, Simon follows his heart.