As part of the Red Mansion Foundation’s ethic to promote mutual cultural understanding between China and the UK, an artist exchange programme entitled “Building Bridges” was created in 2005. Through this project The Red Mansion invited established artists to China, in order to inspire and create a two-way dialogue.
Exposure to China offers the artists an opportunity to broaden their perspectives and develop their work through the experience of a different culture. For the inaugural programme the Foundation invited 7 Royal Academicians: John Bellany, Brendan Neiland, Paul Huxley, Christopher Orr, David Mach, Allen Jones and Ian McKeever.
The resulting exhibition Royal Academicians in China, was shown at the National Art Gallery in Beijing, at the Shanghai Art Museum and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Following the success of Royal Academicians in China, The Red Mansion Foundation invited Catherine Kinley, former senior curator at Tate, to select a new group of artists to join the exchange programme 2006-2008. The group of artists chosen to take part in this second programme were:
This exhibition, subtitled “Eight Visions, One Dream”, has been produced in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and featured as part of the Olympic Cultural Programme, opening at the Today Art Museum on July 4th, 2008. There are only four art shows that have been chosen to appear in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and we feel very honoured to be part of that group. The Red Mansion Foundation is deeply grateful to the Ministry of Culture for its support.
An extensive catalogue has been produced in conjunction with the show, entitled “Building Bridges: 8 Visions, One Dream”. This features interviews with the eight artists involved, as well as contributions from the art critic Michael Bracewell, and Professor Pan Gongkai, President of the Central Academy for Fine Arts, Beijing.