ROYAL ACADEMICIANS IN CHINA

23 December 2005 – 20 January 2006
Sackler Wing of Galleries, The Royal Academy

A major exhibition of works by leading Royal Academicians John Bellany, Paul Huxley, Allen Jones, David Mach, Ian McKeever and Chris Orr, inspired by their recent travels through China, will go on show in the Royal Academy’s Sackler Wing of Galleries from 23 December 2005 to 20 January 2006. The exhibition, Royal Academicians in China: 2003-2005, has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts in proud association with The Red Mansion Foundation, and was shown at the China National Museum of Fine Arts in Beijing and at the Art Museum in Shanghai earlier this year.

Highlights of the exhibition include Paul Huxley’s bold formalised Chinese characters, Ian McKeever’s temple paintings, John Bellany’s scenes of the Shanghai Bund, Allen Jones’s series of court dancers, Chris Orr’s satirical scenes of Beijing and Shanghai and David Mach’s controversial image of Mao, too sensitive to be shown in China.

The artists were invited to travel to China by The Red Mansion Foundation as part of the ongoing Building Bridges programme. The Red Mansion Foundation, founded in 1999, is a not-for-profit organisation, which promotes cultural exchange between China and the UK through contemporary art. Each artist met with local artists and gave a lecture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Upon their return to Great Britain each artist created a body of work inspired by their stay in China. The Royal Academicians were chosen for their ability to communicate and for their different approach to making art, hence each artist has assimilated their experience in a different way.

This exhibition coincided with the Royal Academy’s landmark exhibition, “China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795”, sponsored by Goldman Sachs, which presents imperial treasures of the Qing dynasty. Drawn largely from the remarkable collections of the Palace Museum, Beijing, it focuses on the artistic and cultural riches of the three most powerful emperors of China’s last dynasty.

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