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John Moores painting competition – Liverpool and Shanghai talk art

6 May 2010 by Sam

Following the recent founding of the John Moore’s painting prize in Shanghai, representatives from Liverpool and Shanghai caught up yesterday to discuss art in the UK and China and the running of the John Moore competitions.

From the Walker Art Gallery, participants in Liverpool were able to talk face to face to those in China via a live video conference link.

Angela Samata, Project Manager for the John Moores 2010 shares her thoughts on the video meeting:


I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a live video conference as I entered the empty gallery yesterday. I’ve used video conferencing before, but only within the UK, so the chance to link live with Shanghai was really exciting, but also a little bit nerve-wracking.

I needn’t have worried. When the unassuming button that has the ability to link two places hundreds of miles apart was pressed, waving hands and smiling faces greeted us from Shanghai and it really was hard to fathom the miles between us.

The participants in China were from a wide range of backgrounds including gallery owners, representatives from the Shanghai University Fine Arts College and the China Artist Association. Three of the judges from the John Moores Shanghai competition also joined the discussions. They were artists Gu WenDa and Zeng Fanzhi and Lewis Biggs, Artistic Director of Liverpool Biennial.

The discussions, via an interpreter, gave both sides a chance to explore the practical aspects of running a painting prize. Both sides acknowledged the importance of cultural contexts and discussed the continuing vitality and importance of contemporary painting in the UK and China.

It was a really useful exchange of ideas and it is hoped that we will host similar events in the future, with a backdrop of John Moores 2010 paintings on the walls of the gallery.

We’re also going to display the winners of the John Moores Shanghai competition here and we are exploring further ways that we will be able to work together in the future.

So, watch this space!

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