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Chinese contemporary art in Liverpool

10 May 2018 by Sam

screen showing video artwork in St George's Hall

Susan Pui San Lok, ‘Trailers (from RoCH Fans and Legends)’. Photograph Pete Carr

At the Walker Art Gallery we have had a long interest in Chinese contemporary art, and the John Moores Painting Prize China was launched in August 2010. Since then the five prizewinning paintings from the John Moores Painting Prize China have been displayed as part of each John Moores Painting Prize exhibition – you can see this year’s from 14 July to 18 November at the Walker Art Gallery.

Video screen showing wooden boats at sea, hung above a small wooden boat at St George's Hall

Chen Ching-Yuan, ‘The (Flare-s)’. Photograph Pete Carr

If you can’t wait until then, there is currently a great opportunity to see an exhibition of Chinese contemporary art at St George’s Hall as part of China Dream. The exhibition curator tells us more:

“I’m Lindsay Taylor, Curator of PRESENCE: A Window into Chinese Contemporary Art which is open until 3 June at St George’s Hall. The exhibition is a counterpoint to the Terracotta Warriors on display at World Museum – it showcases artworks by 19 artists from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the diaspora. Some of these are based on traditional Chinese art forms such as paper cuts and landscape painting – but with a modern twist. Other works vary from a zombie film to a sculpture of a shoe for a bird made by a former John Moores Painting Prize (China) winner! The exhibition is full of surprises, however the same age old themes of communication, love, death and power that are told in the Terracotta Warriors exhibition are also prevalent here – not much has changed in over 2000 years!

As Curator of the University of Salford Art Collection I aim to develop a collection that tells a story of now. If we live in what some call ‘the Chinese Century’ I feel it is important to explore contemporary Chinese culture within our museum collections as we move to a less western–centric world. Each of the works on show has been collected over the last six years mainly through working in partnership, mainly with our friends at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester but also with Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool. We’re also working with Culture Liverpool and commissioning a new work as legacy of this project which will feature in Episode 2 of China Dream – This is Shanghai opening in July.

If you would like to hear more about ‘PRESENCE: A Window into Chinese Contemporary Art’, I am giving a guided tour of the exhibition in St George’s Hall on Thursday 17 May at 2pm and my co-curator Stephanie Fletcher will give a tour on 31 May at 2pm – the tour is free and we would love to see you. We are also bringing innovators from across the UK together in Liverpool on 11 May to share our experiences of working with and in China and to look for future collaborations. For more information please visit the exhibition events page.”

large screen showing video artwork in St George's Hall

Cao Fei, ‘Haze and Fog’. Photograph Pete Carr

Fresh Perspectives: Call out to Wirral secondary schools

13 February 2018 by Siobhan

Young people admiring their artwork in teh Fresh Perspectives art exhibition at the lady lever Art Gallery

Opening of the Fresh Perspectives exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

April 2019 will see the return of the biennial schools exhibition Fresh Perspectives: Art from Wirral schools at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.   Fresh Perspectives is a fantastic opportunity for schools to nurture and promote the talents of their students, for young people to engage with arts and culture outside of the classroom environment and to support those with an interest in further education in the arts, offering them an insight into creative careers.   This will be the fourth occasion that the exhibition has taken place but for the first time schools will have the opportunity to apply to have their students GCSE and A Level work included.

Read more…

17 March 2018: One-day Conference: Slaves of Fashion: Archives, Art and Ethics

2 February 2018 by Ann

To accompany The Singh Twins’ major new exhibition Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins at the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and the University of Liverpool School of Histories, Languages and Cultures are hosting a one-day conference, open to the public to explore the issues raised by The Twins’ new artworks.

Read more…

Maggi Hambling visits

8 November 2017 by Sarah

‘Good Time George’ by Maggi Hambling. Copyright Maggi Hambling

Contemporary artist Maggi Hambling visited Liverpool today, to give ‘Good Time George’ – her painting of her close friend and Liverpudlian George Melly – to the Walker Art Gallery.

George was the most colourful son of Liverpool: jazz performer, surrealist, comic, raconteur, critic and author, often referred to fondly as ‘Good Time George’.

Read more…

Talk Tuesday: Looking North artist Jason Thompson

27 January 2017 by Scott Smith

Artist Jason Thompson with his work in the Looking North exhibition

Artist Jason Thompson with his works in the Looking North exhibition.

Jason Thompson is one of the artists featured in Looking North, a new exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery that presents work by artists from the North-West of England.

Jason was born in Liverpool and still lives and works there. He studied painting at Chelsea College of Art and Design London both for his BA (1990-93) and MA (1993-94). Jason currently works for National Museums Liverpool and is based at the Walker Art Gallery.

We caught up with him to find out more about how he works, ahead of his Talk Tuesday’ event happening at the Walker Art Gallery on Tuesday 31st January… Read more…

Talk Tuesday: Looking North artist Mary Griffiths

6 January 2017 by Scott Smith

Looking North artist Mary Griffiths in front of her artworks

Artist Mary Griffiths in front of her artworks.

Mary Griffiths is one of the artists featured in Looking North, a new exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery that presents work by artists from the North-West of England.

Mary is from the Wirral and lives in Manchester. She graduated from the MA Fine Art at Manchester School of Art in 2009 and is now Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Whitworth, Manchester.

We caught up with her to find out more about how she works, ahead of her ‘Talk Tuesday’ event happening at the Walker Art Gallery on Tuesday 10th January… Read more…

JM2016: Why paint?

29 November 2016 by Scott Smith

Visitor walking past paintings in the JM2016 exhibitionVisited by over 70,000 people, this year’s John Moores Painting Prize has been the most popular since the prize was launched. They key, it seems, was a sheer love of painting…
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The Oratory – a look inside one of our lesser known buildings

3 August 2016 by Jen

The Oratory at night with the steps covered in candles for a special event.

The Oratory at night with the steps covered in candles for a special event.

We often use our blog to highlight our fantastic collections, they are after all the most obvious asset of any museum or gallery. This time however I’d like to shift the focus to something a little different, because here at National Museums Liverpool we are extremely fortunate to be able to house our incredible collections in stunning buildings that are architecturally, historically and culturally significant in their own right. Read more…

Talk Tuesday: John Moores 2016 artist, Nicholas Middleton

29 July 2016 by Lisa

Nicholas at the John Moores 2016 exhibition.

Nicholas at the John Moores 2016 exhibition.

What inspires our John Moores Painting Prize artists? Nicholas Middleton is an artist who has been selected five times for the John Moores over the past 12 years – this year his painting ‘Figures in an Arch’ has been chosen for the exhibition.

We caught up with him to find out more about how he works, ahead of his ‘Talk Tuesday’ event happening at the Walker Art Gallery on Tuesday 2 August. Read more…

“The limitations of painting I find quite beautiful” – Michael Simpson, first prizewinner, John Moores 2016

15 July 2016 by Lisa

Artist Michael Simpson (right), receives the £25,000 first prize from juror Ansel Krut.

Artist Michael Simpson (right), receives the £25,000 first prize from juror Ansel Krut.

Last week was one of the most exciting of the year for the Walker Art Gallery, with the announcement of the winner of the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize. Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.