In Spite of it All


We cannot be completely uprooted, we all have a cultural basis.
Mario Rizzi, Out of Place (2005)

This exhibition of work from the Sharjah Art Foundation presents an intriguing discussion on identity and social changes through a series of video installations, which was set in an unique cultural background. Bi-cultural? No. This is the intersection of three distinctive cultures and civilisations, Arabic, Chinese and European (Western).

A number of contemporary Chinese artists have responded to the personal and social cost of rapid economic development and urban changes in China. Liu Wei’s Hopeless Land (2008), was filmed at the outskirts of Beijing, a place which was used to be the home for suburb farmers and unavoidably, suffered from the relentless urban sprawl in the recent years. It will soon become another soulless wasteland filled shining new residential buildings.

As a Chinese living in Europe, perhaps I have been Anglicised to think that it is all too rushed to disregard your cultural identity by destroying the original landscape. For me, the most interesting thing is to observe how the Emiratis responses to the pressing issue from a different perspective. There are only 25% of the populations in the UAE are Emiratis, and the rest are from all corners of the world.

Nikolaj Larsen’s work Rendezvous (2009) is a captivating interpretation of their lives. He spent a month traveling and filmed the workers throughout the UAE and their families back home. The result was two images which were projected on each end of the room, three times as high as your height , forcing you to think of the two cultural contexts in a dramatic contrast. Is one superior than the other? Not necessarily…

Fascinating stuff – In Spite of It All is a must see exhibition if you want to get under the skin of the modern multi-cultural Arab people.

In Spite of it All
03.11.12 – 03.01.13
Collections Building, Arts Area
Heart of Sharjah


Dancing Auspicious Crane 1

X+Q Art: Masterpiece of Chinese Paintings

X+Q Art, the brainchild of leading contemporary Chinese artists Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci is commissioned by the V&A museum to launch an exclusive range of scarves inspired by the major autumn exhibition Masterpiece of Chinese Paintings 700-1900.

Masterpiece of Chinese Paintings, 700-1900
26 October 2013 – 19 January 2014
The V&A Museum, London

The X+Q Factor – Financial Times How to Spend It

The Modern and the Tradition – ELLE Deco Taiwan


Wigmore image

Xuefei Yang: Wigmore Hall Concert

The finest classical guitarist Xuefei Yang gives the world premiere of Shuo Chang, the first classical guitar piece commissioned by a Chinese composer Chen Yi, at Wigmore Hall on 3 November, and will be giving the premieres in Korea, Taiwan and the USA in the coming weeks.

Xuefei Yang at Wigmore Hall
Sunday 3 November, 7.30pm

Featuring programmes by Benjamin Britten, Fraz Schubert, Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla and the World Premiere of Shuo Chang by Chen Yi, Commissioned by Wigmore Hall with the support of Fondation Hoffmann

“One in a Million – talking to Xuefei on being the first Chinese classical guitarist and pushing the boundary of classical guitar.” – the Glass Magazine

Watch the exclusive interview video – BBC World Service in Chinese