‘Exchanging Views’ by Fu Zi and Ingrid Christie. On display in the Blue Gallery and Severn Studio.
Two artists, living over 5,000 miles apart, meet in Beijing in 2015 for the first time in an exchange brokered by Li Rui, director of Dong Xi Stories. With neither artist speaking one another’s language, the only way they can communicate for an entire month is through their paintings.
‘I am not interested in politics or the commercial world; painting and my family are the backbone of my life. My paintings express a desire for the traditional Chinese culture of ‘harmony between man and nature’ which is not simply a thought but a state of being. During the cultural exchange, Ingrid and I learned a great deal from one another. One helpful aspect for me, was remembering the good habit of keeping a sketchbook. Sharing our working practices without using language really does show the power of painting to communicate beyond words.’
‘In China I learned a great deal about the Eastern approach to painting; how landscape painters from the Song Dynasty period were interested in art that went beyond the appearance of forms, capturing the spirit of place and fleeting moments in time. Fu Zi taught me to slow down, to connect the head, hand and heart, which is exactly what John Ruskin articulated about the process of painting. Although Fu Zi and I were unable to communicate verbally, painting provided a bridge that transcended the need for language.’