Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
2017 was a very busy year for me and I could not write as many blog posts as I had planned.
With the year coming to an end, I finally found some time to show you my new studio and some photos of the Swiss Week Chengdu.
While going through the photos, I found some other images that I would like to share too. They are bits and pieces from the many shows and events that I had in 2017. Above photo is from the opening of my first Solo Exhibition in Chongqing at Sunac Private Board.
Here my new studio:
I had searched for a bigger studio for quite a while and I am very, very happy to have found this beautiful, spacious studio.
While painting is the most important aspect of a studio, receiving guests is important too. In my new space, I can offer "Kong Fu Tea", a very traditional way of serving tea in small cups, big enough for one or two sips. In a ceremonial way, the tea is first washed, then poured several times. With each pouring, the taste is changing slightly. With Pu Er or red tea often from slightly bitter to sweet. Tasting or drinking tea shows many similarities with enjoying a glass of wine.
In the next picture, you can see the centrifugal machine that helps me create my "Centrifugal" artworks.
This table is the most important part of the studio because this is the place where most of my paintings are created.
With storage rooms, living accomodation and main hall, the studio is 398 square meters big and has beautiful terrasses all around.
It is located in a pituresque town, built a couple years ago with distinct traditional Chinese architectural feautures.
The studio has already experienced its first parties. A couple weeks ago, we enjoyed a whole lamb that the nearby restaurant grilled on one of the terracces:
The main area of the studio is located on the second floor of the building structure. On the first floor, there is a smaller area to welcome passers by.
The town developper asked me to create a small "Souvenir" shop. Tourists can purchase cups, pillows and postcards featuring my artworks.
Let me tell you about the first "Swiss Week Chengdu" now.
Initiated by the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chengdu, the "Swiss Week Chengdu" took place at the best downtown location of Chengdu, "Chunxi Lu - Hongxing Lu Square". It's like "Times Square" in New York City or "Paradeplatz" in Zürich. An incredible 250'000-350'000 people pass by every day. Being Swiss, I was asked if I would like to participate with my art. I was thrilled to create my own booth to showcase a new series of artworks that I specially created for the occasion: "Gravity Switzerland". There was Cheese, there was chocolate, coffee, wine, beer, milk, etc. - and the "Art of Antonio"
Above photo is taken before the opening on November 1.
My booth was located in the north-west corner of the tent, giving a great view to the famous "Climbing Panda" of IFS.
Of course, I did not only offer art, but also my various derivatives. Many of which I had made for the "Swiss Week".
There were Alphorn players that played at various corners to create a feeling of communication amongst the Swiss mountains.
Having the booth right next to one of the entrances gave exposure to several thousand visitors.
Old and young had a chance to experience and enjoy my art and go home with a taste of happiness and one or the other souvenir.
While the tasty chocolate gave them joy for minutes, my art will give them joy for a lifetime.
In the summer, I did a large painting during the Chengdu Music Festival inspired by the guitar play of Daniele Defranchis.
For a Calligraphy Event in October, I developped some new "Cao Shu" letters. While I could never become a good calligrapher in the traditional writing style of Kai the so called "Cao Shu" styles gives opportunity to write freely. While most calligraphers don't dare to develop their own letters but follow the rules of the masters, even in Cao Shu, I think that the beauty of all art, also calligraphy lies in the opportunity to create something new.
Sadly, most common Chinese people cannot read my writing and therefore ignore the beauty in my letters as they do with my abstract paintings. Luckily, master calligraphers can read my new creations and while some applaud my letters and the guts to create them, some try to convince me that it is blasphemy not to follow the rules.
I am on foreign territory and calligraphy is just a hobby. Luckily my friend "Heping Yang", the dean of Sichuan Tianfu Accademy encourages my research in calligraphy and the creation of new letters. Below is my version of "自 - Zi", meaning "self"
In the image below, you see the famous "家和万事兴".
The meaning cannot be translated word by word, but an internet search gives the following complex translation:
a happy family means wealth a peaceful family will prosper made as family reunion under one roof
I wish you a wonderful Festive Season and a very happy New Year 2018!