Year of the monkey

Year of the monkey

china, drawing
With the Chinese New Year approaching, I thought it might be a nice idea to create a drawing of monkeys  in a Chinese brushed ink and wash style for my Chinese friends. I used traditional materials of Chinese ink (prepared using an ink block and slate rubbing stone), calligraphy brush and rice paper. I'd had a short lesson in the technique of drawing with a brush while I was at Shanghai Open University and had some sense of the challenges of this way of working. The paper is incredibly absorbant and unforgiving of mistakes. Mark making is not easy and there is no option other than to be brave and just go for it. After scrapping countless sheets of paper and really struggling I eventually got this pair of monkeys…
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Christmas Mandarin

Christmas Mandarin

art, china, drawing, vector
I did this drawing of a mandarin duck to use as an e-Christmas card for my Chinese students and friends. It's rather tighter than my usual way of doing these things, but it seemed necessary to convey the wonderfully precise nature of the bird's amazing plumage.
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Finding China Part 3 – Wuzhen

china, drawing
Click on image for larger version A short bus ride from Tongxiang, Wuzhen is an ancient town - or, probably more accurately, a collective of ancient districts - built on a collection of islands surrounded by canals. While undeniably a major tourist attraction that must pull in a significant income for the local economy, it is, even so,  a living town in its own right, with some 12,000 permanent residents calling it home. While aspects of it do feel somewhat like a living museum, nevertheless, there is a buzz and a vivacity that brings the place to life. Wuzhen is characterised by narrow labyrinthine streets - (no cars here) - and of course, the canals that serve as the arterial byways through the place with shops selling local crafts. And,…
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Finding China – Part 1

china, coventry university
A few weeks ago it fell to me to me to escort a dozen students from Coventry University to take a two-month placement at Zhejiang University of Media and Communication (ZUMC) in Tongxiang, China. This was my first trip to China and I had no real preconceptions of what to expect other than I guessed that it was likely to be something rather unique. I couldn’t have been more right. While I was there for only a week, I came away with a powerful respect, admiration and affection for the Chinese people that I and my students came into contact with. Universally, we were treated with unfailing courtesy, openness, kindness and, on many an occasion, a willingness on the part of individuals to go far beyond the bounds of merely…
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