Chinese artist Sixiao Feng has been invited to become an Honorary Foreign Member of the RBA following in the steps of Giorgio de Chirico and Eduard Vuillard. He said he was absolutely delighted and greatly honoured.
His first UK exhibition was held at the British Museum in October, where more than 50 works were on display. Nick Tidnam, President of the Royal Society of British Artists, had been invited to open the show and he said:
“It’s a great show from a man with enormous talent, skill and understanding of nature. Cultural relationships between the UK and China are important and absolutely what we should be doing. Culture is very important. Mr Feng and I, we don’t have a common language, but we do have the common language of painting, so we understand each other in that respect. I think music, art, these are things with which we cross borders and relate to each other.”
Born in Qingdao, in East China’s Shandong province, 69-year-old Sixiao Feng is one of China’s best-known artists. His paintings are frequently seen in art textbooks. Feng is also acclaimed worldwide and has held solo exhibitions in the US city of San Francisco, the US state of Hawaii and Canada. His paintings were displayed at Olympic stadiums during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“Britain is the home of watercolour and China has been learning from it for nearly 100 years. These paintings are my attempt to combine the traditional Chinese painting style with Western watercolours, something I have worked on for at least 20 years. Watercolour stems from the West and focuses on the colour and the light, whereas Chinese painting is more about spirits and emotions. I have added some natural spirits and brushing skills from Chinese ink painting to watercolour painting This exhibition is an opportunity for me to know what British people would feel about this particular painting style and also to learn more from British watercolourists.”