2013 is the 10th Anniversary of making art in China for me.
In a decade of a person’s life they can change in appearance, experience, attitude and
The decade that included my 60th birthday, a time when most people are preparing for
retirement, their Autumn/Winter period of life, for me has been a Spring/Summer decade.
It started with an invitation to take a one month Redgate Residency at Shangrila in Fei Jia
Cun, a village on the outskirts of Beijing. It was after SARS when villagers were still wary
The 798 Art District newly established by forward thinking Chinese artists was under
threat of demolition. To buy a cup of coffee meant a taxi ride to an International Hotel or
the one café at 798 Art Gallery.
I have changed in appearance, with the lines of life experience showing on my face, my
attitude has changed to include a much deeper respect for Chinese people and their
culture. My location shifts between my home in Melbourne and my home in Beijing,
spending about half a year in each.
I have seen a decade of change in China, particularly in Beijing, with the construction of
purpose built Artists’Studios that are constantly demolished and built again in new
locations. In the past decade China has been a place of construction and
deconstruction, a place of changing attitudes, of life experiences and of travel for its
people and foreigners. As an International artist making Contemporary Art in China this
is my decade and I thank all who have supported, assisted, invited, and befriended me.
These artworks are a sample of some of the many opportunities, places and mediums I have had the pleasure of experiencing.
Written as the Magnolia Blooms
Denise Keele- Bedford 2013