The Veiled Art

The less known 10 principles and Forbidden clicks 

  1. There are two Chinese art universes completely independent and with totally different characteristics, markets, prices and customers. The primary is inside China, divided between classic and modern. And the second one is Chinese art, made in China for western consumption. The latter is also divided, between the Chinese living in China, and the artists living outside China. Most Chinese masters and serious collectors do not consider the made in China for the West to be art, and more a commercial product tailored and created mostly for profit. 
  2. Oils and acrylic are not part of Traditional Chinese Art. There are factories in China, that make these works, with hundreds of young workers, and the so-called artist just signs them and collects the checks. These are the basis of the Made in China Industry , including major top Chinese names such as Liu Xiaodong , Jia Aili , Zeng Fang Zhi, Fang Li Jun and Zhang Xiaogong. And Yue Mngjun. These are darlings of the West that promoted their art simply based on profits , and bery little to do with genuine , Chinese characteristics and Culture. 
  3. The Chinese Art Market is also divided, between Mainland China and Hong Kong. The latter with a greater western influence. 
  4. And there is also Taiwanese Art, which has its characteristics that are also highly influenced by other cultures. Nevertheless Taiwan is known to be one of the main reservoir of true Chinese Art and Culture. 
  5. China has a strict online rules, the famous Chinese firewall, that precludes all population to access the internet. This includes, Google , Facebook ,  Instagram , Whatsup and most of the other well-known and mostly used sites in the West. 
  6. So the new trend that most western buyers , use to research on line for Chinese artist, outside China is simply one impossibility.  Very few , Chinese artists have websites,  and the ones that have are on most occasions living in the West. In short , the principles that are in place to international art , cannot be applied tp Chinese art. 
  7. The internet is also, not quite suited for Chinese art for one simple reason. Most of genuine Chinese art ,  is not made with oil or acrylic ….mostly done with ink and water colours , that makes it impossible to be reproduced via a screen let alone appreciated. It simply blurs the colours, shades and layers. In short impossible to be viewed on line. Also ,  one fact that people do not realise that in Chinese language , there may be many ways to write in ping yin , a Chinese character . This also ads to the difficulty to the attempted cross of cultures. 
  8. Very few westerners, art curators, art directors and experts are privy to Chinese Art, or basic language as it is essential and requires a very deep understanding of Chinese Culture, History, Religion, Politics, and Traditions. As well as the mandatory understanding of the complex layers of the language, the long history of the different dynasties, political movements and the regional divisions between the fifty-six ethnic groups, from Mongolians to Han Chinese.
  9. So to grasp Chinese Art is often for Westerners a very difficult proposition, and one might say a virtual and visual challenge, as the mind cannot process all the nuances that are expressed by the forms, characters and poetry embedded in each artwork. Also, many art experts and customers try to acquire knowledge online, oblivious that most social media platforms and even Google, are forbidden in China. The walls between the cultures are multiple and mostly unseen to the foreign eye. Just another example, any form of translation from Chinese is very limited and full of basic errors and misunderstandings.
  10. Due to the nature of the traditional Chinese medium, the usual art on paper, with watercolours and ink, is often not well represented on websites and the virtual world. It is far easier to appreciate and present oils and acrylic artwork online. Thus the often acceptance from Western experts of the so-called Made in China for the west, which is tailored exclusively to please the western eyes. It is a considerable difference between art created inside China ,  and by Chinese living abroad , that tailor their talent and works to satisfy their potential Western buyers. Sadly, genuine Chinese Art Works are still a privilege of the few outside China, with very limited exposure to the general public. 

Despite all of the above, Chinese Art is a magical and fascinating universe that many find impossible to resist, me included. Art often bridges all the differences with a touch of talent, emotions, and our common humanity that we can all feel and understand, through our universal language of the heart. 

In 2005, Akartasia decided to represent exclusively the original artworks of artists living in China. Of course, this has presented a challenge, but also an opportunity for local artists to expand their reach beyond their borders, and customers in the West, to appreciate genuine Chinese artwork. 

We are so privileged to have been able to collaborate with rare talents such as Lei Zi ren , proud to have introduced many emerging artists, never seen before outside China, A few eventually became internationally recognised names like Liu Chun Hai, Niu Kai and Mu Yu. 

We are so fortunate to be a very small part of this amazing Legacy to our civilisation and superb Asian culture and traditions , while trying to support all the ones we reach, including the children we were are able to support along the Way. 

The Journey continues …