Published on October 16, 2013 | by Beau Bass


Chelsea’s Chinese takeaway

Bamboo art installation from Shanghai

The Shine exhibit at Chelsea is part of a cultural exchange project with Shanghai [Alice Russell]

Undergraduates from Chelsea are collaborating in a project with Shanghai Institute of Visual Art (SIVA).

The City Square Project was initiated by staff at the colleges to enable collaboration between art and design students in Shanghai and London.

The venture has given fine art, interior and spatial design students the chance to work with students from SIVA who are studying Public Art.

Work from China has been installed on the Chelsea Parade Ground while Chelsea students’ pieces are being displayed outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai.

Time difference

Students have been in contact with each other via Skype to develop their ideas.

Chelsea students have also produced videos to help their counterparts in Shanghai understand where their work is being shown.

The participants have faced issues such as the eight-hour time difference, which made arranging Skype sessions difficult, as well as the language barrier.

One of the staff involved, Philip Courtenay said: “Everyone involved has to revisit the meaning of the terms and language that we use to think, create, act and produce contemporary art and design. So the difficulties on the cultural and the communication aspects of the project are a definite advantage.”

Cultural gap

BA Interior and Spatial Design student Chiaki Matsumoto added: “These experiences turned out to be precious for my future career.”

Courtenay also believes this project will bridge a cultural gap between England and China: “When Chelsea students arrive in Shanghai next year they will already be part of a developing network of connections amongst an international creative community.

“These connections will lead to possible futures that will help shape the cultural life of these twin cities of Shanghai and London in terms of place making and an art experience designed for all city citizens.”

This project continues into next year as the work of Chelsea students will not go on display in Shanghai until April 2014.




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