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Art Review: Chinese New Year at Nottingham Lakeside Arts

24 January 17 words: Lizzie Hyland

It's the Year of the Rooster, so get your cock crowing. We got down to Lakeside Arts to get a look at the launch of their extravagant Chinese New Year celebrations...

Lakeside Arts welcome in the Year of the Rooster and we attended their 2017 reception to get a sneak preview of what they have coming up. With events across Nottingham City Centre, Beeston and Arnold, the opening event introduced the variety of shows and exhibitions to follow.

The Rooster is the tenth animal according to the Chinese zodiac. People who are born in the year of the Rooster are, not surprisingly, called ‘Roosters’, and if you happen to be one, take note; a ‘Rooster’s’ lucky numbers are 5, 7 and 8, and their lucky colours are gold, brown and yellow.

The opening reception at Lakeside featured the stunning photography of Yuan-Hsiung Wang and Xue Qia, that will run in exhibition at the Wallner Gallery at Lakeside Arts until 12 February. They travelled around Southwest China on a motor bike, using their own photography to document the work of traditional artisans. The photographs reveal the colour and creativity found in many traditional crafts that are rarely seen or shared with the contemporary world. Shining through the vibrant textiles, intricate embroidery and meticulous work featured in the photographs, are the smiles of the people in these portraits. A beautifully positive portrayal of traditional Chinese work and culture.

Jiang Hongsheng, Jack to those who know him, has made his return visit from Ningbo and brought his paint brushes with him. He is running workshops in Chinese brush painting where we can try our hand at painting plum blossom and bamboo. At the reception, Jack was demonstrating his signature peony brush painting, using a special technique to ripple petals across parchment.

The highlight of the evening was the chance to experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. The beautiful and charming Beibei Yeili and Dandan Zhang, who work with the Nottingham Confucius Institute and take classes at Alderman White School, delicately demonstrated the art of tea drinking in China. The wonderfully mindful way of preparing and drinking oolong tea was mesmerising and incredibly calming, a simple ‘put the kettle on love’ suddenly seemed somewhat hasty.
Lakeside Arts have a host of events coming up to celebrate Chinese New Year, not to be missed will be their Jixiang (Propitious) evenings on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January. The Nottingham-based digital artist Barret Hodgson has been commissioned to illuminate the University’s Trent Building with projections of exquisite Chinese artwork. This firework display for the digital age is set to be a wonderfully unique way to welcome in the new year, a true celebration for the beauty found in both traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

Lanterns, dragons and dancers will fill Market Square, Beeston Square and Arnold Civic Centre in the coming weeks. Once again, Lakeside Arts is set to host some of Nottingham’s most diverse and exciting Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Chinese New Year 2017 Reception was at D H Lawrence Pavilion, Nottingham Lakeside Arts on Wednesday 18 January 2017.

Lakeside Arts

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