London Chinatown’s Major Public Art Commissions


Friday, 25 April, 2008

Content Chinatown Arts Space - an organisation that supports East Asian visual and performing arts (and who are also one of my clients), have just opened up online voting for two new public art commissions for London's Chinatown.

One commission is to be a mural placed in Horse & Dolphin Yard and the other a sculpture to be housed in Wardour Street.

What I find interesting about this, aside from the cultural awareness benefits that may result for the UK's Chinese culture, is the nature of the entries. I think they would provide a snapshot of where we are cultural, particularly in the level of quality of the entries.

Overall, I find that there is a touch of obvious cultural references and style. Bright colours or muted traditional scrolls. And of course, Bruce Lee. I'm not too impress with the murals, athough I like the idea of Wing Kei Wong's bowl of rice made up of hundreds of photographs of Chinatown, past and present. The visual composition idea isn't new, but I hope its a cheeky nod to those automatically composed digital posters made up of frames from Star Wars for example, to form a giant Yoda portrait.

Bruce Lee

Rice Bowl

Sculpture-wise, Hsiao-Chi Tsai and Kimiya Yoshikawa's Lion seems like a re-interpretation of lion statues seen guarding doors and gateways of oriental streets and buildings. This caught my eye because its colourful bulk is intended to arise from perspex shapes. I'd love to see it created in real life to capture what little sun we get in the UK.


The fact that such an arts commission exists so openly in Chinatown I think is a first? I don't remember anything like this happening in recent years, although of course, there are Chinese artist commissions, which I suspect happen behind closed doors with the results appearing in intimate, less populated galleries.

I believe its a positive thing and I delight in the thought of old school, cash oriented Chinese, who misunderstand art and design, believing its all a waste of time. Thanks CAS for organising and if you're reading this before the 11th May, 2008, then get voting!

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bruce lee is the man, the legend, and the hero Picture of art gallery

Posted by art gallery

on 24/05/08 at 11:03 PM
I love London! Picture of Abaddon

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on 06/06/08 at 06:44 AM
yes. London is one my favorite cities. Picture of Nature

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on 28/07/08 at 04:59 PM
The bowl of rice looks eggcellent! Picture of Tasty Kebab!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) in London

on 18/08/08 at 01:41 AM
The arts are a great way to facilitate cultural understanding and mutual respect. Picture of designer closets

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) in around

on 06/09/08 at 12:12 PM
Great to see the open space being used in such a creative way. I wish other areas could embrace this concept. Picture of Adventure Art Travel

Posted by Adventure Art Travel

on 19/09/08 at 07:29 PM
I finally saw the winner of the mural for Horse & Dolphin Yard - which is Wing Kei Wong's bowl of rice.

I'm ashamed to say, having lived in London all my life with Chinatown a regular venue, I'd never even been down the 'Yard'!

Anyway, the mural is huge and high up - you can't really see the individual photos.

One criticism though is that according to some friends I was with, it reminded them of an eye. I think the rim of the bowl is too straight rather than curved down (the real life mural, not the mock up above), so it doesn't help.
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on 21/09/08 at 12:01 AM

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