The Acrobat (Chinese flag version), JIWU Art Space, Nanjing, China, 2016
In the summer of 2000 I made my first travel to China. I was invited for a project in Foshan, a city near Hong Kong. From there I travelled to Jingdezhen, known as the city of porcelain. Since that time the dynamics of the city and its people have taken a hold on me. I travelled through the country and did a few small projects.
THE BIG STEP
Back in The Netherlands I was working on a project for the city of Vlaardingen. I wanted to find the most beautiful spot in this town so I asked the owner of a Chinese restaurant to do so. It is my believe that a foreigner can observe a town in a better way than a local. In reverse, I went to his hometown, Wenzhou in China to find my favourite spot. A project called The Big Step was born.
The Big Step, 2002.
On request of Zoetermeer I started to visit Xiamen to do research about the art scene and its artists. It was the start of a long term exchange project between the artists from the two cities.
FAR AWAY COUNTRIES
A year later, on request of the EKWC, I selected 3 artists from China to work with me at the same time in the EKWC in Den Bosch. The artists I selected were Xia Dewu, Hai Chen and Wan Liya. We called the project Far away countries. That year the works that were made during the project were shown in the EKWC. Later that year, I travelled to China and I was a visiting teacher Art in Public Space at the Xiamen University.
In 2006, the works from the Far away countries project were brought to China and shown in the CAFA Gallery Beijing. Later the works were shipped back to The Netherlands and shown at the museum in Den Bosch.
FOUR STEP SNAKE
Together with Hans van Bentem and Wan Liya I formed the group named Four Step Snake. The result was a group exhibition in Jingdezhen, China. Not much later I started my own studio in Sculpture Factory in Jingdezhen.
With the Four Step Snake I made a second exhibition that took place in both Jingdezhen and Shanghai. The third one was a year later at Two Cities Gallery, Shanghai.
Officials from the city of Jingdezhen asked me to bring them in contact with a city in The Netherlands. I told them that only the city of Delft makes real sense because of a shared history: blue and white ceramics. It would be the start of a long term project named The Blue Revolution, 400 Years Exchange: Delft - Jingdezhen.
In 2008, I brought the mayor of Delft Mr. Bas Verkerk to Jingdezhen. I was since 400 years, after the VOC trading the porcelain, both cities were in contact again. Then I was officially appointed as Chief Exchange Delft-Jingdezhen.
In my new role I organized and presented the Delft booth at the Jingdezhen International Ceramic Fair for the first time. It was the first time Royal Delft was presented in China. The booth wins the first prize.
As part of a group of eight artists, I made the first collection of art for the Dutch part of the World Ceramic Museum in Fu Ping.
2009 was the year I organized and presented the Delft booth at the Jingdezhen International Ceramic Fair for the second time as part of the 400 Years Exchange.
In The Netherlands, I was teaching ceramics at the Willem de Kooning Academy. Also students from Artez were invited. A selected group of students went with me to Shanghai and Jingdezhen to work on a project with the name Transformers.
My first solo exhibition in China was at C-Space Beijing. C-Space is a big and new gallery in Beijing, owned by Melle Hendrikse. Friend and artist Hans van Bentem had his solo exhibition at the same period in the gallery.
Adriaan Rees is organizing and presenting the Delft booth at the China Jingdezhen International Ceramic Fair for the third time.
Delft and Jingdezhen are signing a sister city agreement in Jingdezhen
At the same time Adriaan Rees is the project manager for the first Dutch Artist in Residence in Jingdezhen, Pepijn van den Nieuwendijk.
© Adriaan Rees, 2016-2018. All rights reserved.