Written by Wu Jinjing
1.Something about yourself?
In Scotland, I worked mostly in arts education, in schools and in communities, and regularly exhibited my work (mainly textiles). When my husband, Farhad, retired in 2010, it opened up the possibility of us doing something more useful with our lives. We both longed to serve in China, so we made a plan to move there. Our son, Adam, was already in Xi’an, (his gap year was turning into a gap decade) having moved to China in 2003 when he was seventeen.
Soon after we arrived in January 2011, Adam introduced me to some artists working in the textile district, and I was able to display a new work (The Peace Tree) at the 90 Minutes Live Art Show in the Vegetable market there. Farhad and I went to Chinese classes, we both got some work teaching English, but I gradually moved into my own area of expertise, art. For a year I taught at the Hanova International School, which was an amazing experience. I left Xi’an in May 2014 to return to Scotland to attend to some business there.
2.What do you expect of your art show?
I hope that more people will get a chance to see my work, and that this may lead to further interesting collaborations in the future. All the paintings are for sale, and naturally I will be pleased if people enjoy looking at my work so much that they want to own it.
3.Why the show is in Xian and in RED gallery?
I was very excited to be invited to show my work in the RED Gallery. This came about through contact between my daughter in law, RongRong, and the Gallery Director, Vida. I feel very honoured to be the featured artist at this inaugural exhibition of the RED Gallery.
4.Which art piece do you like the most in the show? Why?
That’s a bit like asking me which of my children is my favourite! The Still Life with the teddy bear, perhaps. It represents some of the items I acquired while staying in Xi’an. The non-Chinese eye, a cast of a Michaelangelo sculpture, gives a surreal and quirky touch to the otherwise familiar objects.
5.What do you miss the most after you left Xian China?
I started writing a very long list of all the things I miss, but the main thing I miss is the Chinese people. The helpfulness, kindness and utter honesty we experienced – and taxi drivers are on top of the list. No vanity, no conceit, simple hearted and pure, the Chinese people themselves are what I miss most about China. Now I feel homesick for Xi’an!