Tag Archives: chinese

Q Art Presents, Show Convenor


One of the interesting events at the Q Art Presents exhibition at the APT Gallery in Deptford was an end of show convenor. Exhibitors were given the chance to talk about their work and have a Q&A session. I always find this process so helpful as it highlights elements of the work which are and are not working.

I find it interesting how universal our fascination with bones is. I think it’s something primal in us that makes us more aware of our own mortality. Part repulsion, part intrigue; a freak show of objects. I’ve found similar effects with fur, skin, and wood. We are drawn to our caveman past like staring into the flames of a fire.

This piece is called ‘Bones’. An intentionally literal title. It is a new version of a piece I first conceived of during my residency at the Chinese Arts Centre. The first Chinese calligraphy was found carved into bones so I thought it would be interesting to dye bones entirely with Chinese ink and use each bone as a calligraphic stroke, with smaller bone fragments mirroring the way the ink stroke fragments on textured paper as the ink runs out.

I opted for the character for bones partly because it is so literally describing what its made from, and that amused me. I was also motivated by the fact that, to me, the character looks like a human figure, showing both our bones as the framework of us, and elements of characters, letters, ink strokes, as the framework of language and visual language. ‘ told that the top of the character means flesh, and the bottom part means bones, together meaning bones. It is customarily polite to ask for a bone if you actually want flesh.


Thanks to Jess Blandford for the bottom photo. You can see more of her photos from the whole show here.

A huge thank you to Sarah Rowles who founded Q-Art, a great organisation, and Erica Shiozaki who co-curated the show with Sarah. A lot of hard work and a great result. There were some wonderful relationships occurring between the works in the show, particularly the triangulating black fragments in the front space. Bliss!

Morphic Antonyms

Here are some photos from my ‘Open Studio’ exhibition at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester following my residency there. I had such a great time during my ‘Whisper Residency’. I look forward to further exploring some of the themes I started looking at whilst I was there.

Whisper Residency


Originally uploaded by fionalongart.

I’m excited to announce that I will be taking part in a ‘Whisper Residency’ at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester, starting later this month!

During the residency, I will explore how images can be seen differently depending on our comprehension of them. In my artistic practice, I’m interested in how susceptible we are, as humans, to see faces in things. With my degrees in both Fine Art and Psychology, I find the ways in which we cognitively interpret image fascinating. Chinese calligraphy is so beautiful to look at, and yet I have no idea what any of the characters mean. I will spend the residency investigating Chinese characters, particularly those that may look like faces and make highly laboured paintings and drawings from them. With the understanding of their meaning, and years of calligraphy practise, these characters can be drawn in seconds. To make laboured drawings with hundreds of ‘timid’ marks is rather paradoxical. I would love to discover how these drawings would then be interpreted by British and Chinese cultures. An exploration of whether I had somehow altered or mutated the meaning of a character through poor transcription is one of the aims of the project. I also aim to show how image can transcend language with this body of work.

Luckily, my residency has been timed to coincide with Infinite Strokes: Chinese Ink Painting; Mary Tang & Cathy Wu. There will be workshops and demonstrations for visitors to the space and I’ll be able to join in too! I look forward to hopefully collaborating with and learning from Mary and Cathy!

My residency takes place from the 27th August to 11th September with my Open Studio exhibition on Friday 24th September. If you’re able, it would be lovely to see you at the open studio, or you can pop in during my residency to see what I’m up to. Let me know though since I’ll be going on various research trips and would hate to miss your visit! You could also come along to one of the calligraphy workshops:

Mary Tang
Saturday 28 August
For families and children: 10am – 11:45am
For Adults: 1pm – 3:15pm

Cathy Wu
Saturday 4 September
For families and children: 10am – 11:45am
For Adults: 1pm – 3:15pm