It seems that it’s that time of the year again – I’ve not done very much creating recently (no time or storage space, and I’ve not sold enough to clear some room in the studio) but have been looking back at what I’ve done over the past year in terms of work and shows.
One of the first things I did after last summer was provide a whole lot of artwork for a special performance by Shanghai-based band Hogchoker (Check out the Bandcamp page here - https://hogchokershanghai.bandcamp.com/?fbclid=IwAR1ptQc089CyAZ_bRLMkrvyKGmUrUKR3OSKRGTnZQSjMz-cNYDTzK17uDIc) at the legendary YYT club in Shanghai. This was the swansong for this incarnation of the band, although they do live on in another form.
I was also in a couple of shows at the Yinuo Gallery in Shanghai. The first, ‘On the Scene’, started in August 2018 and ran until October.
I had a couple of pieces from my Middle Kingdom on show – ‘After the Fall’ and ‘Portraits of the Doomed’.
The second show at the same gallery was called ‘Free Voice’ and took place in December 2018. Some of my ‘In Bad Dreams’ pieces were featured in this.
I was also involved in another online art exhibition, called Art Laozi, from August to September 2018 (check out the link here - https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/3xlfD0BUfRrFkHlgpL5mxg). Two of my pieces were featured as part of this: ‘A Campaign of Sparrows’ from the Middle Kingdom series and ‘In A Silent Place’ from my ‘In Mourning’ series.
I’ve also been involved in a few shows with an art group in China called FRONT. The first was an online show called ‘Unbounded’ in October 2018 (link here - https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/IjHVXQbqn6efOo3fkUoZUQ) which included some of my digital artwork, specifically the ‘Eschatology’ series.
The second, called ‘Visual Field’, took place at an art museum in Tianjin (a city in north China) in December 2018. This was a very big show and came with a catalogue! Included in this show was one of my ‘Roots’ paintings – ‘The Memory of Fire’
A second show organized by FRONT took place in Jiaxing, China in May 2019. This was a bit smaller scale than the Tianjin show (60 something artists as opposed to around 200) and was called ‘Sort de la Nature, dans la nature’. Another of my Middle Kingdom pieces was featured here – ‘Things Fall Apart’.
In March 2019 one of my ‘Roots’ paintings, ‘The Body Within The Body’ was included in an exhibition called ‘Outside Experience’ which took place in the Gui Zhi Gallery in Wanzhou, China.
Not entirely sure what is going on in that last picture – some sort of performance art I would guess.
I also took part in another online show in March, this one organized by EASACI in China (link here: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/YEUvA3oskFDcABmucdysPA), for work considered experimental in some way. Some of my abstract works on paper were included in this. The same platform also did an interview with me, which can be seen here: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/hCVd7TEIanTURW6XQPpRMw)
May was quite a busy month, starting with the launch exhibition of the Muse&um space in Shanghai, organised by the same team that arranged the art hotel show in December 2017. I was asked to participate and showed the first of my ‘Mapping History’ pieces.
Yes, that is me drunkenly talking about the painting. The bright side was the loss of shyness led to me meeting a Chinese/Brazilian artist called Wendy who caused me to be included in a show later that month. She also, through introducing me to her uncle, caused me to be included in the Citizen Art Fair at a hotel in Shanghai (for context, check this link: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/O9VaIj-HYEeTNy-6ibQsOw)
Meeting somebody also led to my work being displayed in a wine shop in Shanghai. This somebody features again in relation to something even more important to me, so will remain a mystery for a couple of paragraphs.
Some of my digital work was also included in an online exhibition called ‘Dreamtime’ organised by the Lys D’Or gallery in Italy (link here: https://lysdorart.wixsite.com/lysdorgroupshows/copia-di-global-warming-water-wars-1?utm_campaign=fa1eeb17-4faf-4776-b510-6953b7b2438f&utm_source=so).
The biggest show of 2019 for me, so far, was the ‘Frames of Mind’ group show which took place in the DeHeart gallery in the M50 art district of Shanghai in late May.
The show included quite a few pieces of mine, from the ‘In Bad Dreams’, ‘Middle Kingdom’ and ‘Heads’ series. And also led to a very nice review by the wonderful Heather (link here: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/aE94QTGF0D_rhyy77m9nUA). And a video of me speaking about my work and process:
In early 2019, I met the mystery person mentioned a couple paragraphs back, who has since become a friend and also opened a few doors for me. This mystery person is Opoku Mensah, an artist from Ghana currently based in Europe. Besides from linking me with the wine shop, he also introduced me to Edward of Circle Triangle Square, an art platform based in the UK, who have signed me on as one of their stable of artists, agreeing to represent me and specific series of my work (link here: https://www.circletrianglesquare.co.uk/andrew-cole). They will be helping find potential buyers and exhibition opportunities for the work they represent. The future looks bright, exciting times ahead – now I just need to find the time to make the bloody work!