Eastman Cheng @Future Everything

Eastman Cheng is the current artist in residence at Chinese Arts Centre

12/05/10-21/08/10, Open studio from 19/08/10.

In order to get to know Manchester and its people, Eastman began her residency by taking part in Future Everything 2010 (12-15/05/10) with a two day workshop held at Contact theatre (13-14/05/10).


Participants were encouraged to give Eastman an object that related to either themselves or Manchester and explain its meaning with the help of drawing and writing on large sheets of paper.

In response Eastman made each person a small unique figure which represented the person’s relationship to the object, out of rubbers and other stationary she had brought with her from Hong Kong.

First up was Mr. Michael Anthony Barnes-Wynters aka Barney who said farewell to one of his collection of Golliwogs or Golly dolls as we are encouraged to call them these days.

Being from Hong Kong Eastman was not aware of American born English illustrator Florence Kate Uptons 19th century creation, his beginnings as a chivalrous hero, and later appropriation by Enid Blyton who turned him into an untrustworthy rascal, the use of Golliwog as a racist insult or his appearance on Robertson’s jam jars.

Uptons’ Gollywog is a caricature of an American minstrel doll, itself a caricature of the dancing mistrals who lampooned stereotypical black figures such as the happy-go-lucky plantation worker. Eastman’s response was to add to this long line of caricature but to insure no one would mistake the character of her afro wearing creation, he was emblazoned with a large red heart.

Follow the link below to see ‘CONTROL #1: Seeking Kind in Human’ featuring Barney making reference to Golliwog imagery and its connection to racism and violence towards people of African descent.


Ian Wearing

Ian brought Eastman the most attractive USB stick I have ever seen.

Designed by Koichiro Kimura (  http://www.koichiro-kimura.com/index.swf)  as a promotional tool for the city of Sendai, Japan the USB sticks are laser cut out of wood and covered in gold leaf.


…were one of the four international partners who delivered a networked satellite event as part of GloNet during which this piece of lustrous design was mentioned.


Ian was given the USB stick when members of a company from Sendai visited Vision+Media, where he works in Salford Quays, earlier this year.


In return for passing his gift on to Eastman, Ian received a rubber figure that had all the cool of contemporary design, hand crafted in front of him by Eastman and if I may be so bold also suited his casual minimal style.

Keri Facer

Keri a key note speaker at future everything was instantly attracted to the idea of Eastman’s workshop. http://www.futureeverything.org/festival2010/Keynote_Keri_Facer

Her object was a small compass she had been given when she visited Heligan gardens with her husband. http://www.heligan.com/ The compass had served to aid her fond memories of the day and she was understandably reluctant to part with it. Never the less she began to draw and describe Heligan gardens and her visit.

In 1914 Heligan gardens lost all of its gardeners to the Great War and slipped out of public knowledge until 1990 when it was rediscovered and restored. Keri mentioned how she had been moved by the still visible names of the gardeners signed on the wall in 1914 and how she had enjoyed the company of her husband and the peace of the gardens.

When presented with her rubber figure complete with compass arrow and foliage Keri seemed very pleased to have received something sensitive to her memories and an addition to their story. She then happily added her compass to Eastman’s growing collection of objects.

Lowri Evans

Lowri is a local artist who recently carried out a series of performances on the platform at Salford Central station, in the run up to ‘Sounds from the Other City’.



Lowri had just bought a new purse and Eastman’s workshop provided an opportunity to pass on her old one and its memories.

As Lowri made a written and illustrated record of her old purse she told us that she had just enjoyed the opportunity to sit and have a chat with a friend who lives in Sao Paulo thanks to the Glonet Front Room. She had arranged to meet her friend on the sofa in the front room lovingly created within two venues in Manchester and Sao Paulo where you could sit comfortable and see a person on the other side of the globe appear next to you on the screen in front of you.

Checking her old purse for the last time Lowri removed a picture of the Taj Mahal and explained how she always keeps it in her purse and that it’s often a talking point with Indian taxi drivers.


Eastman gave Lowri’s rubber figure attractive henna patterned Taj Mahal-esque towers that drew attention to the surprising number of ways we are linked to so many far away places through memory, technology and each other.

Emma-louise Batt

Emma-Louise came to tell us about her passion for crosswords and introduced Eastman to the Manchester Evening News. Instead of drawing and writing to aid the explanation of her object she completed the puzzles page of the MEN and handed that over to Eastman. In return Emma-Louise received a rubber man with a very fashionable crossword jacket.

Gass Pendergast

I gave Eastman an empty bottle of Metaxa brandy (http://www.metaxa.com/home-800002.html#), an example of how like many people I find myself retaining things of little aesthetic, functional or monetary value that growing sentimentality alone prevents me from throwing away. Brought back from Greece and given to me by my girlfriend’s father this bottle which is too thin to even hold a candle safely has been carried between five different houses over the past seven years.

Eastman gave my rubber figure the characteristics of a sea creature that searches the ocean floor adding objects to its body, like a hermit crab adding poisonous sea anemones to its shell, for extra protection from predators. The pieces of rubber used to give this appearance also resemble pieces of old glass bottles worn smooth by the sea.

Continuing the alcohol theme I promised to help continue Eastman’s introduction to Manchester by taking her to the Marble Arch for a pint of its locally brewed beer.


More pictures from the two days at Contact.

Forthcoming – First Step

‘Note to Self’
15 May – 15 September 2010

Notes to Self are Illustrated ideas from notes and memories that are written in moments of madness and or clarity. TXLW is a Manchester based artist whose drawings have found themselves onto walls, bags, furniture, posters, flyers, tables, canvas, paper and the odd face. She enjoys cups of tea, moments (not the melting kind) observing and of course creating artworks.

Her work is constantly evolving and often relates to personal experiences or observations when in public places with a sub-conscious twist. Characters, text, patterns and organic forms take shape once the pen hits the paper and the music is turned on loud.

Please have a look at her Flikr for more images here:

Garden Party Design

Gordon Cheung

Negotiable Values invites seven artists from the UK and China to create works in response to idea of ethics and moral choices. Gordon Cheung is one of the participating artists in our new show.

Brueghels Highway

Cheung’s landscape pantings combine sparay paint, acrylic gel, Chinese ink drawing and computer manipulated imagery which is applied to a collage of Financial Times stockmarket listings.

Cheung’s work is unsettling and against the backdrop of finance and commodity he creates a dystopian cyberspace. Exotic neon colours are painted over the faded pink stocks and shares newspaper cuttings that are meticulously collaged into the scene. These post apocalyptic panoramas subvert the language of landscape painting and explore notions of power, belief and control in the global age.

The Whitworth Art Gallery aquired the above work a couple of years ago but I first saw his work at Chinese Art Centre in his  Death By A Thousand Cuts  solo show – The title being a aplayful reference to the cut/paste techniques that he uses to depict his hallucinogenic visions.

Negotiable Values investigates the prices of progress and Cheungs work could possibly serve as a warning to us about the pace of advancement.

More info can be found at http://www.gordoncheung.com

Negotiable Values 22nd January – 3rd April 2010

Negotiable Values invites seven artists from the UK and China to create works in response to idea of ethics and moral choices. Developed out of a dialogue with Yan Yan, Director of 501 Arts Space, Chongqing, the exhibition brings together artists’ works which explore the notion of advancement and raises questions about the price of progress.

Leading up to our show Negotiable Values I thought I’d give you a little info on each of the participating artists. Starting today with Rachel Goodyear.

Boxers 2009 Rachel Goodyear pencil and watercolour on paper

Rachel Goodyear was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1978 and graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University. Since then she has lived and worked in Manchester.

Goodyear started off as a painter but concentrates now solely on drawing. Adopting an observational approach, her characters have no context or history. Often blackly funny they depict a darker psychological undercurrent. She explores the relationships between individual drawings by exhibiting them in changing displays and contexts, advertising the sculptural side of drawing.

Goodyear has regularly exhibited in the UK and abroad. Solo exhibitions include The Converging Ends Were Misaligned, Pippy Houldsworth, London (2009) and Solo Project, NEXT, Chicago (2008). She has also exhibited collectively in Post Notes at the ICA, London (2005); Made Up, Tate Liverpool (Biennal 2008-9) and The Unheimlich, Leeds Met (2008).

Rachel Goodyear is currently nominated for the Northern Art Prize. Her work is on show at Leeds Art Gallery until 21st February.



Nest 2009 Rachel Goodyear pencil and watercolour on paper

Jamie Lau 9th – 22nd January 2010

Currently, as part of the Whisper Residency, Jamie Lau is in residence at Chinese Arts Centre.

Jamie Lau works in photography, video and sculpture. His latest series The Dark Ages explores the relationship between commerce and social isolation set against the backdrop of fast food culture.

For his Whisper residency he will be developing the series by combining the fast food restaurants in Manchester with backdrops shot in the Peak District. He will be creating fictional landscapes combining the built environment with the natural world, pictorial metaphors for unsympathetic human development and commercial expansion.

There is certainly a plethora of takeaways in the Northern Quarter for him to choose from. A personal favourite of mine is Abergeldies which I can see from where I am sitting now. Yum.

Please come and visit Jamie in his studio space. If you want to check out more of his work have a look at his website http://www.jamielau.co.uk/ for more information.

Jamie’s studio will also be open on the night of our launch of our new show Negotiable Values.  Preview night is on 21st January.

See you there!

Daniel Staincliffe & Sarah Sanders Project Space 1 – 23 December 2009

In January 2009, Sarah Sanders spent 1month in Chongqing as part of the Breathe Chongqing residency at 501 Artspace. In April 2009 Daniel was artist in residence at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing. Chinese Arts Centre will provide both artists the opportunity to use our project space simultaneously to present works completed during their residencies and to develop their enquiries further. Both artists graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University and have remained working in the city. Daniel utilises disposable cameras, wooden mechanical structures, audio and video recording devices and paper to explore the subtleties in our everyday environments. Chance is often employed to avoid total conscious control of the product. Sarah attempts to capture the passing of time in drawing. Her sensitivity for the materials she uses informs her action and non-action in the process of the work. A shift in her concerns towards the performance aspects in her work has caused her to question and explore live performance art. The project space will be open to the public throughout December.

Friday 20th November – David Hancock

Thursday 19th November – Anthony’s World

Yingmei Duan and Anthony Yates have collaborated since Yingmei started her residency in Chinese Arts Centre. This collaboration culminated in a performance together on Thursday 19th November.  Anthony’s work was shown in Yingmei’s space. Yingmei asked Anthony about his life and asked him to describe his work. Prominent themes in his work emerged such as religion, historical figures and future architecure. Members of the audience were asked to contribute to the interview to discover more about Anthony Yates’ work.

To add one meter to an anonymous mountain

Photographer: Lü Nan

Approx. 20 min.
An anonymous mountain in Beijing, China, 1995


The artistic career of Chinese Yingmei Duan begins as a painter in China. In the 90 years she comes to the “East Village”, an artists’ quarter of Beijing and catches up with the contemporary avant-garde. Thus she attends the now famous performance “To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain”.

This was a live performance with Wang Shihua, Cang Xin, Gao Yang, Zuoxiao Zuzhou, Ma Zongyin, Zhang Huan, Ma Liuming, Zhang Binbin and Zhu Ming This is a collaborative work by the Beijing East-Village artists. This live performance begins with each of the artists being weighed by Kong Bu. He then ordered the artists determined by weight and they began to build a human mountain by lying on top of each other. The heaviest lay down first, and the lightest lay down last. Collectively when stacked the height of the bodies was one meter high.

Open Studio

Daily Live Performances from 17 November – 24 November 2009 (excluding 22nd and 23rd)

During her residency at Chinese Arts Centre, Yingmei Duan has undertaken a performance and research project which investigates how art is experienced in the UK.

The research has focussed upon the many facets of art education and Yingmei has conducted intensive research by attending art classes in schools and many workshops and educational projects. After her residency in Manchester she will take this project to Germany and China culminating in a live art event featuring a debate between arts educators, art professionals and the general public.



During her Open Studio Yingmei will be performing a series of collaborative Live Art events in Chinese Arts Centre:

Yingmei Duan and Lu Di 17 November 2009 @ 2.30pm

Yingmei Duan and Anthony Yates 18 November 2009 @ 2.30pm

Yingmei Duan and David Hancock 21 November 2009 @ 3pm

Yingmei Duan with 10 Art Students 24 November 2009 @ 2pm

Yingmei Duan with Ya-nung Huang and Branka Vidovic Yingmei’s residency at Chinese Arts Centre is supported by Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.