In the heart of Shanghai 在上海的中心

Scotland_edited_edited.jpg

2019

24cms (W) x 30cms (H)

Oil on Panel

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I was approached about doing a painting for a charity art event in Shanghai. The charity, Heart to Heart, Shanghai funds operations for disadvantaged chinese children who have congenital heart defects.

So at a very literal level, this is about a little girl being led towards a brighter future (the essence of the charity). I also wanted to capture what I consider to be another aspect of Shanghai's character (or heart) which are the old alleyways and lanes. These claustrophobic, sometimes grimey little networks of streets were once the main dwellings of Shanghainese citizens (in fact a lot of people I work with grew up in such areas). They're very different to the european communities I am used to; as people seem to live on top of each other; sharing kitchens, bathrooms, bathing in the street, drying laundry in public etc. Due to their largely unfit for purpose housing (cold, leaky, often unhygienic) and the vast economic potential of the land on which they exist, a lot of these areas are being evacuated and flattened; with the people are moved to more modern accommodation; and the land being converted to malls, offices, creative spaces and apartment blocks. In one sense, I see this as a replacement of the heart of the city. The modern version may well be much better on many different dimensions but I want to capture some of the historic heart before it's gone.

上海慈善机构“心连心”联系到我要为上海的一次慈善艺术活动画一幅画,这个慈善机构为患有先天性心脏缺陷的中国弱势儿童提供资金。

所以,字面意义,这是有关一个小女孩被引领向更光明的未来(慈善事业的本质)的画。我还想捕捉老旧的小巷,我觉得它们是上海特色(或核心)的一部分。这些幽闭的,甚至有点脏脏的小巷曾经是上海居民的主要住所(实际上,很多我的同事都是在这样的小巷里长大的)。它们与我习惯的欧洲社区有很大的不同。人们似乎紧挨着生活,共用厨房,浴室,在外面洗澡,衣服晾在公共区域等。由于它们非常不宜居(冷,漏水,通常不卫生),而且所在地段的土地具有巨大的经济潜力,所以这些地区很多都在拆迁,人们被转移到更现代的住宿环境,这些地方变成购物中心,办公室,创意空间和公寓楼。从某种意义上说,我认为这是“城市之心”的替代。现代的环境可能在许多方面要好得多,但我想在它消失之前捕捉住这个城市历史性的心跳。