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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial 2015-2016

Learn more about the Shenzhen Watercolour Biennial at

The 250 paintings showcased in the 2015 Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition attest to the vitality and range of the convention, transparent watercolor on paper, as well as to its reinvention: the addition of opaque paint, as well as acrylic on surfaces layered, encrusted, sometimes even abraded. The resulting innovation renders depth of field not only an illusion but a radiant actuality. Ranging in theme—from the contradictions of the rural tradition as it collides with the density of urban life—to the complexities of our (international) experience of confinement: the interior space of the home, the office, the city, the subway, the mind—this exhibition is a mirror of our time.
All the works display mastery of craft as well as invention. Some pictures address and pay homage to the history of Chinese watercolor painting; manyoverturn our expectations of that tradition. Others are surprising in another way, as they reveal, with grace, wit, and sometimes, anguish, idiosyncratic perceptions and unsettling emotions. Many—from Asia as well as from Europe, Australia, America, etc.—yoke the Eastern and Western traditions—substituting Western for Asian motifs and vice versa, as the artists play (in the absolute best sense of that word) with the great gifts of the past. So consummately well executed was the work submitted that my fellow jurors and I had to make agonizing (and sometimes good-naturedly contentious) decisions. Every work in this exhibition is worthy of a prize.
What an extraordinary opportunity for artists who were invited to enter two works without paying a fee and then will have the honor of having work framed, installed, and viewed in a gorgeous venue in a gorgeous city. The call to bring artists from around the world together follows from Zhou Tianya’s far-reachingvision, unwavering commitment, and indefatigable effort. Thanks to him, his talented coworkers, and the support of Chinese officials, this exhibition is a triumph. It celebrates watercolor, of course—the legacy of past generations welcoming the next, and it gives credence to that most amorphous and vaporous emotion: hope.
Artists come together in a spirit of joy, generosity, and good will; the image transcends the differences and difficulties of culture and language. As the 2015 Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition reminds us, the finest works of art have always and will always enter our hearts, where they expand our understanding—whatever our daily lives are like, whatever language we speak, wherever we live.
Maureen Bloomfield,Juror,Editor in chief of The Artist’s Magazine

Best of Show - Urszula Wilk (Poland)

Zhou Tianya,CAA.AWS.NWS.
Curator and Organizer of the Shenzhen Watercolor Biennial

• What made you decide to put together such an event?
ZHOU:I have been active in the international watercolor in the past seven years and attended the world's leading international watercolor exhibitions and events. I have a full understanding of different watercolor art features, arts and cultural policies and organizations of exhibitions in the world. All that makes me deeply feel that the China watercolor seems to be in a self-loop system, independent of the outside world. China has the world's largest population of watercolorists. In my opinion, the overall level (especially realistic style watercolor art) is a leader in the world. But, because of differences in language and culture, few Chinese artists go abroad and foreign painters seldom enter China. That leads me to build a fair exchange platform for watercolor artists in the world in my city, to " bringing in watercolors of the world into China and sending Chinese watercolors out to the world" This is not only a growing demand, but also an urgent mission.

• What was your favorite part of the exhibition/awards ceremony?
My favorite part is the style diversification in this exhibition. Many Chinese artistic media, critics and I share the same view: This watercolor exhibition cannot boast that it has the highest level in China, but definitely has the most diverse styles. China watercolor takes realistic style as the mainstream, lacking the diversification as in the United States. I think this is the biggest drawback of China watercolor. This exhibition undoubtedly broadens the horizons of China watercolorists and enthusiasts to meet the thirst for diversification. This is also a key factor in this success which beyond my expectation.

• What did you learn that you weren't expecting to learn?
I am an artist first, secondly an organizer. As an artist, through organizing a contest, I learned how to participate in contest better. While organizing this important international event, I contacted a lot of different people, including artists, officials, jurors, audience etc from around the world. I also learned different views and insights on the art from them, I spent time and labor on this event, but more important and unexpected is that I harvested friendship from around the world.

Istanbul Excellence Award Sponsored by Can Berktas - Xi Guo (China/USA)

Honorable Mention Award - Chien Chung Wei (Taiwan)

Best of Show - Urszula Wilk (Poland)
Gold Medal Award - Ying Jinfei (China)
Asian Museum of Watercolor Art Grand Award - Hou Wei (China)
Silver Medal Award - Aleksandr Shumtsov                     (Russia)
Bronze Medal Award - Chen Fan (China)
Excellence Award - Angela Barbalace (USA)
Excellence Award- Cai Jian (China)
Excellence Award - Polina Egorushkina (Russia)
Excellence Award - Fu Bin (China)
Excellence Award - Hu Baoxin (China)
Excellence Award - Ji Gairong (China)
Excellence Award - Jie Yuanfang (China)
Excellence Award - Wang Qinlei (China)
Excellence Award - Ye Guoqiang (China)
Excellence Award - Ye Lianghua (China)
Istanbul Excellence Award Sponsored by Can Berktas - Xi Guo (China/USA)
JJC Industrier Watecolor of
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Waterxolors Award - John Salminen (USA)
Baohong Watercolor Paper Award Sponsored by Shi Liming - Yin Xiaokun (China)
St.Petersburg  White Night Watercolor Award
Sponsored by Artistic Paints Plant"Nevskaya - Huang Zhigang (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Elaine Daily-Birnbanum (USA)
Honorable Mention Award - Chien Chung Wei (Taiwan)
Honorable Mention Award - Kathleen Conover (USA)
Honorable Mention Award - Dragana Pajkovic Dodig (Serbia)
Honorable Mention Award - Min Sihan (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Hani Mirzaei  (Iran)
Honorable Mention Award –  Su Junquan (China)
Honorable Mention Award – Tan Gang (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Yang Yongjiang (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Klaudia Zawada (Poland)

Honorable Mention Award - Kathleen Conover (USA)

JJC Industrier Watecolor of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Waterxolors Award - John Salminen (USA)

Zhou Tianya - the organizer and curator of the Biennial

Can Berktash and Silver Medal Award - Aleksandr Shumtsov 

Bronze Medal Award - Chen Fan (China)

Contact Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition
Office address:Luohu Cultural Center, 2009 Taibai Road,Shenzhen City,Guangdong Prov., 518019 China

1 comment:

  1. St Petersburg White Nights Watercolours - Hello Konstantin, can you or anyone in your community tell me if they use St Petersburg White Nights watercolours? I have heard of them but unfortunataely it is very difficult to find any information about them. Do all Russian watercolourists use White Nights as their standard watercolours? If so, how do they compare to the more popular professional artists watercolours for lightfastness and archival ability? Would you say that they are professional quality watercolours? I would love to hear the opinion of Russian watercolourists as you create the most beautiful, beautiful watercolours and I wonder if you all use the White Nights watercolours. Coming from Australia where professional watercolour paints and quality art materials are soooooooooo expensive, it seems almost unbelievable that the White Nights watercolours could be such good quality at such a cheap price. I'm looking forward to hearing any comments anyone may have about these watercolours. Thanks, Magdalena. By the way Konstantin, I love this blog and recommend to all my friends. Thanks again.