Oil paintings from China with a Middle East twist on display (Pictures )

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SHAFAQNA – A group of 26 Chinese artists are in Dubai’s Fahidi neighbourhood, showcasing their works at the Maritime Silk Road show at Juthoor Art Centre.It is the season to spot tourists. It is also the season when the cultural scene of Dubai comes alive. Art exhibitions seem to pop up all over. Walking around Fahidi neighbourhood on a Thursday Morning, Khaleej Times spotted signages that announced an ‘oil painting art week’.

If you head from the Creek to Al Ghubaiba Metro station, past the sandstone building that houses the Ministry of Finance, you reach the show called ‘Maritime Silk Road’, on this week at Juthoor Art Centre.

As it turns out, a group of 26 Chinese artists are in Dubai for the week. They’re visiting the historic neighbourhood, and also showcasing their work. Some of the artists are first time visitors to Dubai, and they could be seen clicking photographs of the dhows that sailed by.

The group belongs to the Putian Oil Painting Art Industry Association. Putian, in the eastern Fujian province, is an art hub of sorts. Pop art paintings, landscapes, still life and inexpensive works that you find in home store chains in America, Europe and even the Middle East (and therefore in office corridors and people’s homes) are often sourced from Fujian, where techniques of American and Eastern masters are proficiently replicated.

The influences of the originals are easy to spot. In the Chinese provinces, talent and labour come cheap. But once the work hits the export market, prices could be upped by almost 10 times.

George Zheng, a 42-year-old artist from Putian, Fujian, is displaying six of his paintings at the exhibition. One series has four lacquer paintings called ‘Four Classical Chinese Beauties’. Each beauty took him a week to paint, and is priced at Dh2,500. Paintings exhibited seem to be in the range of Dh1,000 to Dh5,000, with the larger canvases costing more.

One of his paintings, an impressionistic diptych of water, shows a Chinese harbour with thick brush strokes, globs of paint, and light and shadow reminiscent of Van Gogh’s ‘The Stevedores in Arles’. His Influences, in fact, are the impressionistic painters. He names Monet, Van Gogh and William Burroughs among his creative influences.

Zheng is one of the few artists displaying his works who is conversant in English. That didn’t stop his less-linguistically equipped fellow artists from gathering around, prompting him with details to convey in English. For instance, they tell him to translate this: “We are 26 artists, all of us have on average five to six paintings each, and we are very happy to be in Dubai this week.”

The subjects of the paintings vary: Lots of animals – especially horses and falcons – perhaps to cater to tastes in Dubai, plenty of flowers and still life, and even a few dozen oil paintings of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Putian Oil Painting Art Industry Association exhibited their artists’ works in the UK two months ago. They plan to showcase their canvases in Europe in the middle of next year.

Oil paintings showing former South African President Nelson Mandela and US President Barack Obama are displayed outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Mandela is being treated on June 29, 2013 in Pretoria. Obama met the family of his critically ill hero Mandela on a visit to South Africa, the White House said.

This picture, provided by the Shirley Marvin Collection, shows “Figaro Cafe,” a Greenwich Village coffee shop, as painted by Noel Rockmore in 1962. Rockmore produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. But from now until the end of January, his works, including this painting, are on view at the LaGrange Art Museum in Georgia. The retrospective is called “Creative Obscurity: The Genius of Noel Rockmore.” (AP Photo/Shirley Marvin Collection) less

A work by the late artist Noel Rockmore hangs in the riverside home of Sandra Miller, a friend of Rockmore’s, in New Orleans, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. He produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

This picture provided by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, shows “Bill Matthews,” a 1963 painting by Noel Rockmore, who produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. The painting is from the Preservation Hall series, documenting the scent, touch and smoke of New Orleans jazz and its musicians.(AP Photo/Ogden Museum of Southern Art)

This picture provided by the Shirley Marvin Collection shows Noel Rockmore’s 1972 “Self Portrait in Paris.” Rockmore produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. The pen on paper drawing was uncovered post-Katrina in a trove of newly-discovered works by Rockmore, called the “Picasso of New Orleans.” (AP Photo/Shirley Marvin Collection) less

This picture provided by the Neal Auction Company, Inc., shows “Henry ‘Booker T’ Glass, Drummer,” a 1963 oil painting by Noel Rockmore, who produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. The painting is from the Preservation Hall series, documenting the scent, touch and smoke of New Orleans jazz and its musicians. (AP Photo/Neal Auction Company, Inc.) less

This picture provided by the Neal Auction Company, Inc., shows “Coney Island Labyrinth,” an oil painting dated “’58” by Noel Rockmore, who produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. until the end of January, his works are on view at the LaGrange Art Museum in Georgia. The retrospective is called “Creative Obscurity: The Genius Noel Rockmore.” (AP Photo/Neal Auction Company, Inc.)

This picture provided by the Shirley Marvin Collection shows Noel Rockmore’s 1960 “Skull Still Life.” Rockmore produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. Until the end of January, his works are on view at the LaGrange Art Museum in Georgia. The retrospective is called “Creative Obscurity: The Genius Noel Rockmore.” (AP Photo/Shirley Marvin Collection)

A work by the late artist Noel Rockmore hangs in the riverside home of Sandra Miller, a friend of Rockmore’s, in New Orleans, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. He produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A work by the late artist Noel Rockmore hangs in the riverside home of Sandra Miller, a friend of Rockmore’s, in New Orleans, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. Rockmore produced some 15,000 oil paintings, temperas, collages and sketches over his career and then died in obscurity. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) less Source : Khaleej Times.

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