INTERVIEW BY HEIDI ECKERSLEY
YANG QI RUI - THE DEAN OF PUBLIC ARTS FROM THE CHINA ACADEMY OF ARTS HANGZHOU - IN CONVERSATION WITH HEIDI ECKERSLEY.


Previous background: Sculptor and artist. Studied at the CAA

A short interviewing looking at Yang Qi Rui’s involvement with China Expo 2010 and what he believes has changed since the event and what will the future hold in China for the creative industry and future artists and designers.

The Dean’s involvement with China Expo 2010:
The dean for Public Art within the China Arts Academy was responsible for the design of the Zhe Jinng pavilion within China Expo 2010. The Zhe Jhinng Pavilions’ s external structure was made from Stainless steel and was inspired by Bamboo; he used elements from traditional architecture from the province.

The pavilion had to show the story of province and how it has developed from ‘old times to now’

Internally it was split into three sections each one with a film installation, which were all also, directed by The Dean.

The first installation, according to the Dean was a very unique piece in the expo. Inside the middle of the pavilion was a circular pool shaped model, this was supposed to represent a very famous dragon kiln which; according to history was used to cook dragon.

Inside the pool this contained real water with a real bridge that immersed from the bottom. A film was then projected onto the bed of this. The Dean decided to make a film by choosing 6 familiar stories from province, the film was four minutes long and looked at the local culture from historical times until now.

The film cleverly begins using traditional Chinese style painting. The film used geese as the clue to tie the story together; allowing the viewer to follow the flying geese through the film. The Dean decided to use Geese; as this is what Wang Xi Zhi (a famous story teller from the province) had sitting beside him when he started writing a story. The story then took you through a famous Chinese fairytale; which displayed the tea harvesters, flew over a famous island, over a wedding and then watched people who go to work everyday. The film finished at the CAA campus with a fashion show on water.

The Dean pointed out that he had many constraints as the government commissioned the pavilion therefore he was restricted by the demands that were expected which included:

- He had to show 8000 years of history
- Show the special character of the province including the temples etc.
- Display what the government was doing now, such as building the longest sea bridge in China

Because of all of these constraints the Dean explained that he believed the concept and the idea is the most important part of any projects as this is what will stand up against all constraints. He also explained; that the Public Artist needs to have many different methods to express him self and needs to consider all elements.

What the effects have been since Expo 2010 on the Students at the CAA?
The Dean believes that the impact is now, he feels that since Expo; public art is now accepted as a concept or an idea and has changed the general publics perception away from traditional idea of public art such as sculpture. Which gives the students more future prospects.

What he believes the affects Expo will have in the future?
He strongly feels that the effects will happen very rapidly and will be huge. He believes we will see development within Chinese design within the next 2-3 years.

The Dean explained that Expo 2010 was different to any others mainly dues to two factors; the development of science and technology and the rise in China’s economic wealth.

The development of science and technology have given artists new and exciting ways to express themselves and with the economy in such growth there will be more consumer and governmental demand for more creativity and art and design.