Quote EndQuote Cross-Cultural Strategy

Chinese Export Paintings of the Nineteenth Century!

Posted by QEQ Intern | 02.05.15

Art Exhibition at the Burnaby Art Gallery:

Visualizing a Culture for Strangers: Chinese Export Paintings of the Nineteenth Century 


Alisa enjoying the art on display

Alisa enjoying the art on display


Exhibit on tour from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
January 30-March 29, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 29, 7-9pm



Alisa brought us interns to the opening night of this art display, hosted by the Burnaby Art Gallery. We helped with the event and we were able to see the art on display. We saw many Chinese watercolor paintings, and these varied from traditional Chinese art, because they were specifically made for export.


Us Interns enjoying our refreshing tea and some Chinese snacks at the exhibit Opening!

Us Interns enjoying our refreshing tea and some Chinese snacks at the exhibit Opening!

The exhibit showed a special genre of Chinese art that flourished in the city of Guangzhou (Canton), China. These works were created and exported in large quantities by Chinese artists who were trained in western media and western art techniques because of the high demand for ‘a taste of China’: its life, its customs, its landscape and its architecture.

To cater to the western market, Chinese export painters turned to western artwork, using them as a reference. Western oil paintings were used as inspiration, as well as prints, watercolors and pencil sketches. The exhibit, on tour from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and curated by Barry Till, presents a cross-section of Chinese export paintings and demonstrates the influential role of western art traditions on this specific form of art.

Our Impressions as Interns:

“We arrived at the gallery around 7:30pm and there were already many guests. The art was excellent! Personally speaking, I knew practically nothing about Chinese export painting before coming to the show. However, the volunteers were incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable. They explained everything. We also tried Chinese beer, red tea and traditional Chinese snacks that were very tasty!

There was a tea leaf reader at the show, Cindy Mochizuki, who read our fortunes.

What does this tea reading mean? We found out at the exhibit!

What does this tea reading mean? We found out at the exhibit!

We enjoyed the experience of having our tea leaves read. For an idea of how it worked: We made a wish while we were drinking the tea. Then, afterwards, there were some tea leaves left in the cups. She then ‘read’ these leaves and told us some advice, based on what she saw, as well as the dates when our wishes would come true. The amazing thing is that she could tell all that from just our leaves! It was a bit strange, because she mentioned many things about us without even asking. She said that my wish would come true at the end of this year and hopefully it will! However she also told me that I have two boyfriends! NO, I don’t! I have only one! She embarrassed me with her prediction, but, actually, it was hilarious.

Anyways, we had a lot of fun at Burnaby Art Gallery. Thank you very much for inviting us!”


*Additional Information: There are many interesting programs available at the Burnaby Art Gallery: Check out the ones below; they have them all lined up, just for this exhibit!

In the B.A.G. | FREE! All ages

Come and make art! Get your mind humming with a visit to the exhibit, then it’s into the studio for a family-friendly art project. No registration required: Program provided by Shelley Tucker.

Sunday, February 8, 1-4pm ……….. Watercolor Painting

Sunday, March 8, 1-4pm …………… Teeny Tiny Monoprints


Family Day: Team Portraits | All ages

Create a family portrait, as a team! We’ll have you giggling your way to a family masterpiece of your very own. No registration required. Suggested donation, $2 per person.

Monday, February 9, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm (one-hour session)


Drop-in Tours: Mandarin & English Speaking Guides | FREE! All ages

Join our knowledgeable guides for a tour of the current exhibit.

Tours begin at 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm and 3:30pm.

Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, March 22


Gallery Tour & Workshop for Home-learners | 6-14 years old

Explore the artwork being exhibited through conversations and interactive activities. Then, create art in the studio to bring key ideas or techniques to life! Studio: Small watercolor paintings. Registration barcode: 344291 | $16.00

Wednesday. February 18, 12:30-2:30pm


Curator’s Talk & Tour | FREE! All ages

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents Barry Till, who will lead an informative curator’s tour (talking tour). No registration required.

Thursday, February 26, 7-9pm


Watercolour in Detail | 16 years +

Explore basic watercolor painting techniques and processes. Learn paper preparation, washes, glazes and application of fine detail. Supplies and lunch included. Instructor: Berry Woo.  Registration barcode: 344295 | $38.00

Wednesday, March 6, 9:30am-2:30pm


Drypoint Etching: Export Inspiration | 16 years +

Using the exhibit as inspiration, learn how to create detailed dry-point prints. Skills include creating a range of tones, inking, wiping and printing the plate on a press. All supplies and lunch included. Registration barcode: 344338 | $61.55

Saturday, March 14, 10am-3pm