EIGHT is the lucky number

We have joined forces with the lovely team at Brighter Sound on a fantastic international creative collaboration taking place in Manchester’s Chinese sister-city, Wuhan.

EIGHT, China’s lucky number, will see eight musicians and artists – four from Manchester (Chris Paul Daniels, Denis Jones, Kim May and Josephine Oniyama – who will feature in our Music & Film project later this year), and four from Wuhan (He Chengyun, Zhou Gang, Fan Pei Pei and Victor Wang) – collaborate over eight days to create a new and exciting interdisciplinary piece of work, combining music, visual art and film (until Thu 26 Mar).

The eight days of collaboration will culminate in a performance at K11 art village to celebrate the opening of the British Consulate General in Wuhan.  As part of the programme, a wider exhibition Inside Out – curated by Zhan Rui, Ying Tan and our very own Sarah Perks, Artistic Director of Visual Art – will also be on display, with the artwork showcasing the talents of the artists from the two cities and celebrating the overall 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange with its UK season themed ‘Next Generation’.

Across a range of formats from sculpture to film, Inside Out will explore how artists investigate a sense of place in their practice, looking at how artists cross over from their personal studio into public and digital worlds. The exhibition also considers how artists connect their individual concerns, influences and inspiration with the world outside. From their personal belongings in the studio to working with local communities to international and digital contexts, these artists are connected by a desire to explore and connect with people through their process and presentation methods. Inside Out will showcase the work of four additional Manchester artists who have previously exhibited at Cornerhouse: Hannah Dargarvel-Leafe, Naomi Kashiwagi, Mario Popham and Qasim Riza Shaheen.

Mario Popham said: “I am absolutely thrilled for my work to be included in the exhibition in Wuhan and to be counted among talented artists from home and from China. After investing much time and energy into a personal body of work, it’s a real privilege for it to reach a wider international audience and certainly a significant moment in my journey as a photographer and artist.”

Debra King, Director of Brighter Sound, added: “It’s really exciting to bring together distinctive and talented artists from both cities for this collaboration, which is the first project of its kind between China and the UK. It will be a fascinating process to see how the crossing of cultures come into play and the different perspectives on the world combine to influence the work produced and the final performance.” Sarah Perks agreed, saying: “I’ve worked extensively across the world in many countries including China, but I truly believe this collaboration is something special and unique. Things are coming together fantastically for a great week in Wuhan, and I’m really proud to bring with me some fantastic artists to collaborate with the artistic talent there. Manchester and Wuhan are both exciting and energetic cities with a longstanding history together, though this moment is definitely the beginning of a new cultural adventure together.”

Carma Elliot, Director, British Council (China), said: “One ambition for the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange is to help foster bold, new creative collaborations. Eight has been created without predetermined outcomes, but realised by the immediate exchange between the UK and Chinese artists involved. I can’t think of a better metaphor for our developing engagement with the city of Wuhan.”

The project is realised in partnership with K11 Foundation and VOX LIVEHOUSE in Wuhan as part of the 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange.

Supported by both the British Council and Manchester City Council, EIGHT takes place as part of a wider programme of activity in Wuhan at the end of March to celebrate the opening of the new British Consulate General in Wuhan.

Produced by Sally Cook, Band on the Wall. Technical John Shepherd, Band on the Wall.
EIGHT programme highlights (Wuhan) 

Workshop: Unravel at K11 art village
Sun 22 Mar, 14:00-15:30
With Chris Paul Daniels, a visual artist from Manchester

Discussion On Our Music at VOX Rock School
Tue 24 Mar, 14:00-15:30
With musicians from Manchester and Wuhan

EIGHT music night at VOX LIVEHOUSE
Tue 24 March, 21:00
Musicians and artists from the EIGHT project perform their own works

EIGHT pop up at K11 Gourmet Tower
Wed 25 March, 18:30
Musicians from EIGHT perform outdoor and unplugged

Curator’s Talk at K11 art village
Wed 25 March, 14:30
Professor Sarah Perks Zhan Rui and Ying Tang discuss the process behind curating Inside Out, the context of working across China and England and the concerns raised by the artists in the exhibition

Inside Out exhibition opening at K11 art village
Thu 26 March, 20:00 (exhibition closes on Sun 31 May)

Press Tour: Inside Out at K11 art village
Thu 26 March, 21:00
Join curators Sarah Perks, Zhan Rui and Ying Tan (curator, Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art) for an introduction to the artists, themes and topics of Inside Out