All posts by Angela Reich

Village Life


Saturday 23 January 2021  2pm – 3.00pm:  an illustrated talk on  Life in the Village and Countryside by Madison Plantier.

The historic region of Huizhou, which covered southern Anhui province and northern Jiangxi province, was once renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique local culture. Its sweeping vistas and ancient villages inspired countless Chinese brush painters throughout the years, yet nowadays its tourist traffic has plummeted and it represents one of the most neglected historical areas in China. Join us as we delve into the fascinating history behind this region and discover the places that played muse to some of China’s greatest artists. Along the way, you’ll be treated to plenty of gorgeous photos and videos of life in Huizhou today.
Let us transport you on a virtual journey through one of the most picturesque places in China!
Painter in Lucun
Bamboo Forest

Christmas Creativity

Claire’s festive rat!
Claire’s robin card
Angela’s mouse card
Annie H’s wistful mouse
Pat’s peckish rat
Pat says apologies to Qi Baishi, but this festive rat needed a mince pie and a glass of sherry, after a difficult year for rats!
All Good Wishes from Reg
Ann H’s colourful poinsettia
Amaryllis from Susan J

Marion has had an outburst of origami, inspired by the MEAA online course:

Marion’s trees and a fun seal!
Marion’s cards
Marion’s deer
A moon jar and tree from Zara
A Japanese influence on Frances Y
Peachy’s poinsettia

Peng says “I happen to have done a few rat studies that might make some silly Christmas stories that make me laugh”:
1, Ms rat skips healthy sprouts and goes straight to the mince pies.
2, She can’t decide on whether she should have the pigs in a blanket first or a glass of wine, maybe she is already drunk.
3, ‘Control me?!, you need to tidy your kitchen first!’ The owner of the house is having some morning lie-ins after days of celebrating and drinking.

Mince pie
pigs in a blanket
3D card by Chris G
3D tree by Chris G
bird & Pine Chris G
Peace on home-made paper by Colleen
Anne A’s reindeer

Effortless Education

There are many lectures and webinars in Chinese art & culture.  here are some recommendations from members.

ZT:   I signed up for this live talk from US China Institute and very much worth watching on the Qianlong Emperor. The events are middle of the night our time but they record and send an email later so have just watched this one. The expert speakers knew their stuff and part of the restoration team at the Forbidden Palace.  This link is the 1st talk in the series of 3 on the architecture of the Forbidden City.

Gresham College lectures include a series on Chinese Art by Craig Clunas.  His 90 second reply on Western & Chinese art.

ZT:  Podcast BBC4 short ( 13mins) on maritime trade in the Ming was on this morning- Yongle Emperor and all that. David Abulafia charts the surprising extent of maritime exploration in Ming dynasty China.

AR & ZT: Learn about Robert Van Gulik – podcast and his collection.

MD:  the Ashmolean’s live webinar 5–6pm, Thu 17 Dec 2020, looking at the Galleries of the Musée Cernuschi.

CK:  Have just finished a book about China and especially Yunnan. It is “The Five Foot Road”  by Angus McDonald, who is an Australian who decided to follow in the footsteps of another traveller G.E.Morrison who travelled there 100 years previously.

China: A History in Objects (British Museum)

3812 Gallery’s 12 Days of Christmas in Chinese paintings is adding daily.

Discussion of modern Chinese art.

As a change from tea, Asia House’s exploration of the story of coffee.


Things to do!

Learn about Chinese poetry with the  Museum of Asian Art.

Chinese culture and language also available with Madison Plantier (who did our AGM afternoon talk).

CityLit courses include Chinese language, Qigong, introduction to Chinese language through objects in the British Museum.

Online Tai Chi & Qigong.

Get a touch of Tantra at the BM, and have a go at a mandala:

Missenden Abbey is planning residential courses next year.

The Met’s catalogue of Buddhist sculpture is available free.

Asia House is planning A Journey Trough the Past and Future of Human Voice:

A new approach to Chinese arts.


In Praise of Paper

Ashmolean event: Unsung Heroes of Ink is a new film exploring the importance and role of paper in Chinese ink painting.  Film screening followed by a discussion.  Wednesday, 4th of November 2020 Online event, 11am.  Interesting trailer.

Some of the Ashmolean’s Christmas cards have oriental designs.

Raymond Fung, Beauty of Lands (1), 2016

Online Panel discussion and examples of Hong Kong Ink Art.  Thursday 29th October 12pm by Zoom.

Member Zara reminds us that Asian Art in London will include exhibitions at various galleries.  “Roseburys have a fab Bada Shanren scroll which will be very exciting to see in the flesh”.

CBPS Member Colleen has just finished reading Sorrow Mountain: The Remarkable Story of a Tibetan Warrior Nun by Ani Pachen and Adelaide Donelley.

North Star Studio

You can never have too much Hokusai.  Thanks to CBPS members Jane & Zara for pointing out that the British Museum has his Great Picture Book of Everything (search BM Collection for Hokusai+everything to see all the drawings).

This collection of line drawings includes this flamboyant peacock and phoenix.

Zara: “Certainly some interesting ones to have a go at to practice my line ink drawing. Not sure he had ever seen a real elephant!”


Five Colours

Wuxing  – “five movements” – is a traditional Chinese view of the natural world that relates the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water to the cardinal directions, the symbolic colours – Green, Red Yellow, White and Black – and powerful mythical creatures such as the White Tiger.

A new documentary series Colours of China ,  is structured round these 5 colours. It is available through Amazon Prime.  The short trailer has some lovely images.  Thanks to CBPS Member Colleen for this.

There are some fantastic photos on the NationsOnline website, including China, plus more about the five colours – including their associated sounds!

Yellow is Forbidden is a documentary about luxury clothes designer Guo Pei and her aspirations to join the exclusive club of Paris haute couture.  The catwalk display at the end is definitely not everyday wear!

A glimpse of the rice terraces of Guizhou, and more.

Wu Guangzhong, Garden in Suzhou

A western oil painter paints Chinese mountains, with interesting use of colour.


Wu Guanzhong’s colours – up for auction!


Colour, Culture and Accounts – CBPS AGM 2020!

CBPS AGM and afternoon presentation will be held by Zoom on Saturday 7th November.    Attendance at the AGM is free to members.

On the Sunday morning, there is a Zoom demonstration of CBP live from China!

Saturday 7 November 11am – 12.30pm AGM:
– Welcome by Chair
– Apologies for absence
– Minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting and acceptance
– Chair’s Report
– Treasurer’s Report  & Acceptance of accounts
– Newsletter Report and Links to Members
– Acceptance of Officers and Committee – the present committee have all been nominated; no other nominations have been received
– Close of formal meeting
– a few words from our honorary Presidents
– Open Forum, to give Members the opportunity to express their views and ask questions

Saturday 7 November 2pm – 3.30pm:  an illustrated talk on the Art and Traditional Dress of China’s Ethnic Minorities by Madison Plantier.

Delve into a world of vibrant colours and lively performances as we take a close look at the art and traditional dress of some of the ethnic minorities that currently call the China home, to get a deeper and more rounded perspective of certain ethnic groups. We’ll also have the opportunity to watch videos of some traditional folk performances! From the Regong Arts of the Tibetan people right through to the elaborate silver jewellery of the Miao people, join us on this adventure into a lesser-known aspect of Chinese culture.

Sunday 8 November 11am – 12.30pm:
Oxfordshire Chinese Brush Painting Group (OCBPG) is pleased to invite members of CBPS to a Landscape Workshop taught live by Mr Yang Tongling from The China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou.
The China Academy of Fine Arts was founded in Hangzhou in 1928 by the educator Cai Yuanpei and Lin Fengmian.  Lin Fengmian, its first principal, was one of the pioneers of Chinese Modern Art.

Mr Yang is a senior tutor at the Academy, specialising in the teaching of traditional Chinese Landscape Painting.   He not only teaches students via the traditional method of copying the great masters, but also takes his students on expeditions into the Chinese countryside to paint “en plein air”.   He is currently delivering a course in Landscape painting to members of OCBPG as part of a 48 week programme by tutors from The China Academy and visiting artists in their studios across China.   They are all providing their services free in return for OCBPG raising money for NHS Charities Together (during this unprecedented time of Covid 19).  So far, we have raised over £1,000.

Mr Yang is providing this additional Workshop especially for members of CBPS. To recognise the contribution of Mr Yang, we would like to invite you to donate £10 for the Workshop which OCBPG will add to the donation they are making to NHS Charities Together in December 2020.


In Black and White

BBC 4 series The Secret History of Writing includes Chinese characters.
Episode 1 introduces the archaic script of oracle bones.  It also highlighted the similarities in the methods used by ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, Mayan and Chinese scripts to convey both sounds and meaning.  Shots of an oriental calligrapher illustrated the effortless flow of black ink on white paper.


Episode 2 includes oriental paper making, and its gradual transmission to the west.

Episode 3 features water calligraphy in China, and views from contemporary artist Xu Bing, including his Book from the Ground, composed solely of general symbols and signs.
Xu Bing is of course well known for his other explorations of writing : the Book from the Sky – a tour de force of  woodblock printing of unreal characters –  Landscript, and Square Word calligraphy.


“Twenty years ago I made Book from the Sky, a book of illegible Chinese characters that no one could read. Now I have created Book from the Ground, a book that anyone can read.”—Xu Bing