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My Vision of China

My Vision of China


David Paskett

Bicycle Park 1 | Wuxi | 1987 | Watercolour

China is a constants source of fascination for me. It has been a major source of imagery for my paintings.

Bargain Hunt, Dali | Yunnan | 2003 | Watercolour

Numerous visits over 35 years ranging from one week to two months, my first when living in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong 1986 -1990.

 Chinese New Year, Cheung Chau | Hong Kong | 1999 | Watercolour

During my early visits to China, I was very much on the outside. Gradually during later years as an invited watercolour painter at festivals, exhibiting and painting alongside Chinese artists and lecturing in art academies, establishing cultural links, I have become a participant as well as an observer.

Painting excursion with watercolour artists exhibiting in 100 Years of Brilliance, Hangzhou 200?

My interest in and understanding of China now goes deeper. Through association with the Cam Rivers Project I am now involved in making images of KunQu opera, for publication, illustrating Tang Xian Zu’s story, The Peony Pavilion (Mudan Ting). For this I have needed to research the complexities of Chinese traditions underlying music, art, movement, costume, ideas, history and social behaviour.

Sunlit Table | Hangzhou | 1994 | Watercolour

Although Chinese attitudes differ from my British ones I often find commonality. Enjoying the positive fruits of amicable misunderstanding. Impressed by Chinese inventiveness and adaptability; the contrasting juxtapositions of old and new witnessed on the streets, on view for all to share.

Restoration | Zhaji | 2017 | Watercolour

I gained respect for the ingenuity of survival, evident in the daily Chinese life that I witnessed in both town and country. This respect I hope has spread into my paintings, inspiring a warm connection with the everyday things that to me were far from ordinary.

In a Monastery Skullery | Putuoshan | 1995 | Watercolour

I felt there was an urgency in collecting so many images that seemed destined to become part of history. Looking back, I see that my paintings are, collectively, an archive of changes.

 The Masked Rider | Shanghai | 2012 | Watercolour

On my return visits, I am still making fresh discoveries, especially as, amidst these vast changes, traditions are integrated with contemporary living, Chinese culture is increasingly rediscovered and celebrated.

I feel privileged to take part in this regeneration and help share it with the wider world.

David in Sichuan Art Academy giving demo 2012

Gathering in the park | Shanghai | 2018 | pen drawing

David Paskett name im Regular script

Calligraphy of David Paskett in Regular Script by Ruijun Hu