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Contemporary Chinese artists feature at Sydney fair

By Duncan Murray (Xinhua)    14:34, September 14, 2018

SYDNEY, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Current international and local artists will feature at Australia's biggest art fair, Sydney Contemporary, which opened on Thursday and will continue over the weekend, displaying and selling thousands of world class creations.

Among the more than 70 galleries represented at the fair is Vermillion Art.

Located on Walsh Bay near the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Vermilion is the first commercial gallery focused on contemporary Chinese art to have opened in Australia.

Gallery owner Yeqin Zuo told Xinhua that while contemporary Chinese art is highly regarded and has featured at public galleries and festivals in Australia for decades, she saw a lack of availability of the style for private purchase.

"We have 500 commercial galleries around Australia but none of them focus on contemporary Chinese art," Zuo said.

"I thought there should be a gallery for contemporary Chinese art, which is currently being recognised internationally more and more."

In the three years since opening Vermilion gallery, Zuo found that the reaction of not just Chinese buyers in Australia, but also local collectors, was immediately positive.

"From the beginning we were interested in engaging both Australian as well as Chinese communities," Zuo explained.

"The result is that we have mainstream Australians who are more established collectors, they used to collect Australian art but when they see some good art from China like what we're showing here they didn't hesitate to start collecting."

One of the artists being displayed by Vermillion at Sydney Contemporary is Jason Phu who is of Chinese and Vietnamese descent.

Phu, who speaks fluent Mandarin, said that the mixed influences of his heritage as well as being brought up in Australia have led to an integrated style, incorporating a broad range of cultures and ideas.

"You know especially how my parents raised me in terms of what they told me before I went to bed it was a range of kids books from western to eastern kids books, to a range of stories from their childhoods in Vietnam and China."

As well as Asian art, Sydney Contemporary features modern Australian, European works, and works by artists from North and South America.

Now in its fourth year, Sydney Contemporary is expected to draw thousands of visitors over the weekend and millions of dollars worth of sales for the artists.

But aside from sales, for Zuo the fair is an occasion to display a unique style of art which she loves and share it with the Australian, and global art community.

"Vermilion Art is the only gallery among 90 galleries in Sydney Contemporary focused on contemporary Chinese Art, we feel privileged and proud to be part of it," Zuo said.

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