Ming Vase with Sunflower Seeds

This piece sees Rob move his attention to the interior, creating a modern still life using elements from traditional Chinese culture.

The Imperial yellow chrysanthemums represent long life and good luck. The yellow shows power and prosperity. The Ming vase from the Yongle dynasty is in the collection of the British Museum and is intended to show the long history of British and Chinese cultural exchange. The Qilin is drawn directly from the gold gift included in the Palace Edition Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Phone, which Rob designed the imagery for.

The window in China is a thing of beauty as well as use, for ventilation and light. In this piece it references the dual use in art too, the mix of form and function; creating work that has a decorative form while functioning as a visual language composed of multiple layers of meaning. The sunflower seeds reference the role of the artist; that they must challenge convention and disturb normality in order to help reorganise the future.

Symbolism is such a strong part of my understanding of Chinese culture. I wanted to create a painting that represented how I’ve experienced my time in China so far. The history is everywhere, yet a love for the new is palp.

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© Rob Pepper, 2020 | Website by Peter Loizou