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Everyone asks me what brought me to China. My real answer is why not China? China’s is one of the longest living cultures in human history. Given this, I believe that anyone interested in the arts should really have a direct experience with the culture of China. One can read about a place indirectly, but to experience it completely one needs to be on the ground of the place, meet the people directly, break bread, drink tea together and feel the texture, light and atmosphere of the people and place.
Peter at Expo 2010 Shanghai
Another impetus that brought me to China was the exchange program that Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) in Boston – where I taught and am now a professor emeritus – has had with Tsinghua University and CAFA-Central Academy of Fine Art for many years. We brought students to China annually on a tour that took them to Shanghai, Xi’an, Suzhou, Beijing and other places. I was fortunate to have gone on one of those tours with the MassArt students and the professors that conducted them, Yuan Zuo and H.C. Liang.
I had been familiar with the contemporary arts of China since the 1980 due to the Dennis Fong Gallery in San Jose, California, who also represented me at that time. The Fong gallery had an exhibition that included many of the leading artists at the time. The caliber and dynamism of the contemporary work from China was a shock to the San Jose, California community. This exhibition brought the arts community to start paying attention to the arts from the Pacific Rim. This was a testament to the importance and impact that cultural exchanges can have. Another arena of important cultural exchange and impact is among professors of the arts and the artists themselves. In 1996 at MassArt in Boston I had the good fortune to have met one of the great artists from China, Xu Bing, when he was a visiting artist there. The MassArt community and the Boston arts community were thus introduced to the important contemporary art and culture from China.
Red Gate Gallery studio with MASSART students
In 1854, 20,000 thousand Chinese Hakka people migrated to Jamaica. Profoundly, the contributions and presence of this large community, is also a part of what Jamaica is. Due to my early years having been born and lived in Jamaica this community is also a part of my cultural conditioning. For many reasons I feel comfortable in Beijing, which is otherwise hard to explain. Perhaps in a funny way it reminds me of Kingston, Jamaica my hometown -- just larger and more people, of course.
Brian at Peter's resident painting studio, 2007
My first real time spent in the production of paintings in China was in 2007 as a participant in the Red Gate Gallery International Studio Program, founded by the director, BRIAN WALLACE. This program was significant for me in that it just got me more excited about coming back to work there in Beijing. It was largely due to this experience that I opened OASIS studio in the 318 International Art Garden in Hegezhuang, which had become a suburb of Beijing. It is a fascinating thing to me personally to have spent the past 16 years painting in Hegezhuang, which has allowed me to expand my horizons and to make perhaps the greatest works thus far in my career.
OASIS studio Opening 2007
My first large scale BOOSTER painting was created in the Shangri-La Red Gate Studios in the Feijiacun area of Beijing, where the international studio program was held at that time. This painting was first shown at the inaugural exhibition of the Sunshine International Art Museum in Songzhuang. Of course, Brian attended the grand opening party in support of his artists.
Peter and Brian at Sunshine Museum exhibition opening, 2008
BRIAN WALLACE, who ran this residency and exchange program, with his welcoming nature, just made my residency more profound. The dinners and community exchanges, interaction with the local community, witnessing the exhibition programing at the WATCH TOWER and the second Gallery in 798 fed my intellectual desires to absorb as much as possible. A fond memory that I have of Brian was when he came to visit the studio while I was painting and as all things go in the Jing, I asked Brian to make a painting. I gave him paper and paint and he did not hesitate to start painting. The work that he made is in my personal collection in the USA; it truly is a treasure and a great memento for that period in Beijing.
Brian Wallace painting, 2007, 76 x 56 cm, Acrylic on Rives BFK French paper
Red Gate Studio Program at Peter Wayne Lewis Resident. Feijatsun.
The Red Gate Gallery platform assisted me with other areas of interest that I was able to put into play; significantly, the curation of 25 or so exhibitions in China. With the initial exposure that the Red Gate program afforded me, I have also been able to assist many artists in the promotion of their work globally as well as in China. All of the exhibitions that I have produced in China were a gift of my time and energy to the community in Beijing, that I am happy to have been able to offer. One of these exhibitions was in the Olympic Fine Art Exhibition in 2008 where I provided curatorial input for the International section of the exhibition. My work was also included as one of several artists representing both the US, as well as my birth country Jamaica.
ULLENS CENTER OF CONTEMPORARY ART 798 Beijing, China 2016
In 2019, I was happy to have been invited to do a solo exhibition at RED GATE GALLERY. This was quite special for me and a kind of arrival and continuation of not just a business arrangement but a friendship. Gallery dealers are a special breed of person, suffice to say Mr. Wallace exemplifies the best characteristics needed to succeed in maintaining both the commercial enterprise, all the while positively impacting and expanding the horizons of a community and the GLOBAL ART ECO-SYSTEM.
ULLENS CENTER OF CONTEMPORARY ART 798 Beijing, China 2016
An exemplar of Brian’s influence was brought forth in a conversation that I had with the world-renowned artist, KEHINDE WILEY, about the residency program that he has built in Dakar, Senegal, called BLACK RIVER. KEHINDE just said, “ I built my program based on the Red Gate model…Brian was an inspiration.”
…There are so many stories that can be told about all the enjoyable and enlightening years with Brian and the Red Gate Gallery team, but what is of keen interest is what the future portends…
Peter Wayne Lewis: Bending Time, Red Gate Gallery, 2019
Bravo to RED GATE GALLERY and its founding director Brian Wallace on their 30th ANNIVERSARY. I have no doubt that this enterprise will continue for many more years, and I am quite pleased to be a part of it.
With Best regards,
PETER WAYNE LEWIS
Peter Wayne Lewis Memory Wall
Peter Wayne Lewis 的记忆墙
PETER WAYNE LEWIS was born in Kingston, Jamaica West Indies andimmigrated to the United States in 1962 where his parents made their home inSacramento, California. He received his MASTER OF ARTS in painting in 1979from SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY in California and became an Americancitizen in 1983. He is a Tenured Professor of Painting at Massachusetts Collegeof Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts and the former Chairman of Fine Art2D Department. He has exhibited extensively in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe,USA, Asia. Recent exhibitions includes a survey of paintings produced in hisstudio in Beijing, China at MOCA-Museum of Contemporary Art North Miamicurated by Babacar MBow, UCCA-Ullens Center of Contemporary Art Beijing,China 798 Art District Curated by Philip Tinari. China Art Museum Shanghai,China. He is in numerous public and private collections at home and abroad. Hecurrently resides in South Orange, New Jersey, Boston Massachusetts andBeijing, China.
Peter Wayne Lewis at Red Gate Gallery
2019 Peter Wayne Lewis: Bending Time 弯曲的时间 - 从金斯敦到北京 - 彼得·韦恩·刘易斯
红门画廊Red Gate Gallery由澳大利亚籍人士布朗·华莱士Brian Wallace创办于1991年，是中国最早经营当代艺术的外资画廊。三十年来，红门画廊始终致力于中国当代艺术推广和国际艺术联络。邀请国际、国内知名策划人在红门画廊策划当代艺术活动，进行高水平的学术交流，向中国观众介绍国内外当代艺术，为中国当代艺术的发展以及中西方的艺术交流做出了巨大的贡献。
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