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Art and Culture

Columbus college students plan unplugged day

Niji Ng



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Reading Time: 2 minutes


Students at Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio are putting down their phones for a 24-hour student-led initiative called Unplugged Day.

The idea for Unplugged Day came about after a survey which shows 89 per cent of students spend at least 3 hours on their electronic devices a day and 29 per cent of students said they never, rarely, or only sometimes interact with people in person versus online on a typical day.

“This isn’t about saying you’re a bad person because you’re on social media. It’s about making time to take a step back and realise maybe too much screen time makes you feel exhausted or maybe it’s taking a toll on your mental health,” says Mickenzie Willars, a senior studying Advertising & Graphic Design and President of CCAD’s Student Government Association.

“At Columbus College of Art & Design, we’re working to build a culture of healthy creativity—and Unplugged Day seemed like a perfect fit in our overall efforts to support CCAD student wellness,” Mundell said. “The day is intended to help the campus community refocus, gain clarity without the distraction of devices, and explore how connectivity affects mental health and wellness,” he added.

So, on Unplugged Day, the CCAD Student Government Association is planning several interactive events on campus, including a sort of analog version of Facebook, where students, staff, and faculty will be encouraged to “post on the wall” with pens and sticky notes.

“We timed Unplugged Day to a point in the semester when students tend to get stressed out and overwhelmed,” Willars says. “So, we want to provide space for students to take a break, put down their phones, and talk to each other.”

The college plans to survey faculty, staff, and students about results of the day without screen time, and CCAD’s senior administration will attend a roundtable discussion hosted by the Student Government Association after the event.

“We’re eager to learn how the day will impact our community at Columbus College of Art & Design,” says Mundell. “And we’re open to ideas of how Unplugged Day can change our culture in the long term. Because that’s what artists and designers do. They change culture.”

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Art and Culture

An overview of global interest in Chinese Art

Niji Ng




The artist Fang Lijun in his studio, welcoming Wan Jie (Chairman of the Artron Group), on the right, and thierry Ehrmann (Artprice Chairman), in the center. (
Reading Time: 3 minutes


The Chinese art masterpieces of can be found in most of the major cities in the world:

New York, London, Paris and Brussels, where Western collectors—fascinated by an entirely different relationship to drawing, writing, form and colour—are fervent admirers of historical works of Chinese art and even artists of the previous century.

Here is a list of top five Chinese artists outside China, based on auction stats of 2018:

  • Zao Wou-Ki (1921-2013) 赵无极 – $31,250,600
  • Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) 张大千 – $18,509,500
  • Pan Tianshou (Attrib.) (1897-1971) 潘天寿 – $4,804,000
  • Lin Fengmian (1900-1991) 林风眠 – $3,118,500
  • Yang Feiyun (1954) 楊飛雲 – $2,793,300

The following is an overview of the growth and spread of Chinese art over the years:

The awakening and consolidation of the Chinese art market obviously had a profound impact on exchanges of all Chinese artworks throughout the world. In recent years, the price ratings of many Chinese artists have grown exponentially, thanks to a massive, passionate and impatient will to regain control of their own heritage.

Little by little, Chinese artworks are ending up back in their country of origin: Chinese collectors are today—logically—the largest purchasers of Chinese art. As a result, Westerners wishing to participate in this market are forced to follow the prices movements or step out of the ring. As the centre of gravity of the global Art Market shifts toward the East, a new price equilibrium is emerging. And Chinese artworks are the first to benefit.

In Europe

The paintings of several Chinese artists who settled in Europe during the first two-thirds of the 20th century are particularly sought-after by Western buyers, especially since the 2008 financial crisis. In 2000, San Yu’s (常 玉) Woman with arms raised (c. 1920-1930) was acquired for $1,200 at Piasa in Paris; it has just been sold for $170,000 at Sotheby’s in the French capital.

And this result is far from being an isolated case. The prices of works by Chu Teh Chun show overall growth comparable to that of San Yu’s works: +2,000 per cent since the beginning of the 21st century according to Artprice’s price index calculations.

There can be no doubt that the extraordinary value accretions of the Franco-Chinese lyrical abstractions created by Chu Teh Chun and, to an even higher level, of those created by Zao Wou-Ki, have been substantially boosted by the recent deaths of these artists (2014 and 2013 respectively). In the long run, their price charts show a stunning evolution.

Zao Wou-Ki’s painting 23.05.64 was auctioned for the first time in 1991 by the auction house Briest in Paris for $78,000.In December 2000, an Asian collector acquired it at Camels (in Paris again) for $251,600. On 30 September 2018, the same piece fetched $11,547,240 at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong!

Within China

Via Hong Kong, the Chinese Art Market is managing to recover lots of masterpieces dispersed all over the world. Among the most recent, an imposing 4.35 metre long scroll featuring a painting by Su Shi 苏 轼, active in the 11th century, was sold for $59,206,800 at Poly last month. The scroll, which also contains four colophons by major Chinese intellectuals between the 11th and 17th centuries, was kept in a private Japanese collection after spending many years in Tokyo’sSoraikan Collection.

As Alex Chang, CEO of Hong Kong’s Poly auction house, explained in Artprice’s 2017 Contemporary Art Market Report: “I think there will eventually be a junction point between Oriental art and Western art. […] However, I believe that as far as traditional Chinese art is concerned, Western collectors will probably continue to focus their interest primarily on objects and antiques, while Asian collectors will prefer Chinese calligraphy and painting.”

In America

The major American galleries play a vital role in the dissemination of Contemporary Chinese art in the world. Not only by offering them exposure in their exhibition spaces located in the world’s principal economic capitals, but also by their participation in the world’s most prestigious Contemporary art fairs.

In this context, the contribution of the Pace Gallery (which has branches in New York, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Palo Alto, Seoul and Geneva) has allowed more or less the entire Western world to discover a whole wave of Contemporary artists Chinese. Of the 12 currently represented by the Pace Gallery, six were graduates from the famous Capital Academy of Fine Art in Beijing between the late 1980s and early 2000s (Qia Xiaofei). This school has been an incredible breeding ground for new Chinese artistic creation. But the country’s most famous Contemporary painters were not all graduates from this Academy. Zhang Xiaogang and Yue Minjun—both represented by the Pace Gallery and among the most popular Chinese oil painters for Western collectors—received artistic training at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and the Hebei Normal University, respectively.

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