The title ‘China Dream’, echoes the phrase ‘Chinese Dream’ which is associated with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The phrase embodies the political ideology of his leadership, where he describes the dream as "national rejuvenation, improvement of people’s livelihoods, prosperity, construction
of a better society and a strengthened military”.
In Beijing an estimated 40% of the downtown has been “remodeled” since 1990 and construction is continuing at break-neck pace. The new non-places of globalization - the huge shopping malls and towering glass covered skyscrapers offer known spaces of welcome respite yet are generic and anonymous.
In contrast, Beijing is still crisscrossed by hútòngs, ancient alleyways that bustle with people and villages with third world conditions. These areas have their own unique sense of place, and are packed full of character, of life lived on the street and of strong community.
Works in this developing series explore the differences and tensions between non-place and place, between pace and pause. Imagery is painted in, painted out and painted over. The history in the layers of paint traces the transformation of urban space.
I was in Beijing in 2014 undertaking a two month artist residency on the Red Gate Residency Programme.