A Distorted View
During a return trip to
Xiamen, China in 2015, Josie made some work on paper which were shown in an
exhibition titled 'A Distorted View' at Nothing Gallery in Xiamen.
Xiamen, also historically
known as Amoy, is a major city on the southeast coast of China in Fujian province,
with a population of over 3,500,000. Xiamen is a popular domestic tourist
destination, famous for its attractive seascape, university grounds, botanical
gardens and the neighbouring islet of Gulangyu. China's loss in the First
Opium War and the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 resulted in Xiamen becoming a
treaty port. Soon after, foreign residents on the island of Gulangyu established
an informal organisation that became formally organised several decades later.
Eventually 13 countries, including Great Britain, France, The Netherlands
and Japan, were to enjoy extraterritorial privileges there and take part in
the Municipal Council that administered the settlement. As with the Shanghai
International Settlement, the British played a predominant role in the administration
and Sikh policemen from British India were charged with the policing of the
The buildings, including
consulates, churches, hospitals, schools and police stations, built by those
foreign communities explain the predominantly Victorian-era style architecture
that can still be seen throughout Gulangyu.
The ink drawings that Josie
made on the island begin to examine her conflicting feelings of, unease, longing,
confusion and romance, for China, Xiamen and the enchanting Gulangyu.
You can read about Josie's
experience in Xiamen and Gulangyu on her blog, starting here https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/skygroundbeing/date/2015/11