As part of our unremitting efforts to better the cultural profile of the city where we live, work, and love, QINGDAO(nese) showcases Qingdao artists, including resident foreigners such as Alan Forrest, who works out of his studio in Taidong. Here’s a brief statement from Alan (his “manifesto”) about his art and a look at some of his paintings. For more info, please contact the artist.

In the artist’s own words:

Alan Forrest (01/04/2010)
I’m primarily a figurative painter. How much of the figure is recognisable in any one painting is often questionable. Like the majority of us, the human form both relaxes and intrigues my mind. It is part of human nature that we look for the human face in everything. Be it the moon, the way light falls on the side of mountain, or shadows in the dark when we are trying to fall asleep.

In China, I have found the reaction to more abstract paintings to be one of confusion. Many people all over the world have this reaction to purely abstract work. However, in the Western world abstract art is familiar to most, if not all, people. Everyone has an opinion on its merits. Here in China, it isn’t familiar, and thus, people are unsure of it, sceptical and ill at ease. As if there is something important missing. Something to be recognised, known, understood.

My most recent work is in a realist tradition. I first want to show the local Qingdao community that I can paint. Not to gain respect, but to gain acceptance, and a little breathing space for future projects that may be more difficult to visually understand. I don’t mean to patronise the Qingdao public. Rather to share with them the many wonderful and vibrant styles of art that I am familiar with.

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