Book Reviews

Artists in China

Screen shot 2013-01-26 at 4.49.56 PMArtists in China by Philip Tinari and Mario Ciampi
reviewed by Aaron Moffett

Artists have been an important part of China’s history for thousands of years. Fine artists in porcelain and ceramics have existed all the way back to the Han Dynasty.  The Ming and Ching dynasties produced for the Emperors some of the finest ceramics the world has ever known. Now it appears that China is also producing some fine contemporary artists working in various mediums. Artists in China, published this fall by Verba Volant, explores some of these artists, their works and their working environment.

When I first skimmed the book I was slightly turned off by its format. Page after page of full page photographs show each artist – over fifty —  in his or her studio or living space with some of the artist’s works displayed as well. The following pages show additional works of art. Skimming through the photographs, I wanted to read something about each artist even if it was just a short blurb about why they chose to work in their particular medium or even what city they were from. I needed just a little something to chew on other than glossy photos. Later, when I perused the book more thoughtfully I decided that I liked the format. Maybe it was the way the author put the meat at the end of the book. After four hundred pages of glossy photos the editors inserted a series of essays, showing once again each page in thumb nail size and then giving the reader details about the artists. I thought the format was refreshing when I really looked closely at the book. Maybe I was growing stale from looking at so many art books about American western art and artists and I needed something to shake me up.

Artists in China does not cover all the artists in China, but I’ve never found an art book that has been able to cover every artist from a geographical location. It does a great job of giving the reader a good look at some of the current artists in China today. This would be a nice addition to any dealer or collector who’s interested in Chinese art.


Artists in China

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Verba Volant; English language edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905216041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905216048
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 9.8 x 1.6 inches


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