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Event Archive > April 2011 Growth & the City in Chengdu

by world renowned Austrian photorealistic painter Emil Herker

supported by Kerry Properties Limited

State-of-the-Arts Foundation is delighted to share with you our wonderful experience of working with hundreds of students in Chengdu to complete a 3x6M grid painting, consisting of 88,200 grids.

Based on the theme ‘Growth and the City’, renowned Austrian photorealistic artist Emil Herker started to brainstorm about the design of the grid painting 3 months ago, trying his best to incorporate the rich cultural heritage of Chengdu city and the aspiration of a prosperous future in his painting design. What Emil tries to voice in his grid paintings is one simple message – A single raindrop is nothing; but altogether they create an ocean. Through completing the painting with hundreds of children, Emil hopes to educate our future generation the importance of teamwork and community.

Children are the Future of China

‘China is a great country with a huge population,’ said Emil, ‘children are the future of this country and this is why education is so vital. I believe touching every kid’s heart is the only way to a brighter future.’

As early as one month before unveiling the completed painting, State-of-the-Arts Foundation had distributed 450 pieces of acrylic boards to hundreds of students from 4 different schools in Chengdu. We conducted painting workshops with these schools to instruct students the correct way of grid painting, as well as the meaningful rationale behind grid art.

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Click here to view the photos of Emil's school visits

One of the participating schools, Jitou Experimental School, is a non-profit school that is established to provide education to children of workers who come from various regions of China to Chengdu. Emil and our Foundation strongly believe every child is entitled to the right of enjoying art and being creative. Through this project, we hope to expose the students to art and foreign culture, something that was not familiar to them before.

Opening Ceremony

On 23 April, 2011, Emil attended the Opening Ceremony and invited all the participating students to celebrate their finished painting together. Through this huge media event, not only have we provided an opportunity to the students to enjoy art, but we have also raised the awareness of workers’ children in Chengdu. We have raised money to build an art classroom for Jitou Experimental School. The headmistress of the school also reported that more donors have approached the school after this project.

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Click here to view photos of the Opening Ceremony

In this specific project, we have celebrated team spirit with hundreds of students, yet we do not stop there. State-of-the-Arts Foundation is hoping to spread this message to everyone who is involved or wish to create a sustainable art industry. Not only do galleries have to support emerging artists, but artists and the community should also share such responsibility and mission.