Chinese-born British visual artist Aowen Jin was selected by the national Museums at Night festival to be one of five major artists producing night-time events in venues across the UK at the end of October – a festival that has previously included prestigious Western artists such as Grayson Perry and Spencer Tunick.
Inspired by Compton Verney’s nationally-designated collection of Chinese bronze artefacts – the largest in the UK – Aowen says that she wants her show to be a contemporary artwork, but one that reflects the cultural heritage behind these treasures, which still exerts a huge influence in modern Chinese culture. To do this, she’s creating a massive installation artwork in the gallery – made up of 900kg of specially treated rice, some of which glows by itself and some of which reacts to UV light. Viewers will be given UV torches to explore the work in the dark.
Aowen says: “By using rice – first cultivated in China 13,000 years ago, but still just as culturally symbolic of China today – I am celebrating the vast extent of Chinese history.
“But by using UV paint and special glow-in-the-dark treatments on the rice I will create contemporary artworks and symbolism within the medium that can only be explored with UV torches, turning the viewers into explorers, uncovering the modern within the historic.”
The show will open for a special Museums at Night event on the 29th of October, from 4pm to 8:30pm, at Compton Verney Museum & Art Gallery. The event will feature talks, workshops and artworks throughout the main museum, but also a huge artwork in the Grade-I listed chapel, originally built by famous British landscape architect Capability Brown in 1772.