Manchester – Wuhan Creative cultural exchange

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Two of Manchester’s creative arts organisations, HOME and Brighter Sound, have joined forces on an international creative collaboration, which will take place in sister-city Wuhan, China, between Wed 18 and Thu 26 March 2015.

EIGHT, which is considered a lucky number in China, will see eight musicians and artists – four from Manchester and four from Wuhan – collaborate over eight days to create a new and exciting interdisciplinary piece of work, combining music, visual art and film.

HOME and Brighter Sound are working in partnership with K11 Art Village and VOX LIVEHOUSE – both in Wuhan – to produce the project, which takes place as part of the 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange.

The eight days of collaboration will culminate in a performance at K11 to celebrate the opening of the British Consulate General in Wuhan. As part of the programme, a wider exhibition Inside Out – curated by Zhan Rui, Sarah Perks and Ying Tan – will also be on display, with the artwork showcasing the talents of the artists from the two cities and celebrating the overall 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange with its UK season themed ‘Next Generation’. Across a range of formats from sculpture to film, Inside Out will explore how artists investigate a sense of place in their practice, looking at how artists cross over from their personal studio into public and digital worlds.

Debra King, Director of Brighter Sound, said: “It’s really exciting to bring together distinctive and talented artists from both cities for this collaboration, which is the first project of its kind between China and the UK. It will be a fascinating process to see how the crossing of cultures come into play and the different perspectives on the world combine to influence the work produced and the final performance.”

Sarah Perks, Artistic Director: Visual Art of HOME, said: “I’ve worked extensively across the world in many countries including China, but I truly believe this collaboration is something special and unique. Things are coming together fantastically for a great week in Wuhan, and I’m really proud to bring with me some fantastic artists to collaborate with the artistic talent there. Manchester and Wuhan are both exciting and energetic cities with a longstanding history together, though this moment is definitely the beginning of a new cultural adventure together.”

Carma Elliot, Director, British Council (China), said: “One ambition for the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange is to help foster bold, new creative collaborations. Eight has been created without predetermined outcomes, but realised by the immediate exchange between the UK and Chinese artists involved. I can’t think of a better metaphor for our developing engagement with the city of Wuhan.”

Supported by both the British Council and Manchester City Council, EIGHT takes place as part of a wider programme of activity in Wuhan at the end of March to celebrate the opening of the new British Consulate General in Wuhan.

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