Shanghai surprise

Published: 19 Jan 2013 07:000 comments

AN Alloa artist has returned exhilarated from exhibiting her work in China. Emma Scott-Smith (34) made the trip to The Chen Tang Zhuang Art and Technology Gallery and Museum last month to take part in The Possibility of Something Other - a collection that incorporated 65-75 paintings in three series.

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Emma told the Advertiser, "The experience was very exciting as I met the new Chinese minister of arts and culture and was head guest at a dinner party she held after the exhibition opening."

The 34-year-old was given a taste of fame when she was interviewed by a Chinese news programme, radio station and many newspapers.

She added, "I was asked to sign my autograph on postcards of my artwork by many people visiting the exhibition. I gave a 30 minute speech which was translated to the audience of government officials, artists, business people and art lovers. It was great to see my name on large billboards in Tianjin and the posters for my exhibition."

During the trip Emma was treated to a four-day stay in a 5-star Shanghai hotel - which featured a swimming pool with a glass roof so as to see the surrounding skyscrapers.

She added, "Shanghai was wonderful and I visited the world's highest observatory. It was 101 floors off the ground with a glass floor to the streets below. The lift took only around 15 seconds to get us from ground floor to the top."

Emma also visited Shanghai's old market district and was impressed with the skilled craft people.

She said, "After exhibiting in China twice in 2012, I have been offered to exhibit again in 2014. I hope to have an exhibition in Scotland of the China exhibition so people here can view the art work too. China actually felt very much like home and in some ways very similar to Alloa."

As reported in the paper previously, Emma suffers from chronic pain in her spine and has to take large amounts of morphine every day.

Drawing inspiration from her daily experiences of torture, hope and passion, her paintings are hauntingly beautiful.

At the moment she is currently finishing a PhD in mental health and art 'artivism' at Stirling University, which she hopes will challenge the often stigmatizing attitudes people with mental illness and disabilities face.

Emma, the vice chairperson of Alloa's Reachout with Arts in Mind, currently has work showing at The Makers Gallery & Bistro.

She is also in the midst of working alongside video installation artist Alan Kerr on an exhibition for The Changing Room gallery in Stirling, which will open on 9 November.

Emma added, "It's about attitudes and identity. Looking at graffiti art, whose work is identified by their tag, and contemporary art, who are identified by their name.

"It looks at the illegality and legality of graffiti and contemporary art, how are these attitudes are socially constructed and what effects do they have on the artists and viewers of the work."

For more information and further examples of Emma's work, head to www.emmascott-smith.com.

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