According to an old family book, there is a small Chinese village that has more than 1000 years of history and can be traced back to the Song Dynasty. Numerous key scholars and literati were originally from this village, and the poems they wrote were included in the family book. A set of them described 10 pictorial sceneries along the Mei creek. 'Stone horse carrying the mist' and 'Snow covering the bamboo forest next to Mei creek', are two such beautifully crafted scenes. Time has passed, the water of Mei creek is still running, but those sceneries are long gone. Now they have been transformed into sceneries of white foam, red balls and green belts making the many ornamental Christmas pieces you see today.
In fact, this village now produces more than 50% of China's Christmas exports. All of them are handmade; some of the ornaments are designed and improvised by the villagers themselves, and most of the tools they use to make these Christmas ornaments are farming related objects. Cleverly they have managed to mix and match various farming tools together to work perfectly for Christmas decoration production!
Shanghai based artist Chen HangFeng embarked on a trip to discover this unique village and its charming production line. Inspired by this visit he went on to journey to the home of Christmas, Finland, where he travelled to Rovaniemi to meet Santa Claus in the official Christmas office. The artist was delighted to meet with the man himself and was able to ask some personal questions about the daily life of Santa Claus. Since no photo or video footage was allowed to be taken, Chen HangFeng paid the necessary 49 euro video charge to use the office's official camera for recording the conversation.
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (formally Chinese Arts Centre) is delighted to be showcasing a series of video channel works by the artist, discovering stories about the little Chinese village and the daily habits and background of Finland's Santa Claus. As a merry Christmas to us all, we will be showcasing the works alongside some specially purchased Christmas decorations that will hang proudly on our own take on a Christmas tree!