Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Sinopticon - review

Hello everyone!
I'm currently doing an Arts Award at my local college of art. I have to build up a portfolio of work to be displayed and marked, and if I pass I will achieve Bronze Arts Award, which is the equivilant to half a an GCSE. I can then go on to do Silver, which is equivelant to a an GCSE (or there about) and finally Gold, which will get me UCAS points!

There are certain criteria that have to be fulfilled, one of which is to write a review on an exhibition and get feedback on it. So, I'm going to write it here in hope that I get some comments.

The art exhibition I recently went to is set up in four different locations in Plymouth, UK, three of which I visited; Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth College of Art Gallery and Saltram House, which I didn't visit.

The exhibition is called 'Sinopticon'. Sinopticon is (in brief), all about how Western art and culture has been influenced by Chinese art and culture - Chinoiserie. The name of the exhibition also tells you a bit about it; Sino, meaning China, and opticon, from optics, which is to do with seeing. Sinopticon is work from contemporary artists who like I said, are showing how Chinese culture, art, and industry are all part of our everyday lives.

Personally my favourite part of the exhibition was in Plymouth Museum and Art Gllery - sculptures of famous Western icons such as Darth Vader, Smurfs and My Little Pony that had all be changed for some Chinese influence. For example, Darth Vader's helmet had a Chinese pagoda (the multi layered shelter/houses) fused to the top, as an extension to the helmet that was already there.

The exhibition was not only sculpture though; there was photography, film, and painting/drawing all involved. However, some of the film was very abstract, and I struggled to understand it!

Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take photos in the galleries, so I only have a few here that are from the Sinopticon website. Sorry about that!

Please let me know what you think in a comment!


and some other examples of Chinoiserie:

I hope to hear from you in the comments!


  1. last two photos looks like Gzhel
    very similar colors and style

    would like to see Darth Vader with pagoda :D

    1. Yeah, it does look rather like Gzhel. I wasn't sure about the origin of the photos when I found them...

      I spent ages looking for photo of him, couldn't find it!

  2. Those are some pretty neat artworks! Especially the burger!
    I never really thought about how Asian cultures influence us - always only how we influence them. I guess that's one of the main things about globalization, we all influence each other and perhaps are slowly becoming a single merged culture.

    1. Yeah, it's all pretty cool!

      It is certainly interesting how two cultures that seem so different to each other are actually linked completely, and are merging togther more and more.