Tuesday October 1 is China’s National Day it marks the seventieth anniversary of the Chinese Revolution. It is also the 40th anniversary of the day the Stars Artists marched to Tiananmen Square under a banner saying ‘In Politics we want Democracy in Art Freedom.’ When I heard the details of their courageous story from two of the founders, the buzz word in art in the UK was Damien Hurst and his diamond encrusted skull. It felt tacky in comparison to the courage of the Stars artists who had no money to gain and laid their personal freedom on the line -indeed the democracy activists who supported them spent 13 years in jail.
I wrote Brushstrokes in Time as a moving easy to read story of Little Winter –a fictional artist on the fringe of the Stars, I wanted it to connect to readers in the West. It is important that we try to understand China. Reading my novel is a good way to start because you can enjoy it without knowing anything about China. 60 reviewers on Amazon seemed to agree. The picture is one of Qu Leilei’s Stars period work and it is called ‘Sun in my Dream’ . I believe that is how young people in Hong Kong today feel.