A coup for Chinese New Year! Exclusive interview for Oxfordshire Limited Edition with one of the founders of the Stars Art movement the courageous Qu Leilei.

Ai Weiwei, Ma Desheng, Wang Keping and Li Shuang are among his fellow Stars. I met him at his one man show called Everyone’s Life is an Epic in The Ashmolean. I soon discovered that the epic life was Qu Leilei’s. He told me the story of the Stars artists who changed Chinese art for ever. (Here is an earlier feature about the stars including Ai Weiwei: Brushstrokes in Time OLE

Qu Leilei is an inspirational Oxtopian!They needed more than the courage to face ridicule (cf the Impressionists who changed western art), they risked their lives and their freedom. You can read a precis of Qu Leilei’s life in this PDfQu Leilei Castaway

Hearing about the Stars illegal exhibition and march to Tiananmen Square, I wondered why so few prople in the West had heard of them. It made me determined to tell their story. It only took 10 years but it is at the heart of Brushstrokes in Time.
Qu_Lei_Lei and I with BIT


The banner for Brushstrokes in Time has images from 1979 including one of the young Qu Leilei.
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The brave young artists deliver a petition demanding freedom of expression.(Beijing 1979)
Stars present their petition 1979

I was on BBC Radio Oxford on Sunday 7 Feb, talking about Chinese New Year, this feature and about Bernie Sanders whose brother Larry lives in Oxford http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03gjsth#play