George Camille, first Seychellois artist for Beijing Biennale 2019 after strict selection | 14 September 2019
Seychellois artist George Camille is the first Seychellois to take part in the Beijing International Art Biennale (BIAB) in China.
This year’s exhibition, the 8th since its inception, is being staged in the impressive National Art Museum of China and is running from August 30 to September 20, 2019.
This year the biennale has seen the involvement of 113 countries, 595 artists and 640 pieces of artwork – 446 overseas works and 194 domestic ones.
Mr Camille, one of Seychelles’ leading artists, was selected as one of the participating artists after the curatorial committee’s strict selection among the works from 125 countries. With the use of recycled copper wire, shapes and forms bent and attached to canvas as well as embossed on copper sheets, the exhibited artwork of Mr Camille, entitled ‘Searching’, depicts the journey in life that mankind all embark on from birth to death.
“Like a log carried by the river of life, we are all striving to find our ways with heads full of memories and dreams, hopes and trepidations. The choices we make and the people we encounter are what shape and enrich our lives,” said Mr Camille regarding his artwork ‘Searching’.
BIAB is the only international biennale that still adheres to the focus of mainly painting and sculpture. This year, the exhibition features paintings, sculptures, installations and mixed-media under the theme ‘A Colourful World and A Shared Future’.
Initiated in 2002, the BIAB, jointly sponsored by Beijing Municipal Government and China Artists Association (CFLAC), has witnessed a consecutive success in its seven past sessions. Altogether over 4,000 artists from more than 100 countries as well as over a million audiences have taken part in this event that has become a key international exchange platform in fine arts with the most countries that take part.
Along with other artworks that reflect distinctive living experiences and issues to evoke discussions about regional conflicts, economic recession, pollution and other social problems, Mr Camille’s ‘Searching’ is exhibited under the Foreign Countries session in the Biennale Catalogue.
“It is indeed a great honour to be the first Seychellois artist selected to participate in the Beijing Biennale. The last time I visited Beijing was in 2006 when I had a solo exhibition at the 798 Art District in Dashanzi. With the close friendship and cultural ties that Seychelles has with China, I would encourage more artists from Seychelles to grab the vast amount of artistic and cultural opportunities that China has to offer,” said Mr Camille.
Mr Camille’s trip to China was realised with the support from the Chinese organisers and the National Arts Council.
The Seychelles Art Foundation (SAF), formerly Seychelles Art Projects Foundation, was established by a group of Seychellois artists prior to the first national participation at the Venice Biennale (2015 edition). Since then SAF has established itself as a body capable of delivering project outcomes at the highest international and domestic level. SAF's mission is to enhance the quality, status and development of the visual arts in the Seychelles. SAF devises, designs, funds and delivers a range of art events and activities which involve and impact upon various Seychelles communities.