Is this the most expensive work of art currently on sale in Birmingham?

Artists from China have submitted work to the RBSA, with six artists selected from a total of more than 400 entries from the UK and around the world.

The artists, who submitted via a UK agent, depict scenes of Chinese living and culture in works priced from £5,000 to £220,000.

The works are a real talking point at the exhibition, and RBSA Hon. Curator Steve Evans said:

‘We were surprised and delighted by the number of submissions from Chinese artists for the current Prize Exhibition. The selection was made from digital images and, whilst sizes are given in the documentation, the impact of scale only becomes apparent when the work itself is viewed.

‘There are a number of large, powerful works among the Chinese entries, and the challenge was to show them in a good light whilst achieving balance with the other selected works.

‘I think we have managed to achieve that goal.’

Mingming Li, JiuER,

Mingming Li, ‘Jiu ER’, Oil – £220,000

Mingming Li’s ‘Jui Er’ (above) is provoking particular interest as the most expensive work on show at £220,000.

​He is a member of the China Art Association and a professional painter, born in Beijing in 1957. As a child he joined the art group of the Beijing Children’s Palace and studied with Professor Wei Qimei of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

After graduating from the Department of Oil Painting of the PLA Art Academy he worked as an art editor, university teacher, and creative director.

He has exhibited in the Beijing Art Exhibition (winning bronze), the 9th National Art Exhibition, and has held solo and group exhibitions in China and abroad.

Wayne Attwood, Vice President of the RBSA, said:

‘The RBSA is pleased to be receiving international submissions in increasing numbers. Work from artists in the Netherlands and Ireland was included in the last exhibition, and this year has seen entries from China, Australia, Ireland, and Denmark.’

More than 400 works were submitted to the Prize Exhibition, and these included 30 Chinese artists. Six artists were selected, and eight works are currently on display at the Gallery.

The works can be viewed at our current Prize Exhibition, which runs until 23 June.

Mingming Li, Before the Show

Mingming Li, ‘Before the Show’ oil – £90,000

Fabang Pei, 'Hunter'

Fabang Pei, ‘Hunter’ Chalk painting – £5,000

Xiaoxia Guo, 'Winter of Yimeng'

XiaoXia Guo, ‘Winter of Yimeng’ watercolour – £6,680

Wei Cui, 'Sound of Nature'

Wei Cui, ‘Sound of Nature’, oil – £55,600

Zhenhuang Huang, Gaze Pen and Ink - £3350

Zhenhuang Huang, ‘Gaze’ Pen and Ink – £3,350

The RBSA stages an annual Prize Exhibition as part of its charitable work to support artists, providing an opportunity for a wide variety of artists to show their artwork and be rewarded for their talents. 

Selection for the Prize is by digital image of the original artwork only. The judge (or judges) are not given names or prices, and are only informed of the medium and dimensions of each artwork. All artworks entered go through the same selection process. The selection is based on the assessment of the quality and interest of each work. This year’s exhibition was selected by Zoë Lippett, Exhibitions and Artists’ Projects Curator at The New Art Gallery Walsall.

As with all RBSA exhibitions, the RBSA asks artists to set their own retail price. The RBSA provides a sum to help artists calculate their retail price to include commission and VAT on that commission. Other than providing the sum, the RBSA does not give guidance on how to price artwork.

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