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The back story of artworks - Sketches, drawings, notes, draft scripts

BEFORE we behold them as finished works, paintings, sculpture and film first take shape in an artist's sketchbooks and notebooks that are later filed away.

These precursors - rough sketches, drawings, notes, manuscripts and scripts - are on exhibit at ShanghART H-Space. They show the evolution of works by well-known Shanghai artists, from painting to video.

The show "Another Scene" features more than 200 original works and runs through the end of March. All are for sale.

At a time when the economic downturn has hit the art market and reduced major purchases, these precursors of paintings, sculpture and architecture are affordable.

The show features sketches for Yu Youhan's "Mao" series, Ding Yi's architectural renderings and construction, Shi Yong's designs and early film scripts by Lu Chunsheng.

The collection features works from the 1980s through today.

"It's interesting to see the original tracks of the artists and it gives a deeper interpretation of their current works," says Helen Yu, an organizer at the gallery.

"Due to the global financial crisis, the business of local galleries certainly has dropped dramatically," she says. So the gallery decided on a different kind of exhibit, a more academic one, to attract public interest.

The price tags range from 1,500 yuan (US$219) to 400,000 yuan, and many are priced at several thousand.

The artists were enthusiastic about providing sketches and drawings, Yu says. "Some have been kept for nearly 30 years and are of special value."

The works feature diverse media, including video, photography and film.

The most expensive work is Zhou Tiehai's "Sketch of le Juge," which is 4 meters by 3 meters. It appears much like the final rendering.

Date: through March 31, 1-6pm (closed on Mondays)

Venue: ShanghART H-Space, Bldg 18, 50 Moganshan Rd

Tel: 6359-3923


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