About The Project

The Chinese Whisper Art Project is a community based force of nature, bent on the freedom of creative expression and Ai Weiwei.

The Inspiration

The inspiration of the work came from the idea of ‘All Art Is Stolen’ and that ‘It’s not what you take it from that matters, it’s where you take it to’. In other words, life inspires expression. I got to thinking that a lot of Art is a response to other people’s Art. I wanted to create a project whereby this train of inspiration could be seen, after-all we all interpret the world in our unique ways, and messages no-matter how universal mean different things to different people. I was also moved by the suppression of Artist Ai Weiwei by the Chinese Government. This sparked the idea of the 5 elements of which Chinese philosophy believes make up the very fabric of the world. Could these be used as a seed of inspiration towards a self-contained project… a game of Chinese Whispers using only Art, and across different boundaries? Yes!

The Rules Of Our Game

Chinese whispers, incase you are unfamiliar, is a children’s game with no winner. The first player whispers a message to the next player. Each player successively whispers what that player believes he or she heard to the next. The last player announces the statement to the entire group. Here, we will be using Art to communicate the message, and one of the Chinese Elements (Wu Xing)- Earth, Wood, Fire, Water, or Metal as the first whispered message – the artistic stimulus.

The Concept

The general aim of the concept is that 5 chosen artists will each create 5 pieces of Art in 5 Months, followed by an installation exhibition of all 25 pieces. The first piece will be a response to one of the five elements. After which each will be passed on to the next until each artist has used a different discipline as a source of stimulus. For example, one month may have a sculpture to a photographer, a photograph to a painter, a painting to an illustrator and an illustration to a Light Artist, a Light Art piece to a Sculptor. It is a pilot project, and therefore will require some level of innovation, and if successful will be repeated 5 times with a super-exhibition of the 125 pieces of Artwork whereby common themes can emerge. The themes which emerge may explore personal interpretations; universal messages; Rumour; Freedom of speech, and meanings lost in translation.

The Karma Bit

It will be a chance to develop your personality within your work by uncovering what part of your expression remains consistent. By looking at different works and interpreting their meanings it will be like an ink-blot Rorschach psychology test and therefore a journey of self discovery in your selected field. It will also be a litmus test of impact – how effective or accurate might your pieces be? The 5 monthly deadlines aim to push the limits of productivity and therefore it is perfect for anyone who may need a creative soul search. As well as raising awareness for Ai Weiwei there will be a chance to celebrate the Project with your work in a London Exhibition.

Should I Apply?

We will be looking for unique Artists in London with integrity. You would have to be able to meet at a central location such as a Café five times over five Months to present the handover – dates of which will be set far in advance with some degree of flexibility for everyone. We would like to ask you to protect the work of each artist as if it were your own when it is passed on, with the alternative option to leave it somewhere safe once you have seen it. The works do not have to be anything you do not wish them to be, the only rule is that they are your response to the stimulus and within your most comfortable media form. Therefore we are looking for driven people who may be able to use the 5 Months wisely and realistically. We will also love for each month to have a diary extract of your personal style and reflection of the experience at each point, to showcase along the work. This can be a short as a post-it note or even typewritten. If this is you, why not apply?

“Currently seeking artists in the London area for a self contained journey of inspiration across disciplines and media, using the five elements as the first whisper into a journey of interpretation.”


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  1. Hi there,

    Great campaign! Well done – following you on Twitter. Wondering if UK Art Universities have a duty to join the campaign to call for the immediate release of Ai Wei Wei, regardless of the political connotations. Do they have a duty to speak out about the freedom of artistic expression, or is it too political. Is it something students especially Chinese students studying in London would like to support. Are Chinese students fearful of the consequences of the Chinese authorities if they align themselves with the campaign? Is one reason that no arts universities have yet to publicly declare their support to the campaign is the worry it might have a detrimental effect on student recruitment from international students. There is a need to start the debate. Thinking if we get enough backing by students that a linked up student led guerilla marketing/press campaign will help Ai’s cause. Can you help?

    • Thank yo so much for the first comment and what a positive one. Yes I absolutely agree – I’m trying to get the project off the ground as quickly as possible in a short space of time. Very relevant questions and I will help as much as I can! I’m still learning too as the situation is a mystery at large. I think Marketing is the way forward – it’s all about helping each other out and pulling together. I never thought about contacting universities that’s now on my agenda – great idea. I think it’s perfectly reliant and increasingly possible what with social media. Only the brave. Can you help too? Let’s do this.

  2. Looks like a really interesting project. I agree with you that it is all about marketing. I’m now following you on twitter so will retweet as much as I can. If I can help in any other way please let me know.

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