That's China Magazine G20 Special article
I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by That's China's editor David Kay a few weeks ago and over a brew, a shepards pie and then a couple of tinnies we talked about how I ended up in China and how the G20 will affect the city that I live in...
See the text transcription below...
Gav Munro: Artist and G20 Outstanding Foreign Resident
Ask any foreigner in Hangzhou about Gav Munro - artist, lad, monkey man, guitar-slinger, comedy promoter, tech junkie - and you’ll probably be met with warm smiles and most probably a juicy anecdote or two. Mr Munro is, you see, something of a legend round these parts, and a 100% diamond geezer to boot. A renaissance man in every sense, Gav is the kind of guy that you warm to instantly, and after almost 10 years in this city of ours, it’s safe to say that he’s shared a beer or joke with more foreigners than is possible to mention - unless we dedicated a whole mag to naming them - which is unlikely to go down well with our Director of Publications.
In many ways then, it’s no surprise that Mr. Munro was chosen as one of the city’s outstanding foreign residents, a role that has seen him take part in a range of G20 themed events over the past few months - including his very own mini-documentary, nonetheless - as this likeable Artist of the People has been plugging away at his craft - and pushing the expat envelope - for over a decade. In fact, the Manchester-born artist’s emergence as one of the city’s finest purveyors of pop-art is a tale of steely determination, self-improvement and intellectual stamina that ought to inspire any would-be Edward Hooper’s out there, expat or otherwise.
“My mum always tells me that I was a really good kid, as all she’d have to do is give me some paper and some pens and she wouldn’t hear anything from me for hours as I’d be busy drawing”. Gav informs me over a large plate of homemade shepherd pie (made by his delightful girlfriend Juliet, I hasten to add), when I ask him how his art life began, way back when. “Later, I spent most of my teens messing about with my best friend - who was a complete crackpot. We used to make comics about imaginary football teams and hand them out the the kids in the street”, he adds “and then we moved on to saucier, Viz style stuff. It got to the point that kids would ask us when the next drawings were coming out!”. After that Gav spent the next few years hanging around his Greater Manchester school’s art block, doodling away, strumming his guitar, looking moody and sporting some dodgy early-90s threads.
Moving to China ten years ago, thanks to an invitation from his elder brother Don - who at that point had been living in the city for four years and found it to be a place full of opportunities - Gav soon began focusing on his art once again, only this time instead of drawing kids stuff he focused on colourful portraits of his musical heroes, still life vignettes and pop-art iconography pieces. Lennon, McCartney, Ali, Hendrix, Monroe, Jagger - all icons tackled by Gav and his wandering brush
Setting up a studio at home, where he can make the most of the natural light that floods in through his window and get inspired by the expansive views of the Qiangtang River and the hills of Longing beyond, Gav rises early to hone his craft, working tirelessly to improve himself as an artist almost everyday.
“Being in China has given me a lot of opportunities as an artist” says Gav, cracking open a post meal can of chilled Tsingtao. “For example, If I’d want to stage an exhibition in Manchester, it would be very hard, and I’d have to be knocking on doors and making phones calls non-stop, but in China it’s been much easier for me display my art, which helps me grow as an artist”. And indeed, the Manchester-born artist has held a number of exhibitions over the years, the most recent of which saw him take over Binjiang’s hottest night-spot, ABC (video) In that particular show, Mr. Munro showcased a collection of steamy, edgy, works inspired by some of his favourite artists such as David Hockney, Roy Lichenstein and Jack Vettriano, as well as a smattering of works that showed a continuing development of the Mancunian’s ever-developing craft and, in that shape of a provocative image of Donald Trump, a move towards more topical, political subject matter.
Bringing things back to the G20 Summit, Gav has been involved in a number of interesting projects over the course of the summer as part of his role as an outstanding foreign resident, even rubbing shoulder’s with the major of Hangzhou and sharing the stage with various local dignitaries. Recently, the Lancashire-born artist had an unexpected face-to-face interview and modelling session with one of his Hangzhou art-heroes, abstract portrait artist Tong Yan Ru Nan (童颜汝南). This being China of course, the meeting was sprung on an unsuspecting Gavin, who was under the impression that he was due to be filmed by crew from the ZJTV International Channel (a TV station that beams its content Zhejiang-born folk living around the globe) whilst giving some students a brief painting lesson. “When I arrived at the studio with the crew I quickly realised that it was the studio of abstract painter Tong Yan Ru Nan (童颜汝南)” says Gav enthusiastically. Mentioning that he was a fan of the Hangzhou-Based artists work and had visited the man’s Nanshan Lu gallery numerous times (the pair even share key artistic influences, such as Lucien Freud and Jenny Saville), the shows producer managed to get Tong Yan Ru Nan to swing by and pay the Englishman an impromptu visit. “I was thrilled” says a star-struck Gav, who not only spent time chatting art with the man but even posed for his very own abstract portrait. All in a days work for a G20 outstanding foreign resident I guess!
As well as this, ZJTV have also shot a mini-documentary about Gav’s life and work in Hangzhou, that will be beamed out to millions of viewers as part of the channels G20-inspired output on the run-up to the summit. In it, viewers can see Gav in his natural element; painting in his studio; playing guitar in his band; hosting stand-up comedy nights in the city.
“I think the G20 Summit is going to be a very good thing for Hangzhou”, shoots Gav when asked what his thoughts are on the city’s role as host city for the 2016 political gathering. “And, in the longterm, I think there will be lots of advantages for everyone living here, both local and expat. It’s going to put Hangzhou on the map, for a start, and make it a much more desirable place to be and to live”, he concludes, recalling back into his comfortable sofa before rising again to put some finishing touches to a new piece of art in his sunny studio. Because, after all, with so much art to create, what’s the point in sitting around?
To learn more about Gav’s work and G20-inspired activities, go to www.gavmunro.co.uk.
询问在杭州的外国人约GAV株系蒙罗 - 艺术家，小伙子，猴的人，吉他斯林格，喜剧启动，高科技迷 - 你可能会用热情的微笑和最有可能多汁轶事或两个满足。蒙罗先生，你看，一个传奇圆这些部件，和一个100％的钻石这辆引导的东西。文艺复兴时期的人在任何意义上，GAV株系是那种人，你温暖的瞬间，之后在这个城市我们近10年来，它可以安全地说，他是共享的啤酒或笑话多的外国人可能比提 - 除非我们致力于一个整体MAG命名他们 - 这是不可能下井以及与我们的出版部主任。
在随后许多方面，它是蒙罗先生被选为该市的优秀外国居民之一，已经看到了他参加主题活动，在过去几个月里一系列的二十国集团的作用，没有惊喜 - 包括他自己的迷你纪录片，但是 - 作为人民的这种可爱的艺术家一直刻苦攻读他的手艺 - 而推动外籍信封 - 超过十年。事实上，在曼彻斯特出生的艺术家的出现，为全市最优秀的流行艺术的传播者之一，是钢铁般的决心，自我提高和智力耐力的故事，应该鼓励任何想成为爱德华·胡珀的摆在那里，外籍人士或以其他方式。 “我妈妈总是告诉我，我是一个非常好的孩子，因为所有她需要做的就是给我一些纸和一些笔和她就不会听到我何事小时，我会忙着画”。 GAV通知我在大板自制的牧羊人馅饼（他愉快的女友朱丽叶做，我赶紧补充），当我问他他的艺术生命是如何开始的，遥想当年。 “后来，我大部分的青少年与我最好的朋友折腾了 - 谁是一个完整的疯子。我们曾经做出虚足球队的漫画和手出来在街上“，他补充说”的孩子们，然后我们转移到更加莽撞，即风格的东西。它得到了孩子们会问我们在下一素描出来的地步！“之后，GAV株系在接下来的几年里挂着大曼彻斯特学校的艺术街区，涂鸦了，拨弄着他的吉他，看起来喜怒无常和运动一些狡猾的早期90年代线程
十年前搬到中国来，这要归功于他的哥哥唐邀请 - 一直生活在城市的四年谁在这一点上，发现这是一个充满机遇的地方 - GAV株系很快就开始专注于他的艺术再次，只是这一次，而不是孩子们画的东西，他专注于他的音乐英雄们丰富多彩的肖像，静物晕影和流行艺术肖像作品。列侬，麦卡特尼，阿里·亨德里克斯，门罗，贾格尔 - 通过GAV株系解决所有图标和他的漂泊刷 设置在家里，在那里他可以充分通过他的窗口洪水和得到由钱塘江的膨胀意见及以后向往的山丘启发了自然光的工作室，GAV株系上升早来磨练他的手艺，工作坚持不懈地提高自己作为一个艺术家几乎每天。 “作为中国给了我很大的作为一个艺术家的机会”GAV株系说，开裂开后顿饭可以冰镇青岛啤酒。 “举个例子，如果我想在舞台曼彻斯特的一个展览，这将是很辛苦，我必须要敲门，使电话打个不停，但在中国它已经更容易为我展示我的艺术，这有助于我成长为一个艺术家。“其中最近的事实上，曼彻斯特出生的艺术家已经在多年来举行一些展览，看见他接手滨江最炙手可热的夜间现场，ABC（视频）在那个特定的节目，蒙罗先生展示的热气腾腾的集合通过他的一些最喜爱的艺术家如大卫·霍克尼，罗伊·利希滕斯坦和杰克韦特拉伊洛，以及这表明曼彻斯特的一个持续发展的作品一知半解的灵感前卫，作品不断发展的工艺，在一个挑衅性的形象塑造的唐纳德·特朗普，朝着更外敷，政治题材的举动。
把东西还给G20峰会，GAV株系已经参与了一些在夏季的过程中有趣的项目，因为他作为一个优秀的外国人角色的一部分，甚至擦肩与杭州的主要和各地方分享的舞台要人。近日，兰开夏郡出生的艺术家中有意外的脸对脸访谈和建模会议上与他的杭州艺术的英雄之一，抽象的画师童雁汝南（童颜汝南）。这是中国，当然，这次会议是如雨后春笋般涌现在不知情的加文，谁的印象是，他是因为被船员从ZJTV国际频道（即梁其内容出生的浙江民间生活在全球各地电视台拍摄），而让一些学生一个简短的绘画课。 “当我到达与剧组工作室我很快就意识到，这是抽象画家童雁汝南（童颜汝南）的工作室”GAV株系说踊跃。提的是，他是基于杭州艺术家的作品的粉丝，并参观了男人的南山路画廊无数次（两人甚至共享关键的艺术影响，如吕西安·弗洛伊德和珍妮萨维尔），该节目制片人设法童雁汝南摆动通过并支付英国人即席访问。 “我很高兴”一个明星来袭GAV株系，谁不仅花费的时间聊天艺术与该名男子，但即使合影他自己的抽象的画像说。所有在一天的工作了G20优秀的外国人我猜！ 除了这一点，ZJTV也纷纷出手迷你纪录片GAV株系的生活和工作在杭州，将横梁，数百万观众的渠道G20灵感的助跑到山顶输出的一部分。在这里面，观众可以看到GAV株系在他的自然元素;画在他的工作室;扮演他的乐队的吉他;托管在城市站立的喜剧之夜。 “我认为，G20峰会将是杭州非常好的事情”，拍摄GAV株系当记者问他有什么心思都放在城市作为主办城市的2016年政治集会的作用。 “而且，在长期，我想会有很多的优势，为大家住在这里，包括本地和外籍人士。它打算把杭州地图上，一开始，并使其更加令人向往的地方是和生活“，他总结说，回顾回到他舒服的沙发再度上涨之前把一些收尾到一个新的片艺术在他的工作室的阳光灿烂。因为，毕竟有这么多的艺术创造，什么是在围坐点？