East Anglian artists share skills with famous Chinese artists

Artist exchange event University Campus SuffolkFive East Anglian artists have been sharing their skills with five famous artists from China in an artist exchange event arranged by Essex International, Essex County Council’s International Trade Team.

The event, held at University Campus Suffolk (UCS), helped promote cultural and commercial links between East Anglia and China as well as build goodwill for future relationships for the region’s artists.

How the event came about

Artist exchange event University Campus Suffolk

Essex International (EI) was asked by one of their clients, Phoenix Publishing & Media Group (PPMG), to arrange an event for five Chinese artists visiting the UK. The Chinese artists represent five cities in Jiangsu the Province with which Essex International has a unique 27 year relationship.

EI was able to quickly facilitate an exchange event between the groups of artists through their existing links and networks in the East of England.

“Essex has been forging links with Jiangsu for almost 30 years. What began as a cultural and educational link has now become a significant economic and trade partnership which is now broadening to the whole of East Anglia. It is great to see businesses such as Phoenix Publishing showing that Essex means business by seeking to further strengthen these close ties through events such as this one.”

David Finch, Leader, Essex County Council

Bringing opportunities to the region

Artist exchange event University Campus SuffolkThe artists exchange event provided opportunities for the five artists from Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk to build links with China. The ten artists shared their skills after which the Chinese artists were given a tour of the Atrium Studios at UCS.

Atrium Studios is an innovative creative industries hub at UCS offering affordable studio and desk space to start-ups, SME's, artists, graduates and alumni.

“I'm delighted to have been asked by Essex International to be a part of an exceptional group of international artists from the East of England to meet, exchange ideas and build new creative partnerships with fellow artists from China’s Jiangsu Province. It is a great honour for us to meet our new friends for the very first time in what we hope will be this first of many new opportunities for us to learn, collaborate and work with each other in the future.”

Robert Priseman, Senior Visiting Fellow in Fine Art, University Campus Suffolk & originator of the East Contemporary Art Collection

How Essex International helped Phoenix set up in the UK

Artist exchange event University Campus SuffolkPhoenix Publishing & Media Group (PPMG) is one of the most influential large-scale Chinese publishing and media groups with annual sales income amounting to £1.2 billion. When PPMG was interested in setting up a branch in Europe, Essex International put them in contact with key organisations (for instance INVEST Essex) and assisted them in finding business partners. Essex International also worked with PPMG to help them open a printing works and hotel in Essex.

Through Essex International PPMG have found success providing services in London and Essex and PPMG continues to work with EI on business and cultural projects and exchanges.

About the Joint Committee

Essex International manages the long standing East of England-Jiangsu partnership on behalf of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, helping businesses, schools, universities, vocational colleges, museums, cities and regions develop profitable partnerships. This has increased exports to China and attracted inward investment to the East of England.

See here for more information on Essex International.

Source [UCS]

Peter Manning
Peter Manning

Head of Essex International

+44 (0) 7907 025 155


Extensive 'in market' experience in China, India and the UK. 15 years in the fields of inward investment, international trade, international realtionships and business development. His experience of helping UK and Chinese businesses, universities and governments do business together has given Peter detailed knowledge of how to do business in China and a wide range of contacts. Peter has an MBA from Henley Business School (Reading University), and was awarded an OBE in 2019 in the New Year’s Honours List for UK/China Relations.