The Shanghai Art Fair is the biggest and most prestigious art fair in the Asia Pacific region and the invitation for Steve Morvell to be the first Wildlife Artist ever to exhibit there was more encouragement than was really needed to get him to China in November 2006.
Invited by the export arm of the Australian Government to represent his country there in a first and groundbreaking Australian Feature Display, Steve could hardly whisper the magic words "Giant Pandas" and "Golden monkeys" quick enough!!! His first visit to China rapidly underwent a dramatic transformation, as do all of his safaris to various exotic places, to become not only a major exhibition but also a full on study tour of wild places and the wild creatures contained therein. What better place after all to study wild Giant and Red Pandas than in their natural habitat in the mountainous western parts of Sichuan Province in China?
The exhibition at the giant SAF (10,000 exhibits) was a roaring success and Steve has not only established great sales outlets all over China and Japan as a result but he has also been invited to hold a feature exhibition of his amazing art at the gorgeous Shanghai Art Museum!!!.........something for him to really get his teeth into.
The three weeks he spent exploring many different locations around Western and Central China allowed him to gather an amazing amount of material in the field on Giant and Red Pandas as well as wonderful Tibetan Macaques in the snow on the sacred Buddhist mountain of Emei Shan. And YES....we did say "In the field" with both panda species. A once in a lifetime chance offered specially to Steve and which he wasted no time at all in accepting. As shown in the accompanying pic Giant Pandas as well as Wildlife Artists are inherently cuddly. Presented by the Chinese as gentle, lovable and playful they like nothing more than a nice hug!
Spending several days at both the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre and also the Wolong Breeding Centre Steve amassed a dazzling array of photographs and sketches done from life. He can barely contain himself in his preparation for next years SAF!