Archive: radio

Radio interview – ‘Helen Couchman – Making art in China’

1st February, 2012

Interview for ‘Expat Tales’ broadcast on CRI, China Radio International, Beijing and ‘Heartbeat’ broadcast on Strait to Taiwan. Talking with Julianne Page in Beijing it aired at 4.40pm 1st February.

CRI English

Listen to ‘Expat Tales’, 01/02/2012

Helen Couchman is an artist who first arrived in China via the trans-Mongolian railway from Moscow in February 2006. Since that time she has exhibited widely in China and other countries and published two books. Helen is based in Beijing and is continuously influenced by what she sees around her.


Listen to ‘Heartbeat’, 06/02/2012

Welcome to Heartbeat, the show that gets to the centre of China’s ever-changing lifestyle, yet still manages to discover the country’s rich cultural heritage. I’m your host Man Ling.

Today we’ll introduce you to four people who are working in different fields but contributing to society in their own ways.

First up we’ll hear the story of a retired female worker who has committed herself to the task of cleaning up Tian’anmen Square for the past seventeen years without compensation. Then we’ll meet a young man who specializes in IT technology but chose to give up his reliable income and career prospects to become a farmer.

Later we’ll meet a photographer who hopes to show people the true spirit of China and Chinese people through his photographs. And last but not least, we’ll meet an expatriate living here in Beijing who, inspired by her life in China, continues to make exciting works of art.


China Radio International 1008AM, 846AM, 91.5FM. World service on London 558AM, Nairobi 91.5FM – Mongolia 103.7FM – Laos 93.0FM – Perth, Australia 104.9FM etc.

Video interview, Mrs West’s Hats – China State Radio website

22nd December, 2010

Click here to see the China State Radio’s web page showing a video interviewing Helen Couchman about Mrs West’s Hats.

The page written in mandarin shows images from the book and a video. The video features clips from their recent hour long interview with Helen about her book and British hats in general. The programme was broadcast live from the CSR Beijing studios on 1st December 2010.

姓名:海伦考斯曼 (Helen Couchman)
来自:威尔士 史塔福郡 肯特 伦敦




Interview – Mrs. West’s Hats. China state radio, Radio Beijing

14th July, 2010

Live interview for Talk Box on Beijing Radio, 774am.  14th July, 11am-12noon.
Presenters June Lee and Dominic Swire interview Helen Couchman about her work and her recent book Mrs. West’s Hats. The interview was broadcast with an accompanying live video link.

At the studio in a hat borrowed for the show. Photo taken by the host, June. Listen to a previous interview about living in Beijing and her first book WORKERS 工人 here.

Interview – China state radio, Radio Beijing

2nd March, 2010

Live interview for Talk Box on Beijing Radio, 774am.  2nd March, 11am-12noon.
Presenters June Lee and Dominic Swire interview Helen Couchman about her work, her book WORKERS 工人 and living in Beijing.

To listen click here.

Interview with Jian Ghomeshi for CBC’s Q: Arts and Culture

3rd July, 2008

Helen Couchman interviewed about the book, WORKERS 工人, for the CBC by Jian Ghomeshi on his daily culture show Q: Arts and Culture. It was recorded live in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s London studio as Jian was visiting for a week to broadcast from the UK to celebrate Canada Day.

The interviewed is approx 35 minutes into the 1 hour show. First on is Sebastian Faulks talking about writing the thirty-sixth James Bond story, Devil May Care.

Listen to the radio programe here: (>>35:00)

Short radio interview – Affordable Art Fair Beijing

9th May, 2008

To listen see China Radio International’s web page, The Third Affordable Art Fair Beijing, scroll down the page and ‘Click to Listen‘.
A sound bite cut from an interview with Liao Jibo recorded at the fair.

Affordable Art Fair interview 2008

The annual Affordable Art exhibition in Beijing has become a celebration time for art lovers who want to buy some cheap yet high-quality works.

This year’s exhibition has just concluded at the 798 Space in Beijing. The three-day event featured a wide selection of visual art including paintings, prints, designs and photographs.

Most importantly, the price of the displayed art ranged from 10 yuan to 10,000 yuan or some 1,400 dollars — much cheaper than those in other shows.

Our reporter Liao Jibo was there and filed this report.

About 600 creations of painting, printing, design and photography were available on this year’s exhibition, much more than ever before, and their prices too were lower.

They were created by 150 contemporary artists from China and other parts of the world.

Jiang Kun is a Chinese painter whose works are usually sold at 20,000 yuan, or about 3,000 US dollars.

However, at this show, each piece was priced only at 7,000 yuan. She was exhibiting four paintings depicting world-famous artists in a tongue-in-cheek way. She hoped more people would be able to appreciate contemporary art due to the lower prices.

“The price of modern Chinese art works is unrealistically high some times. As an artist, I have the responsibility to promote art and make more people afford the art works.”

Helen Couchman, an artist from England, also had five pieces on show here. Although she said her creations were priced much cheaper than usual, she felt it fitted for this particular exhibition.

“I think it’s great. The reason it works because the gallery only takes ten percent. Usually most galleries take fifty percent. But at this show, artists can afford to make it less expensive because they don’t have to give fifty percent to the gallery. It’s fair.”

In the current Chinese art market, it is becoming harder to find affordable yet high-quality works of art. As the economy booms, contemporary Chinese artists are seldom on the collector’s lists of must-have work as prices for many of them are too high.

A painting by Chinese artist Yue Minjun was sold at Sotheby’s for nearly six million dollars in London last October. It is the highest price ever paid for a contemporary Chinese work.

In late 2005, the first Affordable Art Beijing was held as an alternative to the increasingly elitist art market. Much to the surprise of the organizers, over 100 people queued to get into the venue and nearly half of all the works on display were sold within an hour.

The exhibition is now an annual event, which serves as a platform for young talent to display fresh ideas and give the city’s art lovers an opportunity to take home an original creation.

Tom Pattinson from England was one of the organizers of the exhibition.

“What we want to do is to make people who don’t have millions of dollars actually afford art. Affordable Art is a matter of opinion that eight thousand or ten thousand RMB is not affordable to some people. But really in the market place, ten thousand RMB is very affordable compared to the price of Liu Xiaodong, whose work is sold millions of dollars. We are very pleased to see a lot more people who come and walk out of the door, carrying something and with a smile on their face.”

Mr. Pattinson said 200 works were sold within the first hour of the exhibition. Bregtje van der Haak, a traveler from Holland, said she was lucky to be in Beijing during the event. She bought two paintings for 5,500 yuan, or less than 800 dollars. She said the paintings appealed to her and that the price was quite reasonable.

“It’s affordable. Affordable means you can actually buy it within your means. The painting appeals to me. It’s very personal as which kind of art you like or which painting you like and which image draws your attention.”

For art lovers, Affordable Art Beijing gives an opportunity to take home a unique piece of contemporary art. For artists, it provides an excellent platform to express themselves. The exhibition has indeed become one of the most eagerly-anticipated events of the country’s art calendar.