Commission – China Articles for ARTQUEST

Commissioned in late 2009 by Artquest for their Artroute – China pages. Published January 2010.


‘There have been many key moments in my experience of living in China, mostly born from small observations of things around me that have taught me something about Chinese culture and usually myself. I suggest that these incidentals are what make living and working in China especially enjoyable…’ Artroute: Asia: China: Being an artist in China: Moving to China

‘With the recent boom the price commanded by Chinese artist works and the subsequent injection of investment, the 798 Art District can no longer claim the ‘gritty artist colony’ title but it still has much of that energy. Naturally as the district is “tidied up” and the rents go up so the artists slowly move on…’ Artroute: Asia: China: Building Networks

‘Guanxi (being friends with the right people) is a big deal when trying to get things done in China but it will certainly not solve all your employment problems. Knowing the right people through networking may well help but at the end of the day you will need a combination of qualifications, being prepared in the right place at the right time and a good introduction to get work in China…’ Artroute: Asia: China: Money: Finding work

‘Should you be unfortunate enough to be taken sick, time spent in an international hospital will tot up very quickly! Of course there are local hospitals, which may charge you less but these will bring other complications specifically if you don’t speak Mandarin…’ Artroute: Asia: China: Being an artist in China: Visas


Helen Couchman was born in England and studied in London graduating with an M.A. in 1998. She has a fascination for travel and has worked abroad when possible, – in Armenia, USA and Cyprus. Arriving in Beijing on the Trans-Mongolian train she was immediately taken with Beijing due to a long held interest in the country and particular in places that are changing fast…’ Artroute: Asia: China: About the China guide