Matt Vegh says that it is Chengdu's deep, rich cultural heritage and the fascinating local history that has kept him here all these years.
With the 7th Chengdu Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival in full swing this week, we take a look at how some of our foreign friends are enjoying the unique event.
One of them is Matt Vegh, a long-term Chengdu resident who holds a Chinese green card, originally arriving in the city in the year of 2000 from Canada.
A history buff and collector of antiques, artwork, vintage advertising, memorabilia and owner of a 300,000 item postal history collection, he says that it is Chengdu's deep, rich cultural heritage and the fascinating local history that has kept him here all these years.
A tech entrepreneur and now a well-known contemporary artist, he is perhaps the top selling foreign artist in Chengdu. This year he has sold over 130 original works of art.
Chengdu, he says, "is the best place to draw inspiration for creating new artwork."
"Chengdu has perhaps the richest cultural heritage in the world and is also a hotbed for some of the greatest artists the country has to offer."
"The city not only has several UNESCO designated natural attractions, but is also designated Asia's 1st City of
Gastronomy as well."
"Chengdu is also the birthplace of paper money, Shu Brocade, Change Face Sichuan Opera, and the ancient Shu Kingdom. Known as Tianfu (Land of Abundance) throughout history, it has been the bread basket and heart of China for centuries."
"What more can an artist ask for?"
His artwork is a fusion between traditional Chinese inkwash paper styles and Western palette knife techniques. His popular "Four Seasons" Abstract Collection borrows from traditional Chinese painting and won the Golden Panda International Design Award in both 2017 and 2018, with evolving stylizations.
At this year's Golden Panda International Design Week Expo, he will unveil the world's first AI Perpetual Painter, which uses a sole source data set, comprised of tens of thousands of images of his abstract work. His "Promordial" show will be set in an experiential mini theater and is based on one of his favorite parts of local intangible cultural heritage: Jinsha and the ancient Shu Kingdom.
Mr. Vegh has published a graphic novel series, distributed by Xinhua, about the Shu Kingdom and has written a movie screenplay that made the cover of the Hollywood Reporter Magazine at the Cannes Film Festival.
His own art collection was on loan to the San Xing Dui Museum in 2016 and 2017.
He has been the subject of 3 documentary films about his research into Jinsha, San Xing Dui and the Shu Kingdom.
"Jinsha is one of the world's last great mysteries and Mr. Vegh finds great inspiration and energy when he visits the Jinsha Museum."