From jewelry to art work and everything in between, there are many unique gifts you can buy to bring back home or to enjoy for yourself. And this time of year when some of our friends leave Beijing for another country, coming up with the perfect keepsake with which to send them off can be a challenge. But no more! Introducing Katart by Finnish artist Kata Ruohtula, with her distinctive collection of photography on canvas and bricks.
Originally from the coast town of Porvoo, Kata has traveled internationally for many years. Before coming to Beijing in 2008, her family was in Paris for four years. Throughout this time of being an expat abroad, Kata has had private painting showings, she taught art at the Swedish school and substitutes for art teachers at ISB, and she has had numerous photography exhibitions.
Now that the village of Bai Xin Zuang, right near her neighborhood, is being torn down, she wanted to give a deeper meaning to her village pictures. She started by collecting pieces of wood such as window frames for her photography, but then had the idea of using photography on bricks from the village instead. “Recycling bricks is a local tradition,” says Kata, “so I feel my art work is done the ‘local’ way.”
These photo bricks have become quite the popular keepsake, solely through word-of-mouth. Kata has an occasional open house; otherwise, orders are simply taken by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will have a booth at the ISB Spring Fair on Saturday as well (both in-stock and orders available).
Bricks cost RMB 300 each, and photography printed on canvas range from RMB 350-2,500, depending on the size. Bricks take about two weeks to receive after ordering.
Kata will be traveling home during the summer, so if you want to order before you leave, come see her work this weekend or send her an e-mail.