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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

The “art ho­tel” is fast be­com­ing a bandied­about term but here’s a prop­erty where the no­tion is taken se­ri­ously and thor­oughly. The new 283-room Rosewood Bei­jing has a tan­gi­ble residential at­mos­phere and the feel is al­most of a (high-rise) man­sion filled with pre­cious works. Es­tab­lished and emerg­ing Chi­nese pain­ters, sculp­tors and mixed-media cre­ators are fea­tured but none as com­pre­hen­sively as the multi-tal­ented Li Yongfei (pic­tured). This young pain­ter, poet and cal­lig­ra­pher tells me that the ho­tel feels “like a gallery” for his work. He is a grad­u­ate of Bei­jing’s Cen­tral Academy of Fine Arts and works with tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary forms, in­clud­ing strik­ing and stylised head and shoul­ders por­traits with a touch of Warhol and Beard­s­ley in­flu­ences. As a coun­ter­point to these fash­ion­able por­traits (many have up­per bod­ies tat­tooed with pat­terns, such as flames and dragons, that “re­veal” the sub­ject’s per­son­al­ity), Li’s show­case work at Rosewood Bei­jing is an assem­bly of scrolls in the func­tion cen­tre foyer. Each is 35m long, fea­tur­ing fan­tas­tic land­scapes pop­u­lated with winged beasts, plump birds with hu­man masks and all man­ner of in­trigu­ing crea­tures. Col­lec­tors and con­nois­seurs, take note — Li Yongfei is on the Bri­tish Mu­seum’s radar. More: rose­wood­ho­tels.com.

SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

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