UK Now was one of the biggest ever celebration of the arts held in China. It highlighted the
best of UK creativity and included exhibitions, concerts and performances across the country from April to
November 2012. The festival builds upon the UK’s successful participation at the Shanghai World Expo and
celebrates the connection between China and the UK as consecutive hosts of the Olympic Games. Representing
the best of both traditional and contemporary arts and the creative industries from Scotland, Wales,
Northern Ireland and England, UK Now showcased over 100 events in over 15 cities across China. Each flagship event will have an associated education programme developed in collaboration with
venues in China which included new initiatives designed to support the development of skills in the arts
sector as well as to share best practice in areas of priority for China
In thinking about a perfect bridge between the UK and China, the London Underground map originally
designed by Harry Beck provided inspiration and served as the key creative link between the two countries.
Utilizing the structure of the modern Tube map as foundation, its essence was molded into a graphical
representation of China, comprised of singular characters that highlighted the cities that hosted UK Now
events. These visual as well as metaphorical connections not only linked Chinese cities together but also
represented a much broader importance in the strengthening diplomatic relations between the UK and China.
Participating cities served to form a symbolic link between the UK and China.