Mexican artist Manuel Felguerez, currently in Beijing with an exhibition of more than 30 works of his abstract art, has been more than pleased by the warm Asian welcome accorded him and convinced that being always open to new challenges is essential.

The octogenarian's vibrant art continues undimmed, judging by "Recent Work," the title of a collection of more than 30 of his creations from the last five years that the Zacatecas native is showing at the Art Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the Chinese capital.

"Considering the significance of China today, it would be an honor to have a sculpture of mine standing in one of its cities," Felguerez told Efe.

Felguerez's works, designed to become an integral part of landscape and architecture, have never been shown in China before.

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Faced with choosing between Beijing and Shanghai as the site for one of his sculptures, the versatile artist sidestepped making a decision between the capital's cultural contrasts and the headlong avant-gardism of the economic megalopolis by saying that either Chinese city "would be extraordinary."

"It doesn't depend on the city, but on the place within it. You have to fall in love with the space surrounding the work - which means you have to design a piece that accents its surroundings and vice versa," Felguerez said.

Sculptor, painter and engraver Felguerez said that as an artist he is delighted to "donate and cooperate," since "the main thing is that the work exists and, if it is destined for a different place than previously planned, the delight is all the greater."

"That way you're more likely to break out of the box and design something new," the artist said.

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The acclaimed veteran artist, icon of Mexican abstract art and a member of the "breakaway generation," said he was thrilled by the reception given him by the Chinese public.

"For me the response has been really great. So are the posters, the lighting, the staging, the distribution of space...all the elements befitting a first-class museum," Felguerez said.

"But just being here is a privilege in itself," the artist said.

Beijing residents will be able to enjoy until April 19 the exhibition by the celebrated artist, who began his career in the 1950s and moved beyond the Mexican muralist tradition of Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros to a more universal and cosmopolitan art form that has not been seen on the Asian continent before.

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