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by Andries Loots

The 9th September 1998 saw the official opening of the Art Factory.

Beezy's renowned character 'Lee Ping Zing' performed alongside a powerful body of work in the form of paintings, sculpture and graphic works. Lee Ping Zing executed a self portrait on the wall of the Gallery, a 1930's building at No 4 Buiten Street, Cape Town, South Africa, which has been transformed into an art piece itself. It is here where it is all happening.

In 1995 at a Chinese supermarket in New York Beezy bought a bunch of ceremonial Chinese bank notes along with other goods. A few months later back in South Africa he started painting about seventy of the bank notes, all the time retaining the face in the center. These pictures were gathered chronologically and illustrated in a book. Lee Ping Zing was born, like Mickey Mouse or Charlie Chaplin, with his own character going on a fantasy adventure of life and beyond.

The project evolved over a three-year period into multi mediums. Before leaving the shores of South Africa for America, a selection of the finest of the three hundred pieces are being exhibited to mark the official launch of the Beezy Bailey Art Factory and the Lee Ping Zing Exhibition.

"An evening of retail therapy with a touch of heaven." was what the invite suggested and that was precisely what everybody experienced. The opening was attended by all kinds of weird and wonderful people like these two friends who came around to pay their respect to Lee Ping Zing. (With them is Beezy Bailey as himself )

Some of the works are monumental, over 2 meters long, there are smaller graphics of all shapes and sizes and fitting any budget. Judging by the number of guests, red dots on the paintings and the excellent content and variety of the works on display, this must have been one of the most successful and exciting events on the art calendar in Cape Town this year.