00 Poster of 2012 Datong International Mural Biennale

Jointly organized by the Chinese Artists’ Association, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the City Council of Datong, the 2012 Datong International Mural Biennale was sponsored by the Mural Arts Council of Chinese Artists’ Association, the Mural Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Datong Bureau of Cultural Relics, which was inaugurated at the Heyang Art Museum, Datong of Shanxi province on September 26, 2012. With the theme of “Work of Nature”, it is the first international exhibition of contemporary murals with an historic significance, which aims to present the marvelous creations that excel in nature–the spiritual connotation of Chinese culture through the means of the unique device of mural art.

Zhou Ran, Vice Chairman of Shanxi CPPCC, Geng Yanbo, Mayor of Datong, Yang Li, Party Secretary of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Hou Yimin, renowned Chinese Mural artist, Li Huaji, Honorary Chairman of the Mural Arts Council of Chinese Artists’ Association and Tang Xiaohe, Director of the Mural Arts Council of Chinese Artists’ Association have participated in the opening ceremony and delivered wonderful speeches. The First Mural Forum of Datong International Biennale was held at the ballroom of the Yungang Jianguo Hotel, Datong. The forum has discussed the development of biennales and Chinese contemporary murals from an academic level, shifting from the traditional to the modern, with mutual relations between urban construction and mural developments, the affections that mural art has exerted on the cultural uniqueness and the image of the city’s personality, the absorption and utilization of new materials and new techniques in the development of contemporary mural art and other perspectives were thoroughly discussed.

This Datong International Mural Biennale made history as the first large international art exhibition of murals, showcasing the artistic achievement of China since the reform and opening up period, including representatives by famous contemporary mural artists, teaching achievements made by teachers and students from first-class Chinese higher art institutions as well as the art works from mural artists from Russia and South Korea. The domestic part of the exhibits have been called for entries by the Mural Arts Council of the Chinese Artists Association and collected works from across the country. Over 500 pieces have been chosen from more than 3,000 murals submitted. Excellent works by Russian and Korean artists have been invited for the international part of the exhibition.

Shanxi province has the most ambitious heritage of ancient architecture, sculpture, mural groups in China. As an ancient capital of culture in China, Datong is the most concentrated and representative birthplace of Shangxi’s culture and heritage. Yungang Grottoes, the Monastery are on the World Heritage List with a long history of outstanding artistic achievements represented at a super high level of the traditional arts that draws attention from both home and abroad. Mural as an ancient art has remained one of the three treasures with excellent traditional and cultural relics along with traditional architecture and sculpture in Datong.

The Central Academy of Fine Arts was the first art academy which established its mural major in China after the policy of the reform and opening up. It shoulders the historic mission to restore Chinese murals and carries forward the creating and teaching of mural art as well as the spirit of traditional Chinese murals of the past three decades. Under the support of Datong Municipal Government, mural artists from the Central Academy of Fine Arts have adopted ancient forms for present-day use, making new advances and painstaking efforts in giving over 3,000 square of traditional murals in Datong a new lease of life. Not only did it fill a brush stroke in thick and heavy colors, but it also made an indelible contribution to the restoration and the protection of the cultural heritage of traditional Chinese murals.

The exhibition will last until February 28th, 2013.

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