14 Group Photo of Honorable Guests at The 20th China’s Art Road - Studying in the Soviet Union;  Photo by Gao Sisi

Sponsored by the National Art Museum of China, “The 20th China’s Art Road – Studying in the Soviet Union” a large-scale fine Art exhibition had a grand opening at the National Art Museum of China on March 1, 2013. In memory of the 60th anniversary of young artists studying in the Soviet Union since 1953, the exhibition features more than 500 artworks, and more than 600 precious documentaries. It is also the first time for artists of the 1950s-1960s studying in the Soviet Union to show their works all together in an exhibition. Each possessing a rich content and novel design of display, which brings a visual feast in the spring.

The press conference of the “20th China’s Art Road – Studying in the Soviet Union” was held on the 7th floor of the National Art Museum of China at 9:30 am. Shao Dazhen, Professor of CAFA, studied in the Soviet Union in 1955, Quan Shanshi, Professor of the China Academy of Art, Fan Di-an, Director of the National Art Museum of China, and Liang Jiang, Deputy Director of the National Art Museum of China, studied in the Soviet Union in 1954 were invited to participate in this conference, and made speeches.

Liang Jiang initially introduced the circumstances of the exhibition: the museum had spent nearly a year in the preparation of the show. Prof. Shao Dazhen served as the consultant of the exhibition, and Fan Di-an, as the curator, the exhibition had some innovations from the curatorial ideas and content to the design of the display. He said, the structure of art in new China was divided into three major sections: firstly, the fine arts tradition in the period of the Yan’an Revolutionary era; secondly, the experience of new culture and art since the May Fourth Movement in the Nationalist-controlled areas; studying (experience and mode) to the Soviet Union, and stressed that the third section was constructed on the basis of art in the PRC.

At the beginning of the founding of the PRC, in order to develop art and formalize art education, young students were sent by the republic to study art in the Soviet Union. From 1953 to 1961, seven groups went abroad and in total 33 students, high academic achievers were sent to study in the famous academy in the Soviet Union, the Repin Academy of Fine Arts, majored in oil painting, sculpture, stage art and art history theory.

The artists studying in the Soviet Union are the subject of the research for this exhibition, which is the first time to comprehensively gather, comb through and showcase on this subject. To collate and summarize the various artistic achievements of the generation, as well as offering a reproduction of their study, research and creations, by investigating this group’s school experiences. In the exhibition, we enjoy the specification and vigorous training from Russia – the Soviet Union, by reading different sections composed by drawings, sketches, figures of oil painting, nudes and landscape sketches, as well as creative scripts, where we share the specification and rigorous training from Russia/the Soviet Union, the rigorous structure and in-depth characterization in the sketches, the vast Russian nature and rich lyrical and poetic color in their landscape paintings, and the active creative ideas in their creations since graduation and many among them are shown in public for the first time, with reproduction of the study through the display of a large number of precious pictures, manuscripts, real material and documentaries. Once the audience went into the hall, they could comprehend their creating passion across space and time. Shao Dazhen and Quan Shanshi spoke of the experiences of studying in the Soviet Union, as well as their personal academic thinking.

Held at the lobby of the National Art Museum of China at 11 am, the opening ceremony was presided over by Fan Di-an, where Prof. Shao Dazhen, serving as the consultant introduced the guests one by one, the old artists who had studied in the Soviet Union, Qian Shaowu, Li Tianxiang, Chen Zunsan, Lin Gang, Zhou Zheng, Xiao Feng, Quan Shanshi, Shao Dazhen, Xi Jingzhi, Li Baonian, Guo Shaogang, Deng Shu, Wang Baokang, Zhou Benyi, Ma Yunhong, Ji Xiaoqiu, Dong Zuyi, Feng Zhen, Li Jun, Zhang Huaqing, Xu Minghua, Cao Chunsheng, Situ Zhaoguang, Su Gaoli, etc. were invited to participate in the opening. In addition, some senior artists such as Jin Shangyi, Zhan Jianjun, Pang Dao, etc. met each other at the museum, while the representatives of the related sponsors of the exhibition, such as Liu Dawei, Chairman of Chinese Artists Association, Zhu Di, Deputy Secretary of Art Department of China’s Ministry of Culture, were present at the opening. Xiao Feng, the former Dean of the China Academy of Art, on behalf of the old artists studying in the Soviet Union made a speech.

With the new historical conditions and cultural development situation, the exhibition benefits from further understanding of the contribution and role of the artists in studying in the Soviet Union in the course of the artistic development in the PRC, and to strengthen the study of the history of art in China, as well as a chance for the public to appreciate the radiant works of the old artists.

The exhibition lasts until March 28, 2013.

Image Courtey NAMOC/Translated by Chen Peihua, CAFA ART INFO

About the exhibition

Title: 20th China’s Art Road – Studying in the Soviet Union

Time: March 1 to March 28, 2013

Organizer: National Art Museum of China Venue: 3-17, 19-21 Exhibition Hall

Venue: 3-17, 19-21 Exhibition Hall

Courtesy of the National Art Museum of China, for further information please visit www.namoc.org.

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