A Letter Home: To Every Precious One of You
Union of Five generations: The Most Emotional Gathering in a Century
No. 5 Xiaowei Hutong
No. 2 Wanhong West Street
No. 8 Hua Jia Di Nan Street
On May 28, the Centennial Day for CAFA has arrived as scheduled. Over 6000 alumni of CAFA returned to their alma mater for the centennial celebrations at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In the morning, Party Secretary of CAFA Gao Hong, President of CAFA Fan Di’an with the leading team of CAFA welcomed all the alumni to return to the alumni forest. Each alumni that returned to CAFA became a protagonist of the celebration, they signed on the same check-in board meaning that they have majored in the the same discipline and they have become guardians and inheritors of the same discipline of art.
Zhang Shufen, who was admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1966, talked about how few alumna there were in CAFA when she studied at CAFA when she was interviewed by CAFA ART INFO. She expressed her gratitude to the positive strength that has persisted through the senior tutors at that time and she has also applied this attitude to her lifelong research on cultural relics. The middle-aged alumni from CAFA have become the backbone of the undertaking of social arts, and they will continue to lead the development of aesthetics in this era. The largest number of visitors were the graduates who just left CAFA. Qi Ziyu who just graduated from CAFA and started to work at the Fudan University, has paid a special visit back to CAFA from Shanghai, and she looked forward to further developing under the spiritual encouragement from CAFA.
The group photos with classmates recorded their learning career so alumni could recall their youth along with their predecessors, teachers and senior classmates and experiences of their academic journey. This is also the tradition of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Every time they met senior tutors, they were asked about “What have you done recently? What were your most recent achievements?” The photos taken with the leading team of CAFA showed the concern for alumni and best wishes from CAFA.
The Central Academy of Fine Arts accepted generous donations from Fujian Normal University, Shanghai SIIC Marie Painting Materials Co., Ltd., Wang Chao who is an alumnus from the School of Chinese Painting in 1963, Liu Yonggang, an alumnus from the School of Oil Painting in 1986 as well as other alumni and various sectors of society.
The LED screen in front of the multi-functional hall was another platform for celebrations. “One Hundred Years: To Every Precious One of You” is a feature film produced by CAFA for the centennial celebrations. Besides, the series of documentary “Vision of the Century” by CAFA ART INFO, focused on anecdotes in the great history of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, with a perspective of microscopic narrative and an humanistic vision, it guided the audience passing through and experiencing the history of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. A young student from the Foundation Department of CAFA wrote a song for CAFA, “Pick Me Up” and he took the three Chinese lace-bark pines transplanted from the old campus to interpret the transition of CAFA over a century. In addition, a collection of congratulations from domestic and international art organizations and alumni from all over the world was also presented. The online interactive platform of Weibo, was also opened on the campus, where alumni sent instant wishes on the internet to celebrate the CAFA centennial.
A brand-new History Museum was established at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, which witnessed the memorable years of CAFA developed from Beijing National Academy of Fine Arts, Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in Yan’an, to the highest stage of art education in the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Chen Weisheng who taught in CAFA in 1956, recalled his study, teaching and living here. Ms. Ding Jing who donated Ding Guiyuan’s Graduation Certificate signed by Ling Fengmian, President of CAFA at that time. She was so glad that she could witness the centennial celebration of CAFA and she wished CAFA a bright future. She hoped that the Central Academy of Fine Arts will continue to make contributions to the cultural and art undertakings in China.
The exhibition featuring “old photos of alumni from the School of Chinese Painting”, reflected the historical development of the School of Chinese Painting as well as Chinese painting education at CAFA.
The Department of Oil Painting presented the “Demonstration Exhibition of Drawing Teaching from Department of Oil Painting”. Mr. Pan Shixun, Mr. Zhong Han and Mr. Wen Lipeng came to the campus to share their experience with young alumni and students.
The big family from the Printmaking Department has prepared a grand welcome party for the alumni. Besides the documentary “The Academic Context of Printmaking Department”, they have also prepared specially customized gifts and bookmarks for the alumni.
Nearly 400 alumni from the Department of Sculpture returned to the campus. The Department of Sculpture has revised the “The Basic Course of Sculpture”, and they have also designed and produced a set of commemorative coins with the theme “cultivating in a century while keeping track of the years.”
An alumnus from the Department of Mural Painting, Qi Xinghua, led everyone to splash ink on a canvas. The band presented a live show and brought everyone back to their school days and the atmosphere was like a family gathering.
The Foundation Department, School of Plastic Arts, successfully hosted the launch ceremony of “Pick Me Up” and presented a wonderful gift for celebrating the centennial of CAFA.
Shao Dazhen, Xue Yongnian, Wang Hongjian, Yuan Baolin, Li Fushun, Yang Hong, Huang Wenkun, Nie Chongzheng, Zhu Qingsheng and other alumni from the School of Humanities, reunited in the auditorium of CAFA Art Museum to celebrate the centennial of CAFA. The trajectory of the School of Humanities is pushing forward with every academic discussion and exploration.
The centennial anniversary of CAFA coincided with the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of School of Design. The School of Design prepared badges for the alumni who returned to the campus and senior alumni wrote down their words for the School.
Tao Lei, an alumnus from School of Architecture conducted interviews with those who returned to the campus. They shared the cake customized with the logo of School of Architecture and listened to the old stories.
A commemorative video was screened by the School of Urban Design, a chorus was sung that embraced youth, memories, impressions and artistic life.
Yang Xianrang, Feng Zhen, Gao Chao, Wen Guozhang and Lyu Shengzhong joined together with the alumni from the original Folk Art Department, New Year’s Paintings and Comics Department as well as School of Experimental Art. Mr. Lyu Shengzhong, mentioned the spirit of the Folk Art Department has never disappeared and the School of Experimental Art is an extraordinary transformation. While inheriting traditions, it keeps exploring the future.
Institute of Arts Administration and Education, brought together hundreds of alumni from art markets and auctions, art museums and collections, as well as industrial art parks.
The Graduate School has carefully prepared the exhibition themed on “Art Heritage”. Discussions have been conducted on the history, characteristics and achievements of the graduate education.
In the past 15 years, the School of Extended Education has cultivated nearly 8000 students across the country, among which over 600 returned to the campus for this event.
The classic photographs from each period during the development of the Affiliated High School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, brought the alumni back to their school days. They talked with each other about the glorious history of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
The Youth League Committee invited the “Guoyin Youth Art Troupe” to present a show with “Yellow River Boatman” and ancient song of “Mei Hua San Nong”. As an important event of the graduation season, the “Collection of Seals” is always the most popular one. The dramatic dance by 200 Alpha Ebot robots received acclaim from the audience. Nearly 200 volunteers participated in services for the centennial celebrations. The Hip-hop show by the Dance Community of CAFA was enjoyed by many alumni.
One hundred years has hurried by. We embrace the dream of art while experiencing the epochal changes. We are the pioneers who write art history. The infinite is the youth of Central Academy of Fine Arts, the everlasting is the inheritance of life and spirit from CAFA alumni.
Text and Photo by CAFA, translated and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO