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On the afternoon of November 11, 2016, the opening ceremony and donation ceremony of the “Taking the Straight Road of Art: The Exhibition of Prints donated by Tan Quanshu” was held in the Auditorium of the CAFA Art Museum. President of CAFA Fan Di’an attended the opening ceremony, and Vice President of CAFA Su Xinping hosted the opening ceremony. Deputy Dean of the School of Plastic Arts, CAFA, Director of the Department of Printmaking Wang Huaxiang, Dean of the School of Humanities, CAFA, Deputy Executive Director of the Academic Committee Yin Jinan, former Party Secretary of CAFA, Deputy Secretary-General of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Yang Li, former Party Secretary of CAFA Sheng Yang, Professors Ma Changli, Li Shusheng, Zhang Baowei, Cao Chunsheng, Jin Hongjun, Zhang Peiyi, Guang Jun, Wen Guozhang, Director of the Department of Printmaking, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts Guo Jianwen, the wife of Tan Quanshu, musician, harpist Jin Yurui and other honored guests were all present.

Tan Quanshu is an outstanding contemporary creator and educator of printmaking in China. After he graduated from the High School Affiliated to CAFA in 1957, he was admitted to the Department of Printmaking, CAFA, he learned from Li Hua; he graduated with excellent scores in 1962 and remained on the school staff. He was appointed the Director of the Department of Printmaking, Deputy Director of the Art Committee of the China Artists Association, Editorial Board Member of “Chinese Prints” magazine, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Chinese Printmakers Association, has been a judge of national print exhibitions and organized the review of work. Now he is a Professor of CAFA and doctoral tutor.

This exhibition is part of the series of activities of the 100th Anniversary of CAFA – Hundred Years of Glory. Tan Quanshu selflessly donated 113 woodcut prints, 213 original plates, 35 bookplates and 31 New Year cards to CAFA Art Museum for it’s permanent collection. These works cover Tan Quanshu’s 50 years of artistic creative trajectory since the late 1950s, and formed a complete historical series.

President of CAFA Fan Di’an, Tan Quanshu’s students, Deputy Dean of the School of Plastic Arts, CAFA, Director of the Department of Printmaking Wang Huaxiang and Prof. Teng Fei from CAFA respectively delivered a speech at the opening ceremony.

At the opening ceremony, Tan Quanshu recalled Li Hua’s essay “Technology Should Serve Art – Introduction of Woodcut and Teaching Exploration of Tan Quanshu”, which was mentioned in the article that comments “The practical experiences and requirements of Tan Quanshu leads people to take the straight road of art, refusing to be shaken by the style or form.” – The theme of this exhibition “Take the Straight Road of Art” was derived from Li Hua’s review on Tan Quanshu’s artistic creation.

This exhibition mainly displays the 113 prints and the original works donated to CAFA and it is the first time to comprehensively showcase 50 years of artistic creative trajectory, the independent quality and artistic ideals of Tan Quanshu. The exhibition completely researches and reviews the artistic exploration of Tan Quanshu, and the exhibition is divided into three sections: Early Achievement in Printmaking (1958-1979), Leading Transformations (1979-1999) and Rejoining Traditions (1999-2014), trying to fully understand the unique artistic system. As someone who has inherited and practitioner of Li Hua’s artistic thoughts, Tan Quanshu has been practicing the spirit of “taking the straight road” of art, emphasizing the artistic spirit of the consistent expressive technique and creating intention and has kept one principle running through it all over several decades of teaching and artistic practice. In the new historical background and social transformation, Tan Quanshu was keen on innovation, confidently leading the trend of change.

It is also the characteristic of this exhibition that the works are displayed by contrast with the original plates, and the presentation of the original plates allows the audience more intuition and true understanding of the making of prints and the unique artistic charm of platemaking. It also features Tan Quanshu’s artistic chronology, and the videos on interviews with experts, scholars and friends whotalked about Tan Quanshu’s artistic achievements.

The exhibition remains on view until November 27, 2016.

Text by Lin Jiabin, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo by Hu Sichen/CAFA ART INFO

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