On November 20, 2015, the large-scale retrospective exhibition featuring works by Colombian Artist Fernando Botero, “Botero in China” was open at the National Museum of China. It was jointly sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Colombian Embassy in China. It’s organized by CAEG and sponsored by Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). As one of the most important living artists in the world, this is the first exhibition for Master Botero in Mainland China. Featuring 96 artworks spanning the key themes of Master Botero’s artistic career, the exhibition does not only honor his achievements in art, but it also symbolised an exchange and partnership between Chinese and Colombia cultures.
Fernando Botero (b. 1932) is celebrated around the world for his unique style expressed through the consistent and coherent exploration of volume and colour. He is well recognized for both his paintings and sculptures themed on Colombia and Latin America. The exhibition showcases 81 large format oil paintings and 15 large format drawings, ranging from the 1970s until today, comprised entirely of works from the artist’s personal collection. This collection represents his favourite pieces from a prolific career spanning 50 years and counting.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Chen Lvsheng, the Deputy Director of the National Museum of China, and the honoured guests attending the opening ceremony include, the First Lady of Colombia Mrs. Maria Clemencia de Santos, the Minister of Chinese Ministry of Culture Luo Shuguang, Colombian Minister of Culture Mariana Garces Cordoba, Ambassador of Colombia in China Carmenza Jaramillo, Director of the National Museum of China Lv Zhangshen and art scholar Xing Xiaosheng. Minister of Chinese Ministry of Culture Luo Shugang, Colombian Minister of Culture Mariana Garces Cordoba, Director of the National Museum of China Lv Zhangshen, and art master Fernando Botero addressed respectively at the opening ceremony.
Minister of Chinese Ministry of Culture Luo Shugang expressed in his speech that, this year marked the 35th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Columbia and the People’s Republic of China and fruitful accomplishments have been achieved. In May, Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to Colombia with a cultural delegation of the Chinese government, thus it initiated a new chapter in the cultural communications between Colombia and China with “The China-Latin American Seminar on Communications in Humanity.” This exhibition provided an opportunity for the audience to learn more about Colombian culture.
“This exhibition of works by renowned Colombian artist Fernado Botero at the National Museum of China, the largest and most important museum in the People’s Republic of China, is one of the most important overseas cultural projects Colombia has ever had. Colombia is very proud of the genius and masterpieces of Fernando Botero, a permanent envoy of the talent and creativity of our country. Botero has left his mark on the important stage of world culture, and this prolific artist has helped bring greater attention to the cultural wealth of Colombia,” remarked by Mariana Garces Cordoba, Colombian Minister of Culture.
“With pleasure, we present Botero’s first exhibition in China and we feel privileged to introduce one of most important artists alive to Chinese art lovers. His unique artistic style and language will provide a beneficial supplement to our contributions to the studies on Colombian culture,” said Chen Lvsheng, the Deputy Director of the National Museum of China.
“I’m very pleased to come to China, to present my work to a Chinese audience and to learn about this country. I adore Chinese culture, sculpture and painting very much,” said the art master Fernando Botero, “I feel honored to be invited to hold my retrospective exhibition in the National Museum of China and I feel excited about it. I hope the Chinese audience will appreciate my work.”
“On the 35th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Columbia and the People’s Republic of China, we feel exalted that we made it to bring the world-renowned artist Fernando Botero and his work to China. In the past twenty years, we have demonstrated works by many important artists, such as Michelangelo, Rodin, Picasso and so on. I believe this exhibition will be a good chance for the Chinese audience to deeply understand Colombian art, culture and history, “said Yin Peng, the Director of American and Oceanian Division, CAEG.
The exhibition is a “Retrospective” that will enable the Chinese public to get accquainted with the themes that have interested him throughout his career and that have made his pictorial universe an important reference to the whole world: Everyday Life in Latin America, Still Life, The Circus, The Bullfight and Versions: Evoking tradition. As the initial encounter of the world’s most important contemporary figurative artist, one who is deeply rooted in the Western pictorial traditions, with the principal nation of the East, China, with its own rich artistic tradition, this exhibition is of global significance.
“Botero in China–Fernando Botero Art Exhibition” will be shown at the National Museum of China until 2nd, January 2016. In addition to this exceptional exhibition, Botero in China will also organize a series of academic events including an art talk and academic seminar. On November 21st, “Botero and Chinese Artists” will be held at Shangyuan Xiayuan Art District on in-depth, an in-depth discussion on the significance and influence of ‘Botero in China’ academic seminar will be hosted at CAfA with the following three topics: “Artists Style as Point of Creation”, “Ethnic Aesthetics and Global Acceptance” and “The Randomness and Inevitability of the Evolution of Art.”
About the exhibition
Dates: 20th November 2015–2nd January 2016
Admission: Tue–Sun: 9am–5pm
Venue: The National Museum of China, Hall N4
Address: 16 E Chang’an Ave, Dongcheng, Beijing, 100006
Courtesy of the artist and the National Museum of China.
Text by Sue/CAFA ART INFO, Photo by Li Mingnian, Zhang Ziwei/CAEG, Sue/CAFA ART INFO.