On the afternoon of December 9, 2017, “Troposphere – Chinese and Brazilian Contemporary Art Exhibition” opened at Beijing Minsheng Art Museum. This exhibition is the latest achievement of Beijing Minsheng Art Museum’s BRICS Contemporary Art Exhibition Project. It is hosted by China Minsheng Bank and Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, and co-organized by the Embassy of Brazil in China, Currents Art and Music, and Beijing Minsheng Foundation for Arts and Culture, and Núcleo da Cultura Brasileira da Universidade de Pequim offered academic support. 21 Chinese artists and 21 Brazilian artists are brought together, echoing each other in this exhibition to form a comprehensive and complete dialogue of contemporary art exchange between China and Brazil. This exhibition is also the first large-scale Brazilian contemporary art exhibition to land in China.

China and Brazil have become members of “BRIC countries”, and cultural exchanges between the two countries are also becoming gradually frequent. China has been actively involved in contemporary art activities in the world while Brazil is also an active builder of contemporary art, for example, the Sao Paulo Biennale is an influential international art event now. As Chen Jinzhong, Secretary of the Committee for Discipline Inspection of China Minsheng Bank, addressed the opening ceremony and said that, as two emerging powers in the era of globalization, China and Brazil were establishing a rich dialogue mechanism in order to create a “community of destiny” for the future, while cultural exchange is an important part of communication and cooperation between countries. Marcos Caramuru de Paiva, Brazilian Ambassador to China, also mentioned that the exhibition was one of the achievements made during a state visit by the President of Brazil to Beijing in September this year. The exhibition presents the richness created by the collision between Brazilian and Chinese artists. This exhibition does not only become a key event for the art community in Beijing and China, but also becomes a key event in the international art world.

This exhibition presents more than 100 works by 42 major artists in order to demonstrate the commonality and individuality between contemporary art in China and Brazil, as well as the cultural background behind the occurrence and creation of the art, and experiences the multicultural value created by the two countries with “troposphere”, and the art gives people the power of thought, emotion and culture. The Brazilian curator Sarina Tang believed that contemporary art in China and Brazil was very influential in the world art scene, and this exhibition was significant for the future of social and cultural development. Chinese artist Sui Jianguo saw the artists’ efforts in the integration of European genes and local culture through the works of Brazilian artists, which formed a mirror for Chinese contemporary art, giving a useful inspiration of how to enter modern civilization from the traditional culture. At the opening ceremony, Caio Reisewitz, a representative of the Brazilian artists, shared his experiences and feelings of traveling in China, and these experiences helped him to understand Chinese contemporary art, in addition to promoting the cultural dialogue between China and Brazil.

The Chinese and Brazilian Contemporary Art Exhibition is themed on the “Troposphere”, the Chinese curator Bao Dong introduced the two meanings of the term “Troposphere”, on the one hand, Chinese artists directly meet Brazilian artists; on the second hand, standing on a global and even planetary perspective it is possible to see current culture and art. Bao Dong hoped that the exhibition of “Troposphere” would make the exchange between China and Brazil create a trend, and he also hoped that the Beijing Minsheng Art Museum would continue the exhibition plan of the BRIC countries, really turning “Troposphere” into a global cultural contemporary art communication ecosystem.

The 21 contemporary Brazilian artists invited by the exhibition are involved in a variety of media, and the themes are closely linked with Brazilian history and contemporary society. Through their works, we can intuitively experience many aspects of Brazilian society, culture and people. On the other hand, these artists and works can also form a brief history of contemporary Brazilian art, from which we can see a variety of styles and genres of contemporary Brazilian art. In particular, driven by the tropical movement, Brazilian artists have started the exploration and arrangement of local experiences in recent decades, and they then start the construction of the subjectivity of their own cultural identity. At the same time, 21 Chinese contemporary artists are invited to participate in the exhibition, to build an intuitive link between the works, connecting their works on different levels including material use, image style, working methods, problem awareness, social representation and historical narration, to present the common links between the artists from the two countries in depth, inspiring the mutual community awareness. In the context of “seeking common ground”, the collision between the contemporary art of the two countries can make a meaningful difference so as to enable us to respond more accurately to the multi-center issues under the theme of globalization today.

On the opening day of the exhibition, it held the opening forum of “Troposphere – Chinese and Brazilian Contemporary Art Exhibition” at Beijing Minsheng Art Museum. Zhou Zhiwei, Executive Director of Brazil Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Prof. Francisco Ford Hardman, The University of Campinas in Brazil, Bao Dong, Chinese curator of the exhibition, respectively delivered a keynote speech from three aspects of international political exchange, cultural exchange and art exchange between China and Brazil; In the round table discussion, directed by Hu Xudong, Deputy Director of Núcleo da Cultura Brasileira da Universidade de Pequim, and Bao Dong, Chinese contemporary artists Sui Jianguo, Yang Maoyuan, Liu Wei, Hu Xiaoyuan, and contemporary Brazilian artists Caio Reisewitz, Afonso Tostes, André Komatsu, Saint Clair Cemin, carried out a warm exchange of Chinese and Brazilian contemporary art.

The exhibition remains on view till March 3, 2018. During the exhibition, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum and Núcleo da Cultura Brasileira da Universidade de Pequim will jointly launch the “Chinese and Brazilian Dialogue”. It will invite high-level Brazilian guests and Chinese guests who are related to Brazil, to participate in the project. On the basis of a dialogue with “China”, many activities including lectures, cultural workshops, special performances and film screenings will be held to offer the public a systematic and open “Brazilian” history and presentation, to show the “Brazilian” story and charm.

Text and photo by Zhang Wenzhi/CAFA ART INFO

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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