In May, the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) was immersed into the enthusiasm of the graduation season. On 8 May 2018, the 2018 Graduate Students’ Graduation Artwork Exhibition at the Central Academy of Fine Arts has been unveiled at the CAFA Art Museum. CAFA greets its centennial celebration demonstrating that China has been reformed and opened during the last 40 years, while CAFA’s graduate education has also been practiced for the last 40 years, so that, with this special significance in mind, the 2018 Graduate Students’ Graduation Artwork Exhibition is a gift presented to the centennial celebrations at CAFA, and is also a summary of the graduate education over the 40 years. Party Secretary of CAFA, Gao Hong, Vice President of CAFA, Su Xinping, Deputy Party Secretary of CAFA, Wang Shaojun, Vice President of China National Academy of Arts, Tan Ping, and many tutors from the School of Chinese Painting, School of Plastic Arts, School of Experimental Art, School of Design, School of Architecture, School of Urban Design, School of Humanities, and Institute of Arts Administration and Education, CAFA, all attended the opening ceremony. Executive Dean of the School of Graduate, CAFA, Chen Qi, hosted the opening ceremony.

First of all, Vice President of CAFA, Su Xinping, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and affirmed the extraordinary significance of the 2018 graduate students’ graduation artwork exhibition in this special historical period. He also said that, the 2018 graduate students’ graduation artwork exhibition has really developed and advanced with a large number of works presented offering a special expression in terms of artistic concept and artistic language, and he also found that it was a tough job for the students to finish a theoretical conversion and language expression. In addition, seeing the effect of the display in the exhibition hall, the audience can recognize boundaries between different professions and disciplines, which is a promotion of CAFA’s tradition of discipline, and at the same time, some works also showed cross-border and experimental characteristics. Su Xinping said that, CAFA guarded the tradition of discipline, but it did not cling to it; CAFA agreed to the cross-border exchange but opposed making a cross-border artwork in order to solely get a cross-border artwork. Once you choose art, you choose the suffering. Su Xinping also hoped that CAFA’s graduates would maintain their curiosity about the world always maintaining the desire for knowledge, and maintaining a sense of respect for art so continuing their artistic creation.

Professor Ma Juncheng from the School of Urban Design of CAFA delivered a speech on behalf of the tutors of graduate students, and he hoped all the graduates would cherish the CAFA brand because it was an intangible asset that many senior artists had built with dreams and wisdom over the 100 years. Professor Ma also said that, the future was an era of awareness. He hoped that CAFA’s graduates could make learning a lifelong habit. In this way, artists can have a your glorious future. Although we choose the suffering when we choose the art, art is the discipline that is closest to the creation of values, and we are undoubtedly happy to create value.

A graduate from the School of Chinese Painting, Wang Xiangjie, delivered a speech on behalf of the students. He began to study at CAFA in 2007, and has spent his youthful years in CAFA, and now he has turned into an independent thinker from an immature student. He said that, CAFA was a harbor where he adhered to art, and was also the place where he was inspired to learn traditional skills and new knowledge, and the history of the centennial of CAFA also inspired him to continue in his exploration.

Party Secretary of CAFA, Gao Hong, announced the 2018 Graduation Season had started, and the 2018 Graduate Students’ Graduation Artwork Exhibition at the Central Academy of Fine Arts opened. The centennial celebrations of CAFA have been conducted for a while. In the first phase, “Xu Beihong – Living Art Forever” and the exhibition of CAFA’s collections were held to pay tribute to predecessors and traditions. In the second phase, exhibitions of graduates are presented to celebrate the centennial celebration and to show society the elegant demeanor of the Academy.

The 2018 Graduate Students’ Graduation Artwork Exhibition at CAFA is shown throughout the campus. The works by all disciplines of modeling and the Institute of Arts Administration and Education are presented at the CAFA Art Museum; the School of Architecture is exhibited on the 2nd floor of Building 7; the School of Design and School of Urban Design are presented in the campus exhibition halls. A total of 380 pieces by graduates are displayed, representing the highest level of visual art of domestic graduate students, and it is also an epitome and collective presentation of graduate students from domestic art academies over recent years.

It is an opportunity to look back at CAFA’s graduate education over the 40 years. CAFA proposed that the graduate education was as early as the period of the National Beiping Art School. After the founding of New China, CAFA began the exploration and trial of postgraduate courses, represented by Maximoff’s class of oil painting. In 1978, along with the progress of reform and opening up and the country’s demand for high-end art talent, CAFA’s graduate education has been undertaken. Since China’s reform and opening up was conducted 40 years ago, China has also undergone earth-shattering changes. During this period, Chinese art and CAFA’s education have also undergone earth-shattering changes. The traditional art resources are recognized again, the modern Western ideological trends are studied and absorbed, and CAFA promotes experimental art throughout the academy, and pays attention to the contemporary multicultural art. Based on the original disciplines of art, CAFA has expanded the disciplines of design, art theory, architecture, landscape design, urban and rural planning, and experimental art. In 2016, the Graduate School was established to comply with the state’s development in planning and requirements towards higher education. The forty-year graduate education of CAFA has always upheld the idea of education that focuses on reality, using art to enrich the spiritual life of people, which is in line with CAFA’s spirit of “art serves the nation and people”, breathing and sharing a destiny together with the country. Looking back at the past and looking forward to the future, CAFA will continue to climb to the peak of art and strive to build a world-class art academy. It remains on view till 22 May. After that, the 2018 Undergraduate Students’ Graduation Artwork Exhibition will commence.

Text by Zhang Wenzhi, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo by Yang Yanyuan, Hu Sichen/CAFA ART INFO

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