14 Exhibition view of “Once and Forever” Sun Zixi Art Exhibition

On April 6, 2016, hosted by the National Art Museum of China, CAFA and China Artists Association, “Once and Forever Sun Zixi Art Exhibition” opened at the National Art Museum of China. It is part of the “2016 National Art Museum of China Donation and Collection Series Exhibition”, and also the first show of the “National Art Museum of China in Celebration of the 95th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China.”

At 2:30 pm, the opening ceremony was held in the lobby of the art museum. The leaders, teachers and students from CAFA, Sun Zixi’s students from the High School Affiliated to CAFA, the old professors of the same generation of Sun Zixi, as well as the honored guests from all walks of life gathered in the hall. The Director of National Art Museum of China Wu Weishan, former President of CAFA Jin Shangyi, President of CAFA Fan Di’an, Secretary General of the China Artists Association Xu Li, representative of the students Prof. Sun Jingbo from CAFA, representative of the family, Sun Zixi’s daughter Sun Lu respectively made a speech. The opening ceremony was presided over by Deputy Director of the National Art Museum of China An Yuanyuan, and Wu Weishan awarded the donation certificate to Sun Zixi’s wife Wang Yan at the end of the ceremony.

The Three Parts: More than 340 Pieces Completely Presenting Sun Zixi’s Artistic Appearance

All the works displayed in this exhibition are carefully selected, attempting to use time and space as the clue, to draw the basic outline of Sun Zixi’s painting career. The exhibition is divided into three parts: in the hall 1 it presents Sun’s 16 representative creations, including “Contemporary Hero”, “In Front of Tiananmen Square”, “Mother”, etc., which constitute the macroscopic framework of Sun Zixi’s artistic ideas; hall 8 is entitled “Monochrome Drawing”, which mainly showcases more than 100 illustration works, drawing and sketches, hall 9 is entitled “Color of the Mind”, displaying more than 100 colored sketches, these two parts make up the most exquisite and simplest emotional experience in Sun Zixi’s artistic conception. The three parts cover more than 340 paintings created in various periods, which fully present Sun Zixi’s art career and artistic achievements. In addition, it also features the research literature such as the manuscripts of the key works, so that the audience can know and understand Sun Zixi’s art.

Director of the National Art Museum of China Wu Weishan addressed the opening ceremony and analyzed aesthetic features of Sun Zixi’s works, emphasizing the sincerity and true feelings, as well as the relationships between the individual and society, the times and the history which were reflected by the work.

Jin Shangyi addressed the opening ceremony and recalled the general situation of Sun Zixi’s study in CAFA in the 1950s and he said that, Sun Zixi’s creative idea was very active in early years of the People’s Republic of China and his works reflected the voice of the people and the vigorous developing state of the new China. Observed from a contemporary perspective, his work “In Front of Tiananmen Square” was an important classic work after the People’s Republic of  China was founded. “In Front of Tiananmen Square” which had been shown at the New China’s Revolutionary Historical Painting Thematic Exhibition held by the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in the mid-1990s, received great attention from art circles in the USA and it was called the representative of new China’s art and published in “The New York Times”.

Fan Di’an referred to the overall visual atmosphere of the exhibition: it was both revolutionary and living, both warm and solemn, it was similar to the tone of Sun Zixi’s art world. This exhibition was also the important literature that was worth studying over the 100 years development process of CAFA, through the exhibition and research to associate the artistic target of the older generation of artists with the development of Chinese society, in order to comprehend these artists and the value of the works.

Taught and cared for by Sun Zixi in the 1960s, Sun Jingbo appealed for reflection of “Sun Zixi’s phenomenon” at the opening ceremony and he hoped that the generation of artists who silently worked, had remarkable achievements but thin commercial value, this would be more focused and researched.

In the exhibition, Sun Zixi and his family donated a total of 55 works with different types in the National Art Museum of China, as the art treasure of the country are permanently collected, and these works become part of the national cultural memory and transferred to later generations like “In Front of Tiananmen Square”.

“Sun Zixi Art Seminar” is also held during the same period, and the exhibition is on shown at the hall 1, 8, 9 of the National Art Museum of China till April 12.

Text by Zhu Li, Photo by Yang Yanyuan/CAFA ART INFO

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

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