In the afternoon on July 1, 2014, jointly hosted by China International Cultural Exchange Association and China Artists Association, “Everlasting Beauty of Dunhuang: Applying Classical Art Elements to Contemporary Art – Exhibition of Saone Chang’s Study” opened at the Today Art Museum. It is the first time for Saone Chang to fully present selected material from more than 6 decades of work, featuring nearly 250 pieces of work covering all categories, most of the works that are on display are being exhibited in China for the first time.
Saone Chang is a famous art educator and art designer in China, shestarted to study in Dunhuang with her father when she was 12 years old, and the Dunhuang desert thoroughly changed her life, someone called her a graceful flower in the desert, thus the “Beauty of the Desert” was born. Chang has studied Dunhuang art throughout her whole life, engaged in the study of Dunhuang murals, studying and copying the traditional decorative patterns, playing an essential role in Chinese art education and the history of art design, she is one of the important representatives in art and educational circles. A large number of honourable guests gathered at the opening ceremony, Dong Junxin, Vice Chairman of China International Cultural Exchange Association, Liu Dawei, Chairman of the China Artists Association, Fan Di’an, Director of National Art Museum of China addressed the opening ceremony, reviewed and praised Chang’s achievements in the field of study of Duhuang art during the past decades.
Since the 20th century, Chang Shuhong and others promoted “Dunhuang Art” to the world, and became “The Guardian of Dunhuang.” Saone Chang inherits the thought and skill, taking the study of Duhuang art as her main work, she was engaged in the study of Dunhuang murals, studying and copying traditional decorative patterns, as early as the 1950s, she used Dunhuang classical figures in her creative design, decrypting the figures of cave murals. She stressed that, it was necessary for creative design to focus on the exploration of the intergretion relationship between the “source and trend” of art, which took classical culture as fundamental, in order to create a new trend. This idea is an important factor in the development of Chinese aesthetic art, and cultural economy. Chang also stressed that, it was necessary for more people to widely use creative design, which not only prompted an international cultural exchange, but was also the important factor in the development of Chinese aesthetic art.
The exhibition takes Chang’s copies of Dunhuang murals and “Flower” series as an entry point to show Dunhuang art’s influence on her study. Exhibition items include the old photos of Saone Chang during her teen years, copies of Dunhuang murals in the last century, analysis of all figures of the previous dynasties, as well as the creation of craft art such as cloisonné under the guidance of Lin Huiyin in the 1950s, each photo along with a text, recorded the life of the artist, as well as her complicated love with Dunhuang. The exhibition also integrates the exploration of experimental design together with Dunhuang patterns by several young designers and the design factory, product designs include lifestyle products such as clocks, porcelain, silk scarves and so on, French masters of photography record the ancient silk road through science and technology, a Taiwan team of multimedia design brings a multimedia animation application of Cave 220, the combined exhibition is not only international, but also novel and full of creative ideas.
The purpose of this exhibition is to carry on the traditional art and transform it into an innovative form of art. Combining classical Dunhuang decorative art designs as analyzed by Saone with modern art crafts. For the art crafts including cloisonné, adornments, porcelain, and so on, through the integration of classical art elements and the present art crafts to make Dunhuang art more accessible, and innovative to people in the modern age, so that everyone can appreciate the beauty of Dunhuang art.
The exhibition will continue to July 22.
Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by Zhang Ying/ Today Art Museum