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At 2:00 pm on September 9, 2016, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tian Shiguang, an important academic project of “Hundred Years of Glory• Masters of CAFA”, organized by CAFA, “Feathers and Light – The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Tian Shiguang Memorial” opened at CAFA Art Museum. From the efforts of Tian Shiguang’s relatives and the support of many cultural institutions, it has been possible for the first time to bring together the representatives of Tian Shiguang from different periods, to present Tian Shiguang’s outstanding contributions in Chinese art, especially in the field of bird-and-flower painting in the 20th century.

Depending on the three parts including “Natural Conditions of the Hometown – Willow Waves and Flying Orioles”, “Outlining and Heavy-Color – Teaching”, “National Presents – Painting of the Times”, the exhibition presents Tian’s artistic features, styles and characteristics of different periods, including the large masterpiece “Red Makeup in a Deep and Secluded Valley” of his early years, the peony painting “Flowers of the Festival” of the 1950s that uses azurite as the base color and the “new palace painting” “Heroic Bearing Forever” created after the founding of New China, as well as the manuscripts and sketches from teaching and creation, featuring more than 40 of Tian Shiguang’s representative works. The exhibition is co-organized by the National Art Museum of China, Beijing Fine Art Academy, China National Academy of Painting, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, together with the sincere cooperation of Tian Shiguang’s relatives, and it remains on view till September 23, 2016.

Gathering Together to Reminisce 

Tian Shiguang was a senior professor and scholar of CAFA, and his lifelong passion was dedicated to Chinese art education. At the opening ceremony, the scholars and senior professors from CAFA and all sectors of society gathered together, to recall Tian Shiguang’s artistic life. Deputy Party Secretary of CAFA Wang Shaojun presided over the opening ceremony, President of CAFA, Vice-Chairman of the China Artists Association Fan Di’an, Vice President of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts Guo Zhenshan, Prof. Guo Yicong from the School of Chinese Painting, CAFA, son of Tian Shiguang, a painter of Beijing Fine Art Academy Tian Yong, Deputy Party Secretary of CAFA Sun Hongpei, Dean of the School of Chinese Painting, CAFA Chen Ping, Director of CAFA Art Museum Wang Huangsheng attended the opening ceremony. In addition, former President of Central Academy of Craft Art Saone Chang, senior professors Li Shusheng, Jiang Caiping, Pan Shixun, Wang Tongren, Jin Hongjun, Zhang Baowei, Tian Shixin and a number of the senior professors and artists from CAFA, Prof. Guo Hua and Prof. Zhuang Shouhong from the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Prof. Li Kuizheng from the College of Art at Minzu University of China, the first-class painter from Beijing Fine Art Academy Wang Qingsheng, Prof. Li Yan from the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Wang Zhichun from Beijing Fine Art Academy, Prof. Jin Na from the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, as well as family representatives of Tian Shuen, Wang Huajian, Tian Kai and other honored guests attended the opening ceremony.

President of CAFA Fan Di’an delivered a speech and said that, Tian Shiguang’s art was beyond the traditional in three aspects: firstly, he studied traditional bird-and-flower paintings from his own unique perspective, borrowing the bird-and-flower painting style of the Dynasties of Song and Yuan, to reflect a consciousness in “big bird-and-flower painting”. Secondly, Tian’s art reflected the characteristic that blended ink painting and traditional Chinese realistic painting. Thirdly, there was a new cultural attribute of Tian’s bird-and-flower painting, namely he offered a new understanding to the social function of the bird-flower painting, creating the format of “new palace painting”.

As a student of Tian Shiguang, Prof. Guo Yicong from the School of Chinese Painting, CAFA recalled Tian Shiguang who was selflessly dedicated to a career in education. Dean of the School of Chinese Painting, CAFA Chen Ping delivered a speech on behalf of the School of Chinese Painting, CAFA, and said that, in the field of bird-and-flower painting education since the founding of New China, Tian Shiguang developed a rigorous scholarship, emphasizing the role of sketching in the teaching of bird-and-flower painting, combining copying and sketching to form new painting features. At the end of the opening ceremony, the son of Tian Shiguang, a painter of Beijing Fine Art Academy Tian Yong delivered a speech.

His Pupils are Everywhere, the Authority of the Ink Painting Field   

Tian Shiguang was a famous Chinese bird-and-flower painter and art educator. Tian Shiguang graduated from the Department of Chinese Painting at Jinghua Art School, and then together with Guo Weiqu learned from Yu Feian and Zhang Daqian of the antiquity museum of the Imperial Palace, and when he was young he was known by the painting circles in Beiping. Since 1938, after liberation, Tian Shiguang then taught in Beijing Jinghua Academy of Fine Arts, National Beijing Art School, National Beiping Art School, Central Academy of Fine Arts (abbr. CAFA) and finally in Central Academy of Craft Art. In creation and teaching, Tian Shiguang took the heritage of Chinese bird-and-flower painting as his responsibility, reviving the gaudy ornate method of outlining and coloring and then developed the skill of painting with fine brushstrokes and detailed the outlining and use of strong color, which was lost for many hundreds of years, playing an important role in promoting the creation, teaching and research of Chinese bird-and-flower painting, and he trained many emerging talented artists of Chinese bird-and-flower painting.

On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, Tian Shiguang’s families donated two representative artworks of Tian to CAFA Art Museum, which will be in the permanent collection of the art museum. Director of CAFA Art Museum Wang Huangsheng accepted donations and issued a donation certificate. In addition, on the afternoon of the opening day a seminar of Feathers and Light – The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Tian Shiguang Memorial was held together with experts and scholars who had a further discussion on the art exhibition of Tian Shiguang’s art.

About the Exhibition  

Opening Time: at 14:00 on September 9, 2016

Opening Location: Auditorium, CAFA Art Museum

Seminar Time: September 9, 2016 15: 00-17: 00

Seminar Location: CAFA Art Museum Multi-Functional Conference Room

Duration: September 4 – September 23, 2016

Venue: 3A Hall, CAFA Art Museum

Organizer: CAFA

Undertakers: CAFA Art Museum, School of Chinese Painting, CAFA

Co-organizers: National Art Museum of China, China National Academy of Painting, Beijing Fine Art Academy, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts

Text by Yu Ya, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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