32 Exhibition view of The Immortal Soldier

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Yan Han’s birth, jointly organized by National Art Museum of China, CAFA, China Artists Association, Lianyungang Yan Han Art Museum and Donghai Yan Han Memorial Hall in Jiangsu, “The Immortal Soldier – Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Yan Han’s Birth” opened at National Art Museum of China on the afternoon of July 23, 2016. The exhibition is a detailed review of Yan Han’s “life of a soldier”, taking time as a clue to reflect the creations over different periods, embodying the colorful appearance of his artistic career, through the display of more than 300 works, together with the related documents, to constitute a macro view of Yan Han’s artistic life. The exhibition is a part of NAMOC Donation and Collection Series Exhibition and also part of the series exhibition that pays tribute to the 95th anniversary of the founding of the CCP.

President of CAFA, Vice-Chairman of the China Artists Association Fan Di’an, Director of the National Art Museum of China, Vice-Chairman of the China Artists Association Wu Weishan, Deputy Party Secretary and Secretary-General of China Artists Association Xu Li, the former Vice-Chairman and Secretary of Secretariat at All-China Federation of Trade Unions Ni Jianmin, Deputy Director of Art Division at the Ministry of Culture Wu Hao, Deputy Inspector of Beijing Municipal Publicity Department Mei Song, Vice-Chairman of the China Artists Association Wu Changjiang, Vice President of China National Academy of Arts Tan Ping, Deputy Party Secretary of CAFA Sun Hongpei, as well as many senior artists such as Hou Yimin, Saone Chang, Wu Biduan, Yang Xianrang, Shao Dazhen, Xue Yongnian, Yuan Yunfu, Guang Jun, Jiang Lu attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition. Deputy Director of the National Art Museum of China An Yuanyuan hosted the opening ceremony.

Director of National Art Museum of China Wu Weishan addressed the opening ceremony and highly approved Yan Han’s artistic achievements. At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Yan Han’s families Yan Bing and Yan Dong attended the opening ceremony, and donated more than 100 works of modern consciousness which were created by Yan Han during the new period to the National Art Museum of China on behalf of the families, which has formed a complete sequence of the collection and research of the artist, together with the previous collections of the art museum. Wu also said Yan Han’s families will also donate a collection of original woodcuts, and he was respectful to the families.

President of CAFA Fan Di’an and Deputy Party Secretary and Secretary-General of China Artists Association Xu Li respectively paid their respects to the artistic achievements and lofty pursuit of the life of the artist. Member of Lianyungang Municipal Standing Committee of the CPC, Minister of Propaganda Department Teng Wen thanked the artist for Yan who was concerned about the development of hometown and Yan donated works to Lianyungang Museum and the Children Printmaking Center at Donghai Yan Han Memorial Hall in his later years, which directly contributed to the cultural printmaking development of Lianyungang.

As a retrospective in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Yan Han’s Birth, centered on Yan Han’s artistic life, the exhibition is divided into 4 parts including “The Immortal Soldier”, “Telling the Story of Yan Han”, “The Times of Cohesion”, and “Vehement Beauty”:

In “The Immortal Soldier”, it starts with the classic creation by Yan Han in the period of the revolutionary war, and then presents the representative works of each period, comprehensively outlining the soldier Yan Han’s art history. Many familiar works such as “When the Enemies Search the Mountain”, “We Sincerely Love Peace”, “Torrents of Spring”, etc., are on display in this section. We not only see that the representative of new woodcuts is combined with the “revolution theme” and folk language, and we can also see the innovative artist’s absorption and innovation of multiculturalism in this new cultural era. “Telling the Story of Yan Han” is literature-based, directly presenting the vicissitudes of life, and offering a foundation for the audience as well as better understanding the art of Yan Han. “The Times of Cohesion” is divided into “The Times of War” and “The Years of Burning Passion”, to showcase his description and sentiment of people’s spirit and artistic spirit in different historical periods. Finally the “Vehement Beauty”, which is composed of “Brave Winds and Waves” and “Agitation of Spring” showcases the amazing works with new forms created by the artist after the reform and opening up. Yan Han adhered to the “unconventional form, fearlessly exploring” art, this part features the prints which are different from the style of the previous parts, and it focuses on the purification and exploration of form, abstraction and language, however, behind a variety of changes, it is Yan Han’s concern of “human”.

The exhibition continues to August 9.

Text by Zhang Wenzhi and Photo by Yang Yanyuan/CAFA ART INFO

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

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