On the morning of April 26, 2015, on the occasion of the approaching of the 65th “May 1” International Labor Day after the founding of new China, jointly hosted by CAFA and Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions, the large-scale scheduled event “Serving the People, Creating Portraits of Model Workers” was held at the Front Hall Square of the Imperial Ancestral Temple, Beijing Working People’s Cultural Palace. A total of 100 model worker representatives from all walks of life were invited as well as more than 200 teachers, students, artists from CAFA to participate in the activity, through drawing, sculpture, traditional Chinese painting, oil painting, watercolor, sketch, and other forms of art to create portraits of model workers, using art to record the graceful bearing of model workers and carry forward the spirit of model workers.
It was sunny in the morning, and the on-site atmosphere was warm. Gao Hong, Party Secretary of CAFA, Fan Di’an, President of CAFA, Zeng Fanxin, Party Secretary and Vice Chairman of Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions, Wang Shaojun, Deputy Party Secretary of CAFA, famous artist Prof. Sun Jingbo, from CAFA, Pan Jianxin, Deputy Party Secretary of Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions, national model worker Zhao Yu, from Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions, and other leaders attended the brief opening ceremony of the event. In addition, a variety of Beijing media, volunteers and the audience participated in the on-site activity.
Inheritance and Practice of the Excellent Tradition of CAFA
The large thematic cultural activity got the attention of the leaders. President Fan Di’an on-site addressed the opening ceremony: “The event is an artistic practicing event for the teachers and students of CAFA to pay tribute to the workers from all walks of life in Beijing, and to learn from model workers. Record the graceful bearing of contemporary model workers through art is the best way to reflect that model workers and artists are heart to heart.” An artist is as an ordinary worker, contacting with the laborers from all walks of life, to create excellent works perfectly reflecting the times, which really serves the people. At the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman Zeng Fanxin said: “The implementation of such an event today also reflects the spirit of the times as ‘working is the greatest, most glorious and beautiful’ from this angle.’”
In the developmental history of new China’s art, focusing on people, shaping the images of “model workers” has always been a mainstream proposition, and “creating portraits of model workers” is an age-old tradition for CAFA, as the top art academy in China, many outstanding works have been themed “model workers” in the process of the development of CAFA.The works by the famous artists such as Xu Beihong, Wu Zuoren, Li Hua, Hou Yimin, Lin Gang, Jin Shangyi had become classic works. On the shaping of the images of model workers, the artists explored a series of forms such as sketches of a gathering of heroes, as well as performing professional skills and personal qualities of the model workers. Jin Shangyi who personally guided the creation, told of his experience of drawing portraits of the workers to the teachers and students who were present at the scene, and hoped CAFA’s excellent tradition for “creating portraits of model workers” would be inherited. Together with the students, the teachers such as Wang Shaojun, Sun Jingbo, Sun Wei, Wu Jiang, Yuan Ye, Cao Wei, were similarly involved in the creative event of “creating portraits of model workers”. The students passionately created in front of the fresh and guileless workers, with an atmosphere offered by the spirit of model workers.
Face-to-Face Appreciating the Graceful Bearing of Model Workers
Any job is both ordinary and great, so it is not simple to finish a simple job. The art teachers and students sincerely served the excellent workers, using a brush to retain the most beautiful moment, using their hearts and hands to showcase their understanding of the spirit of model workers.
The Spirit of the Model Workers in the New Times
All model workers who participated in the activity, are the people from all walks of life, where the high and low of the trades are ignored, the spirit of their silent dedication to their jobs inspires students to create in the future.
The creative event ended at noon. After the creation, CAFA and Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions launched a donation ceremony, to donate the works to Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions, and authorized Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions to produce replicas to give to various model worker representatives. At the same time, in order to showcase the graceful bearing of model workers and carry forward the spirit of model workers, Beijing Working People’s Cultural Palace will collectively showcase the creative works in May this year.
Text by Sun Yahui, Zhu Li, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by photography group of “Creating Portraits of Model Workers”