00 featured image of the CAFA Mural Painting Department Instructors’ Exhibition

Faces and drawing on the wall, under the brush this is a grand and majestic time.

Work hard for prosperity, only for the revival of Chinese mural painting.

–Fan Di’an

On March 10, 2017, “Pictured Walls” – The CAFA Mural Painting Department Instructors’ Exhibition officially opened at the CAFA Art Museum. As one of CAFA’s centennial celebration series of exhibitions, it is the first time to present creations by all the teachers and students from the Department of Mural Painting over the last 30 years. It particularly uses the way teachers and students create together in the exhibition hall, it started on March 2, and eventually it is perfect so shown after 7 days! President of CAFA Fan Di’an wrote a preface for this exhibition, and personally completed the “Pictured Walls” before the opening of the exhibition.

The opening ceremony was presided over by Bai Xiaogang, Deputy Director of the Department of Mural Painting, also invited were Wang Shaojun, Deputy Director of Party Committee at CAFA, Tang Xiaohe, Director of Art Committee of Mural Painting, Li Huaji, first Director of the Department of Mural Painting, Ma Lu, Dean of the School of Plastic Arts, CAFA, Prof. Sun Jingbo from CAFA, Lv Jigang, General Manager of Beijing BOE Yiyun Technology Co., Ltd., Tang Hui, Director of the Department of Mural Painting, CAFA and curator of the exhibition respectively delivered a speech. The leaders from various faculties of CAFA, senior professors from the Department of Mural Painting, CAFA, professors and scholars from other colleges attended the opening ceremony.

In the late 1970s, Chinese mural art entered the prosperous period, opening a new understanding and recognition for the public on mural painting. With this background, under the auspices of a number of CAFA’s professors who were interested in the development of Chinese mural painting, CAFA, including Hou Yimin, Zhou Lingzhao, was the first school to set up a studio of mural painting in the country and started the teaching of mural painting in 1979; Approved by the Ministry of Culture, the first department of oil painting was established in 1985, over the following 3 decades, led by all the directors of the department including Li Huaji, Liang Yunqing, Sun Jingbo, Cao Li, Tang Hui, the Department of Mural Painting advanced with the times, constantly developing, and created a large number of selected contemporary works of mural painting in China, cultivating a large amount of talent in mural painting and contemporary art, which formed a strong creative team in the current art circles of mural painting and currently the only department for the professional teaching of mural painting. Wang Shaojun delivered a speech and recalled the history of the Department of Mural Painting over more than 30 years. He also said that several generations of artists from the Department of Mural Painting, CAFA continuously explored and researched the history of the traditional mural painting in China, which has made an effort and contribution to the contemporary renaissance of mural painting.

Mural painting is not an independent category of painting, but it has a broader scalability and being full of constantly updated vitality, because of its publicity, diversity, marginality and comprehensiveness. Tang Xiaohe, Director of Art Committee of Mural Painting said that, “The exhibition for the Department of Mural Painting has a fresh and vivid interpretation of the properties of mural painting.” Li Huaji, first Director of the Department of Mural Painting said that, this exhibition offered an exchange platform for workers of mural painting in China, where they could explore the contemporary price and future of the mural painting, which was extremely meaningful.

Prof. Sun Jingbo from CAFA said that mural painting was one of the oldest art forms in China that was closely related to the nation and the country. The exhibited works are the facsimiles of the creations by the teachers from the Department of Mural Painting, CAFA, enlarging the works and drawing them on the walls of the exhibition spaces in just a few days, and this innovative way is different from the conventional form of mural painting that uses pictures for exhibition, so it is praised and called a “new creation”. The curator of the exhibition Prof. Tang Hui also introduced the exhibition at the opening ceremony. He said that the preparation of the exhibition took two years, and the structure was mainly composed of two parts. On the one hand, it presents a large number of documentaries and image materials to reflect the creative context of the Department of Mural Painting, CAFA for more than 30 years; on the other hand, the teachers and students commonly create works in the exhibition spaces. This form is not only the challenge of artistic ability, allowing the audience to feel the process of the birth of mural painting, while teachers and students creating together also reflects the idea of the “teaching benefits for the teacher and student alike” advocated by CAFA. It also raises many questions for the audience: Does the space determine the work, or does the work change the space? What is the meaning of murals and paintings? How do public murals challenge the experimental elements of the human? The mural painting is introduced into the art museum which not only aims at the research of the teaching of the Department of Mural Painting, CAFA, but also through artistic innovation to improve the public aesthetics, and present thoughts on problems such as the future development of mural painting, which might be the most valuable place in the exhibition.

Text by Lin Jiabin, Photo by Hu Sichen/CAFA ART INFO

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

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