Wei Qimei is an important painter, cartoonist and art educator in the art history of modern and contemporary China. His cartoons include caricature, complimenting comics and life cartoons, etc., spanning from 1950 to 2007, and the existing cortoon manuscripts total more than 800 pieces. Wei Qimei is a very prolific cartoonist, through the use of cartoons he has drawn the outline of the long history of the development of new China, when they are mounted together, it becomes a thick social encyclopedia. The exhibition is themed “Social Encyclopedia – An Exhibition of Wei Qimei’s Cartoons”, because we can understand the social issues, such as politics, economy, culture, education when we watch Wei Qimei’s cartoons, it is like leafing through a social encyclopedia. In the process of visiting the exhibition, the audience can realize the changes and existing problems from the year when the new China was founded to 2007. Although Wei was an artist, he cared about the big affairs of our country, such as politics, economy, culture and education, he preferred watching the news, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, and he had his own unique insight into social problems, and he was happy to display it through comic art. He sincerely praised the great events of the country and always found a profound and sapiential “idea” to satirize it when he saw a bad atmosphere and phenomenon.
It is the first large-scale comic exhibition for Wei Qimei, the curatorial concept of the exhibition starts from a sociological angle, through the research and analysis of the social issues behind his cartoons, he is able to render and restore the background of the artist engaged in comic creation, so that the audience can profoundly understand the comic material. In terms of exhibited works, it does not only include the original comics but also the literature of the time such as newspapers, videos, photos, files, real objects and so on. In addition to the presentation of the original comics, it is through the literature displayed in the showcases, such as archives and real objects, the documentary films interspersed in the works, as well as “The People’s Daily” and “Guangming Daily” displayed in the special zone, to build an atmosphere mixed with art and society. It seems that the audience is located in the historical river of the development of new China, when he shuttles back and forth in the exhibition hall.
On the one hand, the exhibition is held in order to cherish the memory of Wei Qimei, and on the other hand, it is trying to showcase Wei Qimei’s cartoons in order to raise public concern for cartoons.
About the exhibition
Title: Social Encyclopedia – An Exhibition of Wei Qimei’s Cartoons
Opening time: at 10:00 am on April 9, 2016
Time of symposium: at 10:40 am on April 9, 2016
Duration: April 9 to May 3, 2016
Venue: Gallery 2B at CAFA Art Museum
Undertakers: CAFA Art Museum, Institute of Arts Administration and Education at CAFA, Retirement Affairs Office
Co-organizer: “Satire and Humor” column at the People’s Daily
Supporter: Cosmic Art Committee at China Artists Association
Curator: Yu Ding
Producer: Tang Bin
Exhibition coordinator: Zhou Hongbing
Assistant curator: Li Sha
Curatorial team: Hu Jingwei, Gao Shihan, Yang Zhonghui, Wei Bairang
Design director: Li Yue, Ji Yujie
Courtesy of the artist and CAFA Art Museum, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.