15  Installation view of “The Oil Painting of Chinese Style - Retrospective Exhibition of Dong Xiwen on His 100th Birthday”

To commemorate the 100th birthday of Dong Xiwen, supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, hosted by CAFA, co-organized by China Artists Association, National Museum of China, the Chinese Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution, the National Art Museum of China, the China Academy of Art and Dunhuang Research Academy, “The Oil Painting of Chinese Style – Retrospective Exhibition of Dong Xiwen on His 100th Birthday” was grandly inaugurated at CAFA Art Museum on December 19. At 10 am, the relevant leadership of the central art circles and cultural circles, the predecessors of CAFA as well as the teachers and students of the academy gathered to witness the grand opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was held at the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum and presided over by Gao Hong, Party Secretary of CAFA.

Participating honored guests included: Dong Wei, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture, Zuo Zhongyi, Member and Vice President of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Jin Shangyi, Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Honorable President of China Artists Association, former president of CAFA, Liao Wenke, Director General of the Department of Sport, Health and Art at the Ministry of Education, Wu Changjiang, Party Secretary of China Artists Association, Vice Chairman, Xu Xianfeng, Deputy Administrator of the Bureau of Literature and Art at the Central Propaganda Department, Li Liusan, Deputy Director of the National Art Museum of China, Meng Shijiang, Political Commissar of the Chinese Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution, Xie Xiaofan and An Yuanyuan, Deputy Director of the National Art Museum of China, Wang Zan, Vice President of the China Academy of Art, Hou Liming, Director of the Institute of Fine Arts at the Dunhuang Research Academy, Dong Shabei, Dong Shalei and Dong Yisha, the relatives of Dong Xiwen, the senior artists and former leaderships of CAFA such as Hou Yimin, Zhan Jianjun, Jin Weinuo, Zhong Han, Du Jian, Jin Zhilin, Wen Lipeng, Yang Xianrang, Li Huaji, Wu Biduan, Yuan Yunsheng, Sun Jingbo, Dai Ze, Saone Chang, former Party Secretaries of CAFA Sheng Yang, Ding Shizhong, and Yang Li as well as the teachers and students of CAFA, the media, etc.

The curator of the exhibition and the President of CAFA Professor Fan Di’an summarized Dong Xiwen’s art career at the opening ceremony, enumerating his insights on art education, and art creation and introduced details on the preparation of the exhibition, as well as the characteristics of the exhibition to all the guests present at the opening. He said, “In the 20th-century historical course of Chinese art, Mr. Dong Xiwen was a master and known teacher who devoted his life to the development of Chinese oil painting art and art education, Dong Xiwen, on the one hand explored the ‘nationalization of oil painting’ in the practice of art creation, on the other hand, adhered to implement action of the principles in the education, he had trained a large number of outstanding oil painters for new China.”

As a student of Dong Xiwen, former President of CAFA Jin Shangyi recalled the moving stories with Mr. Dong. He had personally experienced the creative process of the classics such as the “Founding Ceremony”, “Tibet in the Spring”, “The Red Army is Not Afraid of the Difficulty of Expedition”, movingly recalled as Mr. Dong enthusiastically threw himself into the creation of painting in such a difficult creative condition at that time.

Wu Changjiang, Party Secretary of China Artists Association and the Vice Chairman addressed the opening ceremony and said Dong Xiwen drew lessons from the Western painting language, at the same time, he emphasized the “Chinese Style” and “National Style” in art creation, struggling to find an important way for the development of Chinese fine arts.

At the end of the opening ceremony, Mrs. Dong Yisha, the daughter of Mr. Dong Xiwen, on behalf of the family, expressed her gratitude to CAFA and the social event for all walks of life that supported the exhibition.

On the afternoon of December 17 (two days before the opening ceremony), presided over by Qin Jianping, Division Chief of the Publicity Department of Party Committee of CAFA, the press conference of “The Oil Painting of Chinese Style – Retrospective Exhibition of Dong Xiwen on His 100th Birthday” at the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum, Gao Hong, Party Secretary of CAFA, President Fan Di’an, Dong Xiwen’s students, the three senior artists Zhan Jianjun, Jin Zhilin, Yuan Yunsheng, as well as Dong Shalei, Dong Yisha from the family attended the conference, in addition to more than 50 media representatives that were present.

Fan Di’an introduced the curatorial trait of thought and the structure to the media, combined with a PPT presentation in detail illustrated the classics of the six sections including “Learning from More People”, “The Heart of Dunhuang”, “The Historical Painting of New Chinese Revolutionary”, “Retracing of the Long March”, “Tibet in the Spring”, “Visiting the Soviet Union”, and the featured contents. While several senior artists respectively started from their own perspectives to expound Dong Xiwen’s “Concept of the Oil Painting of Chinese Style”, “The Teaching Platform and Target of the 3rd Studio of the Department of Oil Painting”, “The Selfless Dedication of Art Education”. At the conference, Gao Hong also announced that the holding of “The Oil Painting of Chinese Style – Retrospective Exhibition of Dong Xiwen on His 100th Birthday” marked the official start of the “Hundred Years of Glory• Art Master of CAFA” project, it would through constantly holding memorial exhibitions of CAFA’s masters in the future improve and research cultural treasures of the senior artists, to inspire generations of teachers and students of the academy to inherit the precious spiritual wealth of the senior artists.

On the opening day, there were also three academic seminars. Several generations of art circles gathered together to remember Dong Xiwen’s life of art and art education, around the topics of “Art and the Times”, “Art and People” launching a heated discussion. In addition, edited by Dong Yisha, the daughter of Dong Xiwen “A Brush Burdens the Responsibility of One Thousand Years – Retrospective of Dong Xiwen’s Art on His 100th Anniversary of His Birth” was published.

About the exhibition

Duration: December 19, 2014 – January 8, 2015

Venue: Gallery 3B at CAFA Art Museum

Text by Zhu Li, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo by Zhang Wenzhi, Guo Ximan/CAFA ART INFO

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