00 featured image of the exhibition - The Second Exhibition of “Xu Beihong and His Times” Opened at Inner Mongolia Art Museum

“Xu Beihong and His Times” national itinerant exhibition Inner Mongolia exhibition was hosted by the Central Academy of Fine Arts (abbr. CAFA) and the Inner Mongolia Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and organized by CAFA Art Museum and the Inner Mongolia Art Museum. Wang Zhonghe, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Member of the Party Leadership Group, Zhang Diansheng, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC at the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Director of the Committee of Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sports, attended the opening ceremony and visited the exhibition. Zhang Yu, Party Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Inner Mongolia Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Vice President of CAFA Su Xinping and Director of CAFA Art Museum Zhang Zikang all delivered speeches at the opening ceremony.

Vice President of CAFA Su Xinping said that “Xu Beihong and His Times” traveled from Jiangsu to Inner Mongolia, and spanned more than a thousand kilometers from south to north, which was like a long and vivid trajectory stringing the wonderful and previous pieces together in the process of the modernization of Chinese art in the 20th century. Taking the historical opportunity of the centennial celebration of CAFA, to systematically review and research Xu Beihong’s important contributions to the times is an indispensible academic measure and an historical mission by CAFA. “Xu Beihong – Living Art Forever” was held in March prior to the tours, and focused on Xu Beihong’s great achievements in art. It echoes the theme of “times” with the form of an itinerant exhibition to clearly show the great pattern and the influence of Xu Beihong. This topic can’t be clearly explained by works alone, but is integral to complicated people and things in the field of art education and art history. In addition to reviewing, commemorating and sifting, it is time for Xu Beihong that as one of the most publicly recognized cultural symbols to have an in-depth connection with the current society. He hopes that this itinerant exhibition allows the students and the public to feel the deep reverberation of a great painter and art educator during this special period.

Director of CAFA Art Museum Zhang Zikang delivered a speech and elaborated on the theme and concept of the tours. He said that “Xu Beihong and His Times” national itinerant exhibition was built on the basis of the exhibition of “Xu Beihong – Living Art Forever” and the collections of CAFA Art Museum, and it was supported by National Art Museum of China, Beijing Fine Art Academy, Wu Zuoren International Foundation of Fine Arts and Saone Chang Dunhuang Pattern Research and Design Studio. “Xu Beihong and His Times” comprehensively and three-dimensionally sorts out and showcases Xu Beihong and his friends, as well as his students, so that people can view the times of a variety of possibilities and research explorations as happened during the process when traditional Chinese art was replaced by modern art. CAFA has always had an in-depth relationship with the art circles of Inner Mongolia. It hopes that the show will strengthen academic exchanges and lead to an in-depth cooperation between the two sides, jointly promoting the development of art museums.

Zhang Yu, Party Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Inner Mongolia Federation of Literary and Art Circles, delivered a speech that stated that Mr. Xu Beihong was a great man and an education giant in the history of art in China over the last one hundred years. He has played a great role in inheriting past traditions and breaking new ground for the future of Chinese history of art. The artists and art workers from Inner Mongolia should learn and carry forward the firm belief and struggling spirit of Xu Beihong and the artists of his generation. Remaining true to the original aspiration and holding firmly to the mission in his mind, strengthening the cultural self-confidence, bravely climbing the artistic peak, making more contributions to the building of a beautiful Inner Mongolia and fulfilling the “Chinese Dream”.

The leaders and honored guests attending the opening ceremony included: the old alumni of CAFA and the famous painter Tuomusi, Director and Researcher of the Exhibition and Collection Department of Xu Beihong Memorial Hall and Mr. Xu Beihong’s grandson Xu Ji, Director of Xu Beihong Times Art Center and Xu Beihong’s grandson’s wife Yang Jing, and Director of Theoretical Publishing Department at CAFA Art Museum and the curator of the exhibition Dr. Guo Hongmei, as well as artists and art workers from the art circles of Inner Mongolia.

It mainly relies on the collections of the CAFA Art Museum, and is divided into two parts, entitled “Inheritance of the School” and “Literary Source and the Same Road” and presents a total of 103 pieces, including 12 works and 22 letters by Xu Beihong, 9 works by Qi Baishi, 4 works by Zhang Daqian, 3 works by Jiang Zhaohe, 3 works by Wu Zuoren, 3 works by Li Keran, 3 works by Li Kuchan, 3 works by Huang Binhong, as well as the works by Huang Zhou and Fu Baoshi. It covers Chinese painting, oil painting and printmaking.

As the second of the six exhibitions in the tour of “Xu Beihong and His Times” and a “National Art Foundation 2018 Communication and Promotion Project”, it was organized by the Inner Mongolia Art Museum. “Xu Beihong and His Times” in Inner Mongolia undoubtedly offers a visual feast to the people of Huhhot. During the exhibition, public education activities such as academic lectures will also be held. Nowadays, “resource sharing” has become the consensus of various art museums. Art museums have paid more and more attention to continuously strengthening communication, exchanges and mutual cooperation with a variety of forms such as cooperative exhibitions, loan exhibitions and itinerant exhibitions, promoting the flow and integration of art museum resources, to further expand the coverage and increase the benefits of the public cultural services of the art museums. Taking this opportunity, Inner Mongolia Art Museum continues to develop a normal, long-term and systematic public education. At the same time, it actively holds exhibitions and public education activities at the campus, enterprises and grassroots, expanding the audience and continuously increasing culture and art benefits of the people.

On the occasion of the centennial celebration of CAFA, the systematic review of Xu Beihong who was the first president of CAFA since the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the art development of his times is an inseparable historical responsibility for people from CAFA; carefully sifting, recognizing and reflecting on the rich cultural heritage is also an important historical mission of them; looking back on the last century, CAFA’s predecessors represented by Xu Beihong had unremittingly made explorations and innovations for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, as well as the rich and precious cultural heritage which helps us to clarify the historical issues of our time, helps us establish the future goals and clarify the inherent logic of the development of Chinese contemporary art; standing at a historical position of the centennial celebration of CAFA, looking back on the glorious course of CAFA that participated in the construction of the development of Chinese art in the 20th century will help people from CAFA define the historical goal of the second century and to build a new national culture for the new times, to carry out artistic creation, education and teaching, and promote the development of Chinese culture and art to a new epoch.

Photo and text courtesy of the organizer, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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