11 Installation view of the 12th National Art Exhibition

During the afternoon of August 17, 2014, the Section of Experimental Art at the 12th National Art Exhibition was unveiled at the Today Art Museum, the exhibition is hosted by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, China Federation of Literature and Art Circles and China Artists Association, in collaboration with the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), and Today Art Museum. It is also the first time for experimental art to be presented in the national art exhibition system.

“National Art Exhibition” is the most important art exhibition in China, and since the first session was held in 1949, it has experienced 65 springs and autumns, it is a grand gathering that reviews the creative art achievement in the country. The section of experimental art is a new part of the national art exhibition, is one of the 13 sections, initially appearing as an independent section to showcase the recent ecology of experimental art in China. Experimental art is a new thing in China since the country’s reform and opening up, it pays attention to the ideological and spiritual expression, exploring new media forms and new visual experiences and seeks an effective application of traditional artistic language in the modern context, to discover local cultural resources in China and the value of folk arts, so as to open up a new area of Chinese contemporary art. Experimental art is brought into the national art exhibition, and sets up an independent section, embodying the China Artists Association while paying attention to experimental art, in accord with the real situation of the development of Chinese art, and is also the first time for a national art exhibition. Party member of the China Artists Association, Vice Secretary-General Du Jun said in the press conference, the national art exhibition had been supporting and focusing on natural, social and humanities art creation, to promote the cultural construction of the country, experimental art pays attention to the excavation of thinking, so that it was necessary for the national art exhibition to include it this time.

Party Secretary of China Artists Association, Vice Chairman Wu Changjiang, Vice Chairman of China Artists Association, Director of National Art Museum of China Fan Di’an, Deputy Party Secretary of China Artists Association, Secretary-General Xu Li, Party member of China Artists Association, Deputy Secretary-General Du Jun, Vice President of CAFA, Director of the Experimental Art Committee at the China Artists Association Tan Ping, Director of the Department of Experimental Art, CAFA, Deputy Director of the Experimental Art Committee at the China Artists Association Lv Shengzhong, Secretary-General of the Experimental Art Committee at the China Artists Association Yan Feng, Chairman of Weifang Bank Shi Yuefeng and other guests attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition. Wu Changjiang said in the opening ceremony, for more than 30 years, Chinese experimental art had become an indispensable part of Chinese contemporary art, so that to set up the section of experimental art was a new beginning, and was a milestone. Tan Ping also spoke at the opening, experimental art focused on the expression of the way of thinking, leading the direction of Chinese contemporary art, he hoped after the end of the national art exhibition, experimental art could continue to be a highlight, while more artists understood the similar exhibitions, and participated in them. Fan Di’an also affirmed that this exhibition was open to the public, so that more people knew about experimental art, and it also showed good artistic ecology in China.

The exhibition demonstrates the creative achievement of experimental art over a decade in the form of a retrospective, for the works that are impossible to display due to the limitation of material, condition, and state, it is supplemented by a literature exhibition, comprehensively showcasing the achievement of experimental art in the Chinese contemporary art. When Yan Feng introduced the situation of the preparation, he said that the significance of the exhibition was much bigger than the content of the exhibition itself, after the nomination and screening of the experts and judges, 47 artists’ works were finally selected to participate in the exhibition from several hundreds of works, in addition to 5 judges’ works which were presented at the exhibition, all of them were representatives of experimental art during the last decade. In addition, the section of experimental art refused to offer awards, which was different to other exhibition sections. The exhibition participating artists include experimental art top notch artists from academies, such as Xu Bing, Qiu Zhijie, Zhang Xiaotao, Miao Xiaochun, also social active artists such as Jiang Zhi, Wang Qingsong, Xu Zhen, and young experimental artists. It also presents the echelon ecology of experimental art in China. At present, experimental art disciplines are constructed in a variety of colleges in China, for this special situation, the exhibition also pays special attention to the teaching of experimental art disciplines in all art colleges and the experimental results, the results are not only considered as experimental art explorations, and treat experimental art as an important new section of the academy, so that the exhibition also sets up a section for the teaching of experimental art.

The exhibition organizer the experimental art committee of China Artists Association is the 20th professional art committee established in the China Artists Association which aims to explore the development of experimental art, standardizing the academic reserve and organisational order of the experimental art type, to create a new field for the development of experimental art during the new period. The experimental art committee can more effectively explore new ideas across the country, discovering the outstanding artists who use new material and the medium of language during the art creation, with an innovative and pioneering mind; greatly promoting Chinese and foreign experimental art exchange activities; really establishing an effective organization, closely following the cultural and artistic direction and the spirit demanded by the times, actively carrying out related experimental art activities and exhibitions, making a new and positive contribution to promote the development of Chinese contemporary art.

The whole exhibition covers the Building 1, 2, 3 at Today Art Museum, and will continue to September 8.

Text by Zhang Wenzhi, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.

Photo by Quan Jing/CAFA ART INFO.


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