00 Installation view of“The Start of a Long Journey – 2014 CAFA Excellent Graduation Works Exhibition”

On June 27, 2014, “The Start of a Long Journey – 2014 CAFA Excellent Graduation Works Exhibition” was unveiled at CAFAM. It is the 6th year since “the Start of a Long Journey” exhibition project was held at CAFAM in 2009, featuring 140 graduates from undergraduate and postgraduate students from various specialties such as the School of Chinese Painting, School of Plastic Arts, School of Design, School of Architecture and School of Urban Design, and so on, and it will continue to July 27.

At 3:00pm on June 27, the press conference of the exhibition was held in the VIP room of the CAFA Art Museum, honoured guests including Wang Huangsheng, Director of the CAFA Art Museum, Yu Ding, Deputy Dean of the School of Humanities, Yue Jieqiong, Director of the Office of Development and Planning, Wang Xiaolin, Director of the Department of Educational Administration, Tang Bin, Deputy Director of the CAFA Art Museum, were invited to attend the opening ceremony.

First of all, Director Wang Huangsheng introduced the situation of the exhibition, it featured the winners of the Silver Prize and Gold Prize within the undergraduates, 53 winners of Excellent Prize within the postgraduate students, among which it included 18 theses by the School of Humanities (9 theses by undergraduates and 9 theses by postgraduates). Director Wang pointed out that “the Start of a Long Journey” was an important brand for CAFA, and it would also be in cooperation with the 9 art colleges across the country and hold a touring exhibition in China and then throughout the world, aimed at promoting the students’ works. In the opinion of Director Wang, the graduates’ works were very delicate, revealing the serious attitude and deep thinking of the artistic expression by the students.

Professor Yu Ding briefly explained the “Tracking Project of the Start of a Long Journey”. It was put forward by Vice President Xu Bing, and it was formally implemented last year, through tracking the employment, life and creation of the graduates over 10 years, and annually reporting so a review of the teaching achievements could be recorded, and hoped this project could be integrated into the teaching of undergraduates, such as the ongoing preparation course in the art archive collection. As a brand project, “Tracking Project of the Start of a Long Journey” would reflect the sustainability of the future.

Director Wang Xiaolin described in detail the whole situation of the graduation works of the year. Graduation works reflected three characteristics as follows: first of all, high academic quality; secondly, the use of new materials for environmental protection; thirdly, humanistic care of social vulnerable groups. It not only showed the depth and difficulty of the various specialties, but also presented diversified appearances.

After the end of press conference, the opening ceremony of the exhibition was held at the lobby on the ground floor. Xu Bing, Vice President of CAFA presided over the opening ceremony, Party Secretary Gao Hong, Su Xinping, Dean of the School of Plastic Arts, Wang Min, Dean of the School of Design, Gao Tianxiong, Director of the Department of Fundamental Education for Plastic Arts, Wang Zhong, Deputy Dean of the School of Urban Design, the leaders and teachers from all the schools and departments attended the activity. Party Secretary Gao Hong, Xiao Yong, tutor of the 7th Studio of Visual Communication in the School of Design, representative of the teachers, Dai Yuzhou, graduate of the School of Chinese Painting, representative of the students, respectively addressed at the opening ceremony.

Party Secretary Gao Hong hoped the students chose without limit and started their own long journey. Host Xu Bing movingly said, it was the sixth year of “The Start of a Long Journey”, in which the pattern of the world and the social cultural environment had changed, due to the growth of contemporary art, it seemed that people were increasingly unable to define art, which also caused a worldwide discussion on the purpose of art education in the context of contemporary art, and what the art foundation was. While Chinese art education participated in the discussion, carefully handling the especial art educational issues in our country, it became more open, and encouraged people to explore. For six years, “The Start of a Long Journey” exhibition didn’t only become an exhibition brand of international influence, but also had grown to a malleable system that effectively promoted and supported the art graduates, and reviewed art education.

The exhibited works were reviewed and selected by a strict academic standard, so that such exhibition content and form was of an high standard and high quality becomes not only a beautiful visiting card of CAFA, but also a window for the public to expand their art vision. After six years of development, “The Start of a Long Journey” exhibition has become an important annual exhibition project focused on by art teachers and students, as well as the social from all walks of life, so that the brand marketing force has been extended to the country, and even the world.

The activity is also in cooperation with EpaiLive Auction (Beijing) Co. Ltd., to launch an interactive activity in the 2014 CAFA Excellent Graduation which was themed on “lightening the future”, through a new way of watching and reviewing the exhibiting work of “the Start of a Long Journey” in the network, more people can appreciate, understand, and select their favorite work, so that the works by the students have more interactions with society.

Text by Ye Yuanfeng, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo by Hu Zhiheng/CAFA ART INFO

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