On April 29, 2016, curated by CAFA, “The Temperature of History: CAFA and Chinese Representational Oil Paintings” was moved to Hebei province from Shandong province, and a grand opening ceremony was held at Shijiazhuang Art Museum, the show is jointly organized by CAFA, Office of Culture in Hebei Province, Shijiazhuang Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, News and Publishing, and co-organized by CAFA Art Museum and Shijiazhuang Art Museum. Through nearly 200 pieces of representational painting, it represents the development of oil painting of CAFA, and with the work and artists, it is intended to recall and reorganize the profound historical relations between CAFA and Hebei province.
Deputy Party Secretary of CAFA Sun Hongpei, senior professors Wen Lipeng, Su Gaoli and Gao Tianxiong, Dean of the School of Plastic Arts and Director of the Department of Oil Painting Ma Lu, Deputy Dean of the School of Plastic Arts, Director of Printmaking Department Wang Huaxiang, curator of the exhibition and Director of CAFA Editorial Yin Shuangxi, the exhibition director and Deputy Director of CAFA Art Museum Tang Bin, Deputy Dean of School of Urban Design Tian Haipeng, Deputy Director of the Department of Fundamental Education Su Haijiang, a teacher from the Department of Oil Painting Ma Jiawei and other honored guests from CAFA attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition. In addition, the honored guests from Hebei Provincial Artists Association, Hebei Provincial Federation of Literature and Art Circles, as well as the art circles, the universities and colleges of fine arts gathered to attend the opening. The opening ceremony was presided over by Director of Shijiazhuang Art Museum Liu Feng.
Deputy Party Secretary of CAFA Sun Hongpei addressed the opening ceremony and referred to Hebei’s culture illuminating as a heavenly galaxy, and the “Red Taihang” which contributed a meritorious service to the liberation of new China. Further, CAFA and Hebei province have a profound historical origin, after the victory of the war, the predecessors of CAFA Department of Fine Arts at North China Associated University and Department of Fine Arts at the 3rd Part of North China University were successively located in Heibei province. Also CAFA has been actively working on the construction of integration of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regions in recent years, and the High School Affiliated to CAFA Yanjiao Campus was built in Hebei, actively carrying out the cooperation between CAFA Art Museum and Shijiazhuang Art Museum. Among the nearly two hundred painters included in this exhibition, there are more than 20 painters closely linked to Hebei province, the exhibition is also a journey of their arts return to their home. Party Secretary, Director of Shijiazhuang Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, News and Publishing Li Bo believed that this exhibition would bring new artistic enjoyment to the audience in Hebei province, and promote the public aesthetic temperament and interest, to motivate the creative inspiration and motivation of the people in the art circles, promoting the fine arts in Hebei to a higher level.
This exhibition aims at researching the history, inheriting traditions, focusing on the contemporary, looking towards the future, comprehensively displaying the CAFA Oil Painting School which was constructed by several generations of oil painters, and it promotes the Chinese oil painting and Chinese art to realize a new breakthrough. Curator of the exhibition, Director of CAFA Editorial Yin Shuangxi macroscopically introduced the background and academic value of exhibition, the oil painting had a history of five hundred years in the West, while it was introduced to China only more than one hundred years ago, since then it was gradually blended into our cultural life, especially after the founding of new China, it took the responsibility of national historical narrative, and CAFA had been playing a very important role in the development of Chinese oil painting. This large exhibition project started to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of CAFA, and also positively responded to the national cultural benefiting policy, in a hope to send art to the general public with the support of “National Arts Fund”.
The exhibition is a systematic research of Chinese realistic oil painting in the 20th century, which is divided into five parts, including: New Learning Enlightenment (1900-1949), National Narrative (1949-1976), Artistic Essence (1977-1999), Contemporary Concern (2000-2014), Original Works and Copies of Foreign Representational Paintings in the collections of CAFA. “New Learning Enlightenment” starts from the old oil paintings in the late Qing and early Republic of China, and rare glass paintings, to outline the evolution trajectory of early Chinese oil painting when Western realistic oil painting met Chinese traditional culture and reality; “National Narrative” showcases that CAFA has actively promoted the socialist realistic art of Chinese art since the People’s Republic of China was founded, especially using major national historical themes as the main body, to build the historical narrative and collective memory of new China. “Artistic Essence” reveals that the political, economic, cultural reform and opening-up play a role in the development of Chinese art from the new period; “Contemporary Concern” does not only showcase the innovative works by the famous senior professors of CAFA, but also the representative works by the middle-aged and young teachers from various faculties, in addition to the works by advanced students and graduates. The works showcase the broad cultural vision of contemporary painters, while it also maintains profound humanistic concern in contemporary society; “Original Works and Copies of Foreign Representational Paintings” showcase the copies of representational paintings of the West and former Soviet Union accomplished by the teachers from CAFA when they visited the foreign art museums over the years, from which we can see the diversified influences on Chinese oil painting by foreign oil paintings, and also the in-depth exploration and research on the essence of western painting by the oil painters from CAFA.
The exhibition brings together a large number of excellent works, which can be described as the largest exhibition which showcases the collections of CAFA, through the exhibition the audience can also understand the developing process of Chinese oil painting art and the position of CAFA among it. The exhibition remains on view to May 29, and then the exhibition will travel to Hubei province continuing to promote “the temperature of history”.
Text and photo by Zhang Wenzhi/CAFA ART INFO
Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO