President Fan Di’an of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts:
A Show of the Chinese Way of Contemporary Art
According to Fan Di’an, the exhibition brings together over 500 works from more than 120 Chinese artists, which will be on display simultaneously at 9 museums in 8 cities of the Ruhr district. “It represents a concentrated show of contemporary Chinese art in major European museums, which is rarely seen in recent years”.
There are a great number and variety of works to be exhibited. Fan Di’an said that in light of the different features and character of the nine museums, the organizer has selected works with different genres, including photography, painting, ink drawing, calligraphy, video, sculpture and installation art. Take the museum in Essen for example. The China 8 exhibition at the Essen museum whose collection is dominated by image art will feature the development of Chinese contemporary image and in particular, photography.
Fan Di’an explained that in the winter of 2012, the key planner from Germany Walter Smerling, Chairman of the Foundation for Art and Culture in Bonn brought directors of over 10 Ruhr museums to China. In their exchanges, Fan Di’an was deeply struck by the strong interest of the German museum directors in Chinese art and their conviction that the museums will serve as bridges to showcase the latest works of contemporary Chinese art and promote Germany-China art exchanges. During the planning process, Walter Smerling and other planners have conducted many discussions and all agree that the “China 8”show shall have a grand scale as a whole and distinctive highlights at individual exhibitions.
Fan Di’an believes that such a way of art show will give diversified perspectives to the audience in viewing contemporary Chinese art. It is like an all-dimensional window, through which the viewers will be able to “feel the vitality of today’s Chinese art in different exhibition spaces and understand the creation of Chinese artists in different areas and forms”.
Fan Di’an believes that contemporary Chinese art is full of vigor and vitality. “Through decades of development, contemporary Chinese artists have gradually walked out of the passivity in which they were completely influenced by western and international trends and have started to proceed from China’s realities and the Chinese soil. In terms of methodology, there is an increasing combination of China’s own traditional artistic philosophy and contemporary expression”.
He believes that Chinese art is very active and has Chinese ways. The works of Chinese artists to be shown in the exhibitions reflect their exploration. That is a very important feature of this show.
Fan Di’an added that today, “the channel of international exchanges of Chinese arts is like an overpass”. At the same time, the number of works that Chinese artists produce is also huge. In this context, “I think what matters is the quality. When the channel is open, we need to give priority to in-depth academic exchanges.”
“China 8”- Contemporary Art from China on the Rhine and Ruhr is initiated by the Foundation for Art and Culture in Bonn, Germany and will continue until 13 September.