Mu­seum ded­i­cated to nat­u­ral land­scape art opens in Fuyang

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai

zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Gong­wang Art Mu­seum in Fuyang, a dis­trict un­der Hangzhou city, cel­e­brated its grand open­ing on Sept 23 with an ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing Chi­nese land­scape art.

Ti­tled Shan­shui, a Man­i­festa, the ex­hi­bi­tion is aimed at es­tab­lish­ing the mu­seum’s iden­tity through a di­a­logue about art­works from the present and the past.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, which will be held till Dec 23, fea­tures more than 30 an­cient mas­ter­pieces loaned from the Palace Mu­seum in Bei­jing and the Nan­jing Mu­seum of Jiangsu prov­ince. The show­case also in­cludes cre­ations by dozens of con­tem­po­rary artists.

The nat­u­ral land­scape, de­fined as “moun­tains and rivers” ( shan­shui) in tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture, is the em­bod­i­ment of the Chi­nese spirit, said the mu­seum cu­ra­tor Gao Shim­ing, who is also the vice direc­tor of the China Academy of Fine Art.

Gao said that while Chi­nese artists to­day can eas­ily be as adept in tech­ni­cal skills as the an­cient mas­ters, much of the con­nec­tion with na­ture has in­her­ently been lost in the mod­ern world. He added that this new mu­seum rep­re­sents the mis­sion of to­day’s artists to re­build this con­nec­tion and reestab­lish China’s own cul­tural iden­tity.

“We be­lieve the new mu­seum, car­ry­ing the name of Gong­wang, will be able to bring the art of shan­shui to the con­tem­po­rary con­text. I hope there will be more chap­ters of the Shan­shui Man­i­festa that can be spread to the whole world,” said Gao.

Among the an­cient mas­ter­pieces are the orig­i­nal works by leg­endary artist Huang Gong­wang. Sev­eral copies of his renowned scroll Dwelling in the Fuchun Moun­tains which were pro­duced by gen­er­a­tions of artists through cen­turies are among the ex­hibits. These works re­flect Huang’s aes­thetic ideas and cre­ative meth­ods, as well as re­veal his great im­pact in China’s land­scape art.

Out­side the hall that con­tains an­cient trea­sured pieces are con­tem­po­rary art works, in­clud­ing oil paint­ings, char­coal draw­ings, au­dio and mul­ti­me­dia in­stal­la­tions, as well as ink paint­ings. Renowned Chi­nese mu­si­cian Zhu Zhe­qin has also been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“This is a mu­seum for all your senses, not just your eyes,” said Gao, ex­plain­ing his de­ci­sion to in­vite Zhu.

Zhu is a rec­og­nized world mu­sic artist who has in the past few years been re­search­ing Bud­dhist mu­sic. She had bor­rowed an an­cient 500-yearold Qing — a mu­sic in­stru­ment in the shape of an in­verted bell — from Jingci Tem­ple for her in­stal­la­tion at the mu­seum.

The Qing is found on a plat­form be­side a shal­low pool of wa­ter at the mu­seum and rip­ples are formed ev­ery time some­one strikes the in­stru­ment. The wa­ter move­ments are cap­tured by video cam­eras be­fore be­ing pro­jected onto the walls.

Many of the con­tem­po­rary artists fea­tured in the ex­hi­bi­tion hail from the China Academy of Art. While some have gone the tra­di­tional route with their art works, oth­ers have adopted new tech­niques and ma­te­ri­als for their cre­ations.

“It doesn’t have to be ink art. Ink is not the only means for Chi­nese ex­pres­sion. It is the spirit that counts,” said Gao.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Art works on dis­play at the Gong­wang Art Mu­seum.

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