A view of the world seen through artists’ eyes

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By DENG ZHANGYU dengzhangyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

How do artists see the world? Artists, both from home and abroad, present their views, es­pe­cially through paint­ings, in an art show that opened on Satur­day in Bei­jing.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, Paint One An­other and Know One An­other, has about 200 works— oil paint­ings, wa­ter col­ors, sculp­tures and prints — which cap­ture scenes from 60 na­tions.

The works by Chi­nese artists fo­cus on coun­tries along the an­cient Silk Road.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also fea­tures works on China as seen by for­eign artists and pieces painted by Chi­nese artists sent to paint in a stu­dio in Paris.

The works at the show are the prod­ucts of a project of the China Artists As­so­ci­a­tion, which for the past eight years spon­sored Chi­nese artists to go abroad to cre­ate art­works cover­ing dif­fer­ent cul­tures and back­grounds.

Sep­a­rately, it also in­vited for­eign artists to China to pro­duce works in­flu­enced by Chi­nese cul­ture.

The Chi­nese artists’ ink and wa­ter works mostly fea­ture ex­otic ar­chi­tec­ture and por­traits of peo­ple.

A lake in Mace­do­nia, dancers in Pak­istan, sol­diers in Rus­sia, the old town square in War­saw and a mosque in Iraq have all been cap­tured on rice paper by Chi­nese artists.

“Ar­chi­tec­ture is a sym­bol of a coun­try’s cul­ture and the peo­ple are the souls of a na­tion. That’s why artists al­ways put a lot of ef­fort into draw­ing it,” says Wang Yong, a re­searcher with the Chi­nese Na­tional Academy of Arts.

As for the for­eign artists’ works on China, tra­di­tional el­e­ments such as dragons, lan­terns, red walls and the Great Wall are seen in their oil paint­ings.

French painter Barthelemy An­drea’s work fea­tures a beau­ti­ful woman against a Chi­nese land­scape paint­ing with ris­ing lan­terns to ex­press the “eter­nal beauty” of China.

Es­to­nian painter Alek­sei Shatunov vis­ited Yangzhou in Jiangsu province last year, a city that has lots of tra­di­tional Chi­nese gar­dens and houses.

In his work Red Flow­ers, the painter recorded his day at the Slen­der West Lake.

In the section of works done in the Stu­dio of Lu Xi­aguang, about 30 artists who worked in the stu­dio do­nated by Lu Xi­aguang in 1984 to the China Artists As­so­ci­a­tion present their works.

Speak­ing about the links be­tween Chi­nese artists and France, Ding Ning, deputy direc­tor of the art school at Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity, says that since the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury, artists from China have gone to France to study art, and this pro­duced lots of mod­ern art mas­ters, in­clud­ing Lin Feng­mian (1900-91) and Xu Bei­hong (1895-1953) who is known for his paint­ings of horses.

The tra­di­tion of go­ing to France to study art spans more than 100 years, he says.

Speak­ing about his ex­pe­ri­ence with the Lu stu­dio, he says: “I could feel the ex­cite­ment of the Chi­nese artists when I vis­ited the stu­dio do­nated by Lu in 1993.”

Mean­while, the gov­ern­ment is now sup­port­ing its young artists to go over­seas and in­ter­act with their coun­ter­parts there.

There are al­to­gether 80 young artists funded by the gov­ern­ment to cre­ate art­works abroad, ac­cord­ing to Liu Dawei, pres­i­dent of the China Artists As­so­ci­a­tion.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Oil paint­ing Vene­tianMorn­ing by Chi­nese artist Liu Qiyi.

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