People’s lives form focus of works at Shaanxi fiesta
Xi’an, once the country’s capital, and the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, is holding the country’s largest celebration of art — the China Art Festival.
Through Oct 31, a variety of performances selected from over 30 regions across China, including acrobatics, dramas, Peking Opera shows, and dances, exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and photos, art competitions and conventions, are being held in Xi’an, in Northwest China’ s Shaanxi province.
Over 50 works will compete for the Wenhua Awards, which the Ministry of Culture established in 1991 to honor outstanding stage performances.
Also, 84 works have entered the final round of the competition to win the Qunxing Award, which the Ministry of Culture grants as the top prize for amateur artistic works. These two awards will be announced at the end of the 11th China Art Festival.
Founded in 1987, the event has been held every three years across China, including in Beijing and in the provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan and Shandong.
In October 2014, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech in Beijing, telling artists that they should not pursue commercial success at the expense of producing works with artistic and moral values.
Xi also urged artists to create more works that are both artistically outstanding and morally inspiring, in order to serve the people and socialism and to present socialist core values.
“Fine art works should be like sunshine from a blue sky and breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste and clean up undesirable work styles,” Xi said at a symposium that gathered some of the country’s most renowned authors, actors, script writers and dancers.
His advice has been taken to heart, as Minister of Culture Luo Shugang remarked at the art festival’s opening ceremony, which was held in Yan’an, also in Shaanxi province.
In his comments, the minister said: “This year’s China Art Festival is the first large-scale national art event after President Xi’s speech on arts. His remarks pointed out problems that exist in some art works. And during the past two years, many Chinese artists have based their works on people’s lives and created fine art in line with socialist core values.”
Meanwhile, Homeland, a contemporary original piece of qinqiang, a popular folk Chinese opera of Northwest China, opened the art festival in Yan’an, which was once the center of the Communist revolution.
Tickets for more than 100 different performances have been sold at discounted prices ranging from 20 yuan ($3) to 100 yuan to attract larger audiences.
Supporting the new thrust of the festival, Liu Yunzhi, the famed Chinese violinist, who is the vice-president of China National Opera House, says: “I have witnessed the development and changes in China’s art scene and how success and ambition fulfillment need the support of the country.”
Liu, who performed at the first China Art Festival in 1987 as the principal violinist of China National Symphony Orchestra, says: “Artists should not be the slaves of the market. Art can seem quite distant without real life experience and connections with the audience.”
Left: Homeland, a contemporary original piece of qinqiang, a popular folk Chinese opera of Northwest China, opened the art festival in Yan’an. Right: Dancers from the National Ballet of China present SoulofCrane, an original ballet piece at the ongoing China Art Festival.