Peo­ple’s lives form fo­cus of works at Shaanxi fi­esta

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By CHEN NAN in Xi’an chen­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.”

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

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.

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