BRICS Ex­pands Into Art

To fa­cil­i­tate the grow­ing in­ter­na­tional artis­tic co­op­er­a­tion ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­creas­ing glob­al­iza­tion, up­dat­ing co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS art mu­se­ums and galleries is es­sen­tial.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Yi Mei

As mem­bers of BRICS, Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China, and South Africa rep­re­sent five at­ten­tion­grab­bing economies as well as the forces in the emerg­ing global mar­ket that have risen in the 21st cen­tury. Their co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of trade and busi­ness are ex­ten­sive and on­go­ing. Fur­ther­more, as five coun­tries boast­ing di­verse and rich cul­tures, their cul­tural col­lab­o­ra­tion is also on the rise, as ev­i­denced by the es­tab­lish­ment of the BRICS Al­liance of Art Mu­se­ums and Galleries on April 12, 2018.

Artis­tic Al­liance

To fa­cil­i­tate the grow­ing in­ter­na­tional artis­tic co­op­er­a­tion ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­creas­ing glob­al­iza­tion, up­dat­ing co­op­er­a­tion among BRICS art mu­se­ums and galleries is es­sen­tial. Ex­plor­ing new co­op­er­a­tion un­der new in­ter­na­tional cir­cum­stances is a brand new chal­lenge for all art mu­se­ums and galleries, es­pe­cially those in BRICS coun­tries. In July 2017, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa jointly signed a Let­ter of In­tent on the Found­ing of the BRICS Al­liance of Art Mu­se­ums and Galleries dur­ing the sec­ond Meet­ing of BRICS Min­is­ters of Cul­ture, of­fi­cially clar­i­fy­ing the in­tent of art mu­se­ums in BRICS coun­tries to set up a mech­a­nism for mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion. The al­liance aims to pro­mote mu­tual learn­ing among cul­tures to boost cul­tural and artis­tic ex­change among BRICS coun­tries.

Be­tween April 12 and 14, 2018, the Na­tional Art Mu­seum of China (NAMOC) in­vited the di­rec­tors of four other key na­tional art or­ga­ni­za­tions—the Iziko Mu­seum of South Africa, the Brazil­ian In­sti­tute of Mu­se­ums (IBRAM), the State Mu­seum of Ori­en­tal Art in Moscow and the Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art in New Delhi—to join the first fo­rum of the al­liance, which sig­ni­fied the for­mal found­ing of the BRICS Al­liance of Art Mu­se­ums and Galleries. Wu Weis­han, di­rec­tor of NAMOC, was elected the first sec­re­tary-gen­eral of

the al­liance with a term of five years.

“I am hon­ored to serve in this role,” said Wu. “I am so glad for such a great plat­form to carry out cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion. I am con­vinced that our mu­tual trust, love and co­op­er­a­tion will be en­hanced through art—the door to the heart. And we will be able to de­velop more gen­uine and deeper friend­ship.”

At the fo­rum, di­rec­tors of the five art in­sti­tu­tions gave speeches, dis­cussed the cur­rent de­vel­op­ment of art in BRICS coun­tries, looked into the prospects of tap­ping into cul­tural syn­ergy of the five coun­tries and ex­changed views on strength­en­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and friendly ties among them to deepen winwin co­op­er­a­tion through the al­liance mech­a­nism.

“We will launch a se­ries of projects like artist ex­changes, fo­rums and joint ex­hi­bi­tions,” said Alexan­der Se­dov, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the State Mu­seum of Ori­en­tal Art in Moscow, Rus­sia. “I be­lieve this will pro­mote un­der­stand­ing be­tween peo­ple in BRICS coun­tries.”

The sec­ond fo­rum of the al­liance will be held next year in In­dia, spon­sored by the Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art. “BRICS coun­tries fea­ture dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent cul­tures,” noted Ad­waita Gadanayak, di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the In­dian mu­seum, who is slated to serve as the ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the al­liance next year. “Through ex­change, we can un­der­stand each other more while keep­ing our own unique qual­i­ties.”

“While im­prov­ing their do­mes­tic economies and liv­ing stan­dards, gov­ern­ments and peo­ples of BRICS coun­tries have re­mained open to co­op­er­a­tion for win-win re­sults and mu­tual ben­e­fits, es­tab­lish­ing pro­found multi-pronged and multi-di­men­sional

co­op­er­a­tion oop­er­a­tion ties,” re­marked Wu. “The found­ing und­ing of the BRICS Al­liance of Art Mu­se­ums and Galleries es­tab­lishes a work­ing mech­a­nism for in-depth ex­change and in­ter­ac­tion through dis­play­ing clas­si­cal col­lec­tions. It lays a solid foun­da­tion for deeper un­der­stand­ing of his­tory and cul­tural tra­di­tions be­cause we be­lieve that all arts and thoughts are con­nected, and all cul­tures and arts should be shared by all mankind.”

Unique­ness and Con­ver­gence

Along with the fo­rum, “Unique­ness and Con­ver­gence,” a spe­cial exhibition of the BRICS Al­liance of Art Mu­se­ums and Galleries, was held.

South Africa boasts a time­honored his­tory of artis­tic ex­pres­sion dat­ing back to the old­est known art in the world. This exhibition high­lights and jux­ta­poses old and new, ex­pos­ing how the tra­di­tional, spir­i­tual and cul­tural as­pects of a di­verse and some­times an­cient South African so­ci­ety are in­cluded in mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary works.

“We cre­ate and feel art in hopes of track­ing the emo­tions deep in the hearts of all na­tions be­cause clas­si­cal art paints the im­age of a coun­try, a na­tion and an era,” elab­o­rated Zhang Qing, Chi­nese cu­ra­tor of the exhibition. “The 61 works on dis­play here re­in­force our idea that beauty is the shared sun and in­spir­ing spring of hu­mankind. The power of life cap­tured in the works helps us probe the core men­tal tem­per­a­ment of dif­fer­ent cul­tures, so we can feel the glory and sig­nif­i­cance of hu­man­ity be­yond time and space. ”

The Brazil­ian pieces in the exhibition show­cased a glimpse not only of Brazil’s cul­tural di­ver­sity but also of the way Brazil­ian artists ex­press their feel­ings in the con­tem­po­rary world—the world in which BRICS came into ex­is­tence and rel­e­vance as a group. Two of the works were es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing for the Chi­nese au­di­ence be­cause they were “made in China.” Christus No­brega cre­ated his piece dur­ing an artis­tic res­i­dence at China’s Cen­tral Academy of Fine Arts. And Afonso Tostes con­tin­ued his cel­e­brated Work Room se­ries in Bei­jing last year with in­stru­ments col­lected in China’s He­bei Prov­ince.

“Amid ex­pand­ing glob­al­iza­tion, in­ter­na­tional artis­tic and cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant,” posited Wu Weis­han. “As an im­por­tant medium for in­ter­na­tional artis­tic di­a­logue, art mu­se­ums and galleries play in­creas­ingly sig­nif­i­cant roles. Re­search on the method­ol­ogy of cul­tural and artis­tic com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a vi­tal as­pect of the mis­sion of art mu­se­ums and galleries as part of the pub­lic ser­vice sys­tem. We con­sider this exhibition just the be­gin­ning.”

Build a Boat by N.K. Ro­erich (Rus­sia), oil on can­vas, 106×141.5cm, 1903.

The Vil­lage Shrine by Bireswar Sen (In­dia), wa­ter color and tem­pera on pa­per, 8.5×5.5cm, 1914.

Eco in the Empty Val­ley: Laozi Leaves Hangu Pass by Wu Weis­han (China), bronze, 74×93×33cm, 2012.

Sherpa on a Trek by Bireswar Sen (In­dia), wa­ter color and tem­pera on pa­per, 8.5×5.5cm, 1914.

Cole­cao En­to­mo­log­ica II by Christus Nóbrega, cropped photo and pin, 123×65cm, 2015.

Wan­derer by L.T. Gadaev (Rus­sia), chamotte and mod­el­ing, 62×24.5×22cm, 1980s.

Girl and Dove by Liu Jude (China), ink and color on pa­per, 180×97cm, 2017.

Rock Art Re­pro­duc­tion by Ge­orge Stow (South Africa), wa­ter­color on pa­per, 78×92cm, 1865.

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