Young artists exhibits on the rise

By Lin Qi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-08-05 08:05:41

Young artists exhibits on the rise

Six Periods of Liang Shuming, plaster statues by Liu Shaodong from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, in 2014, are displayed at The Realm of Advaita exhibition in Beijing. [Photo/China Daily]

Art academies have started to present many graduation shows before and during the summer vacation.

Young artists exhibits on the rise

A puppeteer and his puppet performance life

Young artists exhibits on the rise

Distinctive arts from Peng Mingliang exhibited in Shanghai 

Among them, the Beijing-based Central Academy of Fine Arts has established its own brand, The Start of a Long Journey, which exhibits selected works of "excellent graduates", and has been held for six years. This year's exhibition ended on July 26 and will tour to other art colleges to incorporate their graduates' works.

"Many works are sophisticated, and feel like they are specially commissioned for a museum space," says Wang Huangsheng, director of the CAFA Art Museum where the exhibition was held. "It shows that their creators have paid a lot of attention to the details and the skills, and they have thought deeply about social issues."

Graduation exhibitions used to be campus forums, but in recent years they have become more accessible to the public and have attracted galleries and collectors looking for future star artists. This has led to criticism that some works at the graduation shows and young artist fairs have become market oriented, with poor quality reproductions of commercially successful styles.

Bai Ming, a professor of ceramic art with Beijing-based Tsinghua University, says that it's inevitable that students' works tend to look like their mentors' and mimic what the market demands.

"Young artists are exposed to a great deal of fragmented information every day," Bai says.

"They are too busy absorbing knowledge to dig deeply and think profoundly. Art colleges must not only teach practical skills, teachers should also equip students with the approaches of thinking and creating."

Last September, CAFA launched a project that monitors the careers of participating graduates over 10 years. The Start of A Long Journey collects each graduate's basic information and builds up an individual database. Every year, the staff will interview the graduates to monitor their progress, recording the number of exhibitions they have participated in and the works they have sold.

"Young people should be prepared for the harshness of the art landscape outside campus while sticking to their ideals," says Professor Yu Ding who heads the project. "It takes a long journey before one becomes a true artist."


The Realm of Advaita

10 am-6 pm, until Aug 11. Today Art Museum, Pingguo Community, 32 Baiziwan Lu (Road), Chaoyang district, Beijing. 010-5876-0600 Ext 100.

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