Art fete showcases close bonds with Mongolia

By Lin Qi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-10-27 07:38:18

Art fete showcases close bonds with Mongolia

The ongoing exhibition Long Songs on the Grassland in Beijing's Taimiao features works by more than 40 artists from China and Mongolia. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In his lithography works of the late 1980s, Su Xinping, 55, focused on the life of the Mongolian ethnic group, particularly on the mentality of people living in the grasslands.

He took a realistic approach at the time, skipping a common, superficial tendency to just portray beautiful scenery.

The established Beijing-based artist, who grew up in the Inner Mongolian autonomous region, injected a strong sense of loneliness and calmness into the sky, horses and herdsmen in his works.

He presented a highly personalized treatment of lighting and shading effect.

He showed the strengths and weaknesses of an ancient tribe that struggles with the complexities of modern life.

His signature works of the period, such as Woman Herding Cattle and Wall, are among around 200 paintings, sculptures, installations and other art forms displayed at a Beijing exhibition titled Long Songs on the Grassland.

The event includes more than 40 artists from China and Mongolia. Their works mark and deepen the cultural dialogue between the two countries. China and Mongolia share a border of about 4,700 kilometers.

For a large number of Chinese viewers who are more familiar with traditional Mongolian art, the exhibition offers a glimpse of diverse aspects of contemporary Mongolian art.

People get a clear and full picture of what's happening in Mongolian art, says Fan Di'an, head of Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, which has organized the exhibition with the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery in Ulan Bator.

He says that the works show a transition from the dominating realism before the 1980s to attempts to be unique.

"Like their contemporaries in China, artists of the younger generation are also playing with experimental, conceptual themes and approaches," Fan says. "Together, their creativity shows a multi-oriented development of art against the background of globalization."

The exhibition was launched as the first show of a "Meet Along the Silk Road" exhibition series, by the Co-innovation Center for Art Creation and Research on the Silk Road. The institution was established by the Central Academy of Fine Arts in June to promote artistic exchanges among related civilizations along the Silk Road.

Fan, who also directs the center, says that it hopes to organize more exhibitions with one or two countries along the Silk Road every year. He says such artistic exchanges further boost interpersonal communication, which is more important.

The exhibition is being held at the four halls of Taimiao, the Imperial Ancestral Temple, also known as the Working People's Cultural Palace, right beside the Palace Museum.

Taimiao represents the peak of China's imperial ritual culture and is where emperors of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties held sacrificial ceremonies to respect their ancestors.

The exhibition, which began in September, shows dozens of oil portraits of 20th century China from the Central Academy of Fine Arts museum collection.

If you go

6 am-9 pm, through Nov 3. Taimiao, east of Tian'anmen Square, Beijing. 010-6525-2189.


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