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Major exhibition of Chinese contemporary art opens in Budapest

Updated: 2012-08-10 10:25

A major exhibition showcasing the fine art of China in the last 30 years opened in Budapest on Thursday.

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The exhibition, which runs at Budapest's Museum of Fine Arts for a month, is the largest ever collection of Chinese contemporary art to be exhibited in Europe.

The exhibition, called "Openness and Integration," showcases Chinese art from 1978 to the present day, and comprises 120 pieces in total, including oil paintings, traditional Chinese ink paintings, graphics and plastics.

The display is presented in three collections each with different perspectives. "The Adversities of Time" collection reflects developments in Chinese society during the reform period using applied art tools. The "Poetry of Nature" section presents the ongoing survival of the 1,000 year-old Chinese traditions of landscape painting in China, while the "Delights of Diversity" part explores different directions in art which exist side by side, for example, east and west, and old and new, and how these trends influence each other.

In June last year, 33 Hungarian contemporary artists showed their work in the National Art Museum of China. Speaking at the opening, You Qingqiao, deputy head of the Chinese museum, said relations between Hungary and China have been very close for a long time, not just in the field of culture but also the economy and many other fields of life. He believed that the exhibition will further promote the bilateral cultural and art exchanges.

Laszlo L. Simon, Hungary's state secretary for culture at the Ministry for Human Resources, said that Chinese and European painting had developed in different directions for centuries but that Chinese painters had always been highly respected in Europe.

Laszlo Baan, head of the host museum in Budapest said that if China emerges as the dominant power of the 21st century as many believe it will, then its rise to world-power status in the fields of art and culture can also be expected. He said that the exhibition was a milestone which symbolized the efforts of both the Hungarian and Chinese governments to work together. "The exhibition is proof that Hungary can be the gateway to the East for the West, as well as to the West for the East," he added.

Dora Halasi, who attended the opening, said the exhibition was interesting for her as she wasn't able to learn about Chinese art at university though she majored in art history. "Lots of parallels can be drawn with European art which particularly surprised me," she said. "After seeing this I will be much more open to Asian art. It's very important that this exhibition is in Budapest," she added.

Another visitor, Adrienn Illes who is a student, said the exhibition gives a comprehensive picture about Chinese contemporary art. "Before I came here, I had no idea what was happening with Chinese art," she said.

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