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Since returning from the former Soviet Union, New China's first generation of fine art students abroad had never had a group exhibition, until now. A carefully curated exhibition at the National Art Museum of China traces the life of these students 60 years ago.
Titled Studying in Soviet Union, the show provides glimpses of the former communist state's strict fine art discipline, with an extensive display of hundreds of artworks, old photos and historical materials. Most of the artists have passed away or are in their 80s.
Audiences will get to see some works of art that are making public debuts, including sketches, portraits, landscapes and sculptures, as well as copies of European oil works. Also on show are such documents as curriculum schedules and notes, graduation papers and art tools.
The exhibition testifies to the honeymoon relationship between the two socialist countries before it deteriorated in the late 1960s.
From 1953 to 1961, China sent 33 people to brush up art skills and theories in the Soviet Union. Most students entered the prestigious Ilya Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Fine Arts, Sculpture and Architecture, informally known as the Repin Institute of Arts. They majored in oil painting, sculpture, stage art and art theory.
More photos: Painting exhibition at National Art Museum of China