CURATORIAL STUDIES

Zhang Zikang:Find New Meaning in Painting Written before the exhibitions of “The Return of Significance” and “Discipline with Master’s Dignity”...

2018-10-12

From the early 20th century, the first group of predecessors having studied in Europe and Japan returned to China to introduce Western oil painting. They planted upon the land of China with seeds of oil painting for participating in the course of modern art history. In 1956, CAFA officially established the Department of Oil Painting and took the lead to implement the mentor studio-based system. The established three studios led by Wu Zuoren, Luo Gongliu and Dong Xiwen and the graduate school led by Wang Shikuo became the earliest bases for teaching oil painting. Under the background of the New Tide Art Movement in 1985, the fourth studio was established by the dean of the Department of Oil Painting, Wen Lipeng, based on the ideal of the modernization of Chinese art, centered on modern art education ideas and safeguarded by the new teaching system. In 2016, in order to meet the needs of the disciplinary development again, the Department of Oil Painting set up the fifth studio, as a supplement for constructing the department with abstract art views.  From the previous four studios to the setting up of the fifth studio in recent years, the Department of Oil Painting was deeply involved in and explored issues from classic style to expressionism, color, and material, then to the modern and contemporary art. In order to adapt to changes in painting creation, teaching and aesthetics, the department constantly strives to unleash the power of oil painting and produce rich visual contents to reveal the creation value of arts through studies on painting language and concept from different perspectives.The Department of Oil Painting has cultivated a large number of outstanding students excelled at both morality and artistic skills, many of which became well-known artists or turned into the backbone force in the field of oil painting and art business across the country. It went through a glorious history as many famous oil painters of the department have created representative works during different historical periods that have the distinctive characteristic of the times and reflect the development course of social transformation as well as its cultural features. The Department of Oil Painting in CAFA represents the highest level of the studies and creation practices of Chinese oil painting, and continually renews the creation concept of oil painting in Chinese art circles, becoming a participant and creator in the process of contemporary art.With the continuous development of new media and various kinds of media arts, oil painting is facing the challenge of how to continue to develop, as the technique of photography, internet and new media keep creating new visual experience and changes the way of using painting to show the objective world and getting images. Just for this reason, the new generations of oil painters are also given opportunities to exploit the changes of oil painting in a new context.CAFA Art Museum is honored to present the works of 22 artists who are regarded as the most prominent oil painters in China and engaged in the studies and education of oil painting in the Department of Oil Painting, along with the research & teaching exhibition held for the time-honored No.3 studio of the department as well. These paintings cast light on the teaching practice of the Department of Oil Painting of CAFA on the way to pursue oil painting diligently for half of the century. They also demonstrated that oil painting – a medium with its own development history and logics – increasingly seek a dialogue with the times and promotes the self-updating of its painting language under the efforts of generations of creative practitioners.Today, painting is not exactly the painting in the traditional sense with its complex and pluralistic appearances. We can see that so many mature and creative artists from the Department of Oil Painting of CAFA undertake their own missions, learn from their predecessors, and draw on the classics and tradition to step into the future.    ...More

Zhang Zikang: From “Peeking” and “Watching” to Focus on “Private” and “Public”...

2018-10-08

As one of the brand exhibitions of CAFA Art Museum, “The Beijing Photo Biennial” has been held twice successfully with themes of “Aura and Post-Aura” and “Unfamiliar Asia”. They started respectively from the essence of photography and the political nature it carried, around the issues about contemporary photography, to develop, research, select and present the most representative international photography works, and received wide attention and recognition. ...More

Cultivator: Four Themes to Review Dai Ze’s Oil Paintings...

2018-10-06

The 97-year-old Dai Ze is a representative of the second generation of Chinese oil painters, who learned from Xu Beihong, one of the founders of modern Chinese art, and was taught by multiple distinguished artists and masters. ...More

Beyond Entertainment, “Re-recognize Game”: Art Exploration and Function of Game in the Art Museum...

2018-09-17

“CAFA Art Museum hopes that through sorting out and presenting the cultural issues concerning game art in the exhibition, it can lead this emerging art form to draw more attention and discussion in the academic system of fine arts, and explore the deep influence brought by games nowadays on visual arts as well as other fields. At the same time, it expected that people who come to visit and experience the show could pay more attention to serious games that involved in domains such as education, medical treatment, social practice and future imagination. It also anticipated that the humanistic care and social philosophies reflected in the exhibition would evoke new thinkings and possibilities for the future of the game and human beings.”                               Zhang Zikang, Director of the CAFA Art Museum Games that sold more than one billion copies easily, such as “Minecraft”, “Monument Valley”, “Kingdom Come: Deliverance”, “Sky”, “Gorogoa”, “Human Resource Machine”, have taken up many people’s fragments of spare time with its powerful genes of addiction. It is said, for example, that one in seven people in China plays the hottest game “Arena of Valor”. Skipping from the  “trifles” of the real world to the “construction” of the game world, game designers transcode the deep logic of the world into game language, which covers many themes across multiple fields, including digital media, visual communication and philosophy. For this reason, more than ever, the reviewing of the game requires to be carried out from various areas. “Monument Valley” is a mobile puzzle game developed and published by USTWO Games in 2014. The player leads the princess Ida through mazes of optical illusions and fights crow people in the process while interacting with the environment to find hidden passages to the map’s exit. (Original text from Baidu Encyclopedia)From video game first appeared in the late 1960s until mobile terminal has popularized today, electronic games have achieved great success of high industrialization during dozens of years. Many large-scale games of various and complex types are exquisitely designed in the internal logic and spectacular visual effects. Instead of playing with simple logic that the avatar attributes become more powerful as the level goes up, players can gradually develop the main characters of their own features in the process of upgrading weapons and fighting enemies. With the further development of industrialization, a successful “game” is welcomed by fastidious players only when it excels in technology, design, concept and innovation, which therefore requires the involvement of first-class art and concept designers, software engineers and cutting-edge AI technology. “Minecraft” is a sandbox video game released in 2009 and it has no specific goals to accomplish. Players can freely move throughout a world to destroy or build items with a variety of different blocks, and it can be a wood house, a castle, and even a city. Through creating things, players can gain the experience of being the owner in their created world. (Original text from Baidu Encyclopedia)With the opening of “Play Beyond the Game: The First Grand Exhibition of Art and Serious Games” , CAFA Art Museum expressed its stance of accepting “game art” by displaying game works in the art museum, and it is undoubtedly an initiative practice of this kind. Using the means of game and the form of exhibition to show the charm of the “ninth art”, visitors are able to think of games and serious games again, to directly feel the interaction of game productions, to understand the design and creation process of each game, to see with their eyes a large number of creation manuscripts and video recordings provided by the game designers, and thus to collate and redefine the cultural gene of the game. Rules and system: awareness of gameIt is said that the oldest game in human history traces back to the Senet around 3200 BC. Senet was once a popular board game in Egypt, and its remains have been frequently found in tomb paintings and funerary objects. Despite a recreational game, Senet also had serious symbolic meaning. The Senet gameboard is a grid of 30 squares which called a house, and some squares are marked with hieroglyphs. The squares without hieroglyphs represent the houses of the god, and each player has to bear all pawns off the board. The whole process is conceived as a symbol of the journey to the afterlife and the game is the bridge to connect life and death, the spiritual meaning of which is also emphasized in “The Egyptian Book of the Dead”. “White Night” is an adventure puzzle game developed by Osome Studio and published in 2015. Its unique artistic style enables players to be intoxicated with the atmosphere of the black movie. (Original text from Baidu Encyclopedia)As a kind of carrier of rules, game shows its artistry in the system, story, shooting script, and even the ultimate worldview. Go, for example, is regarded as having the most elegant and beautiful rules so far, and its influence on the thinking of conflict, concentration, indirect management and direct control is never out of date.Until now, the form of the game has accelerated more than ever. For game players who born in the late 80s and early 90s, digital games started from homemade RPG (Role-playing game), while for people who born after 2000, the first impression of digital games is recreational games on mobile devices or 3A games playing in the platforms of console and PC. It might be considered as a process of new technology replacing the old one, a course of advanced game mechanics substituting that of the backward, and a kind of evolution of irreversible aesthetics. “Lumino City” is a puzzle game that the game scene is created with real model materials and the player has to manipulate a girl called Lumi to search for her grandad. Apart from the puzzle style, the biggest characteristic of this game depends on the handmade game environment that built on real miniature models.The evolution of technology has enabled digital games to exert influence on players in many aspects: from geographic design and physical engine to soundtracks and characters…it almost combines a variety of categories, such as dance, architecture, narrative, improvisational drama, music, painting and movie, which thus promoted the possession of a comprehensive art form within the nature of the game. For game designers, the most direct and concise core of creation is the study of game rules and the refinement of expression. “Kingdom Come: Deliverance” is an action role-playing video game developed by Warhorse Studio. It is set in the middle ages and features nonlinear quest lines and an open world environment which encourages immersive first-person combat, bringing an innovation revolution in many ways.The ultimate worldview of the game is also regarded as the typical element for its aesthetic grade. For example, the first “Metal Gear” game reveals a spirit of compassion and conveys the horror to the nuclear threat and the value of peace through vivid expression of movie that can be claimed as a game version of “Apocalypse Now”; “Metal Gear 2” explores the paradox between clone technology and self-recognition; and “Metal Gear 3” turns the hero character into an ordinary person… “Metal Gear” series let us witness how the real-life suffering and hardships are reflected in the games, and also amazed at the producer Hideo Kojima’s dual talent in the field of movie and game. In the forum of “CAFA Game Art Exhibition”, Yoji Shinkawa, the illustrator of “Metal Gear” series, had a wonderful conversation with Yoshitaka Amano, another famous Japanese game designer, as they are both God-like figures involved in the game production for their respective game types. Game as the carrier of digital media artThe game developers have made various novel attempts in the gameplay at the aesthetic level, as not only game rules and systems are of artistic, but the visual presentation and attribute of emphasizing interactive experience within games can be viewed as artistic elements as well. A majority of artworks can achieve the state of interaction, that is, an interaction between the creator and the audience, which is actually a one-way communication, while games integrate the form of digital media with players’ new requirements and as a result change the relationship of the receiver and the media – from passive acceptance to active control, and then to active participation. “DragonBox” is an educational game series featuring its unique gameplay. It has five "worlds" with twenty levels each, and beating each level allows the dragons that the player possesses to grow into a new, more advanced form.Some games imitate the relationship of cooperation or competition between people in reality. This kind of high imitation inevitably contains the divisions and conflicts between race, gender, region and class, and there is not any language communication (language in the narrow sense) with each other from a random summoning, but it guarantees a natural process in which people can establish a relationship of mutual trust from strangers.When we claim that the game is only a pure fiction, we don’t realize that the so-called “fiction”  possesses a kind of authenticity beyond reality, as said by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. It is assumed that all great game designers holding dreams of reforming visual art, like all artists, movie directors, eminent writers and poets, dive into this brand-new industry and lift the media characteristic of the industry as a potential technology to the aesthetic level as much as possible.“Walden” is a video game developed by USC Game Innovation Lab. It translates the experience of Henry Thoreau’s stay at Walden Pond in 1845: surviving through self-sufficient living, enjoying solitude, seeking inspiration in nature, and living a deep life. (Original text from Baidu Encyclopedia)Game designers usually focus on creating games that its visual system can be readily accepted by those who had known nothing about digital games, either it is to put the most ancient game forms (such as Rock Scissors Paper, Rubik’s cube) into a new one, or to make efforts on the categorization of video games at the level of visual art, both of which requires their extraordinary imagination and humanistic care. Of course, it is just the integration of all these idealized visions with the latest technology of digital media that makes the unique visual innovation and experience possible.Nicky Case created a series of interactive web games that generate people’s discussion, such as “We Become What We Behold”, “Parable of the Polygons”, and he tells some profound truth of sociology through simple interactions within the game.Apart from its recreational function, the game as the carrier of digital media has been experimented by game developers in interdisciplinary fields, including art, physics, medical treatment and other social disciplines. For example, “Variant: Limits” – bringing the game into the teaching of college education, “R-mission” – helping children with cancer to fight against the disease by presenting the cancer treatment process, “Minecraft” – allowing players to learn history through famous historical scenes and Chinese classical architectures that restored in the game world, “DragonBox Numbers” – using the form of game to illustrate basic mathematics for learning, “Walden” – using the means of game to interpret the essence of the world literary classics. At the same time, expressing art concepts through the game is increasingly being used in the contemporary art field. “ARTé: Mecenas” is a simulation game. The player is set in the background of Italian Renaissance as a member of the Medici family to establish a personal business empire through investing in artists, churches and potential cities, and then push forward the historical process with the production of art masterpieces. It is regarded as a useful way to learn art history and art-related skills.A game with cultural “gene” does not mean it is entirely without “addiction”, as the game still need to be restricted to a system of rules and attract more exploration and discussion in public areas of society, such as in an art museum. From these perspectives, it is easy to see the significance of the exhibition “Play Beyond the Game” since it is held in the CAFA Art Museum that is affiliated to a distinguished university with deep cultivation. Through an authentic experience, visitors – the “participants of the game” who come to the exhibition can get a profound understanding of how the game enter the discourse system as an art form.Author: Wang Jing (General Editor, the official website of CAFA Art Museum) ...More

Fram Kitagawa: Art Festival in the Island...

2017-03-19

北川富朗先生从艺术节的起因,到艺术节的艺术品、建筑,为听众展现了一个艺术如何带动地区发展振兴的美丽故事。讲座主持人为中央美术学院实验艺术学院邬建安教授,中国社科院日本研究所研究员赵刚先生担任翻译. ...More

Kassel Documenta: International Contemporary Art Exhibition – Academic Lecture on “The Myth of Documenta – Arnold Bode and His Heirs ”...

2017-03-02

“文献展的神话——阿尔诺德·博德与他的后继者们”展览学术讲座于2017年3月2日晚在中央美术学院美术馆学术报告厅举行。作为首次专门为中国观众策划、讲述卡塞尔文献展60余年发展历史展览的学术延伸,本次讲座特别邀请卡塞尔文献展创始人阿尔诺德·博德前助理海因里希· 格奥格斯朵夫(Heinrich Georgsdorf)先生、卡塞尔文献展公共有限责任公司总监安妮特·库伦坎普夫(Annette Kulenkampff)女士、柏林自由大学文化与媒体管理学院院长同时也是此次展览德方策展人的克劳斯·西本哈尔(Klaus Siebenhaar)教授进行演讲,他们分别从阿尔诺德·博德与卡塞尔文献展的创立发展、文献展背后的运营管理体制以及观众研究的视角进行叙述与交流。讲座由中央美术学院艺术管理与教育学院院长同时也是此次展览中方策展人的余丁教授主持,中央美术学院艺术管理与教育学院讲师及此次展览助理策展人王文婷老师担任现场翻译。 ...More

Anselm Kiefer – A Painter from Germany – A Summary of the Academic Lecture on “Anselm Kiefer in China”...

2016-12-04

画家、雕塑家基弗生于1945年,是二战后最卓越和成功的德国艺术家。他的摄影和行为艺术“占领”系列作品最初遭到禁止,但是他的事业正发端于此。基弗的艺术到底与德国文化,与(第三帝国的)德国梦有何密切关联?他的艺术观念的要义何在?为什么他作为画家所倾注的具象性遭到排斥?德国作家、策展人约克斯将在讲座中探讨上述问题。 ...More

Forum Review Young Intellectuals Gather at “Pioneer Conversation” to Talk About Issues of “Negotiation”...

2016-12-03

此次论坛是第三届CAFAM双年展的系列学术活动之一。论坛邀请了美术学、社会学、历史学、政治学等领域的13位学生和学者,就美术馆权力、公共空间及社会协商三个方面进行讨论。 ...More

Unfamiliar Asia – “Asian Wisdom” Forum (Part I)...

2015-10-18

2015年10月16日下午两点,“亚洲的智慧”论坛第二场“艺术中的亚洲”在中央美术学院美术馆学术报告厅展开讨论。此次论坛是以“陌生的亚洲”为主题的第二届北京国际摄影双年展的系列学术活动,由中央美术学院美术馆学术部副研究员蔡萌主持,独立策展人、艺术家、香港大学讲师秦伟进行主题发言,参展艺术家吉拉德•俄斐、赵峰和周庆辉分别以各自的作品为例展开简短的论述。 ...More

Asia in Art – “Asian Wisdom” Forum (Part II)...

2015-10-17

2015年10月16日上午9点30分,“亚洲的智慧”论坛第一场在中央美术学院美术馆学术报告厅进行,作为“陌生的亚洲”——第二届北京国际摄影双年展所开展的系列学术活动之一,本场论坛以“陌生的亚洲”作为主题,中国社会科学院亚太与全球战略研究院副院长、研究员李文与本届国际摄影双年展顾问,著名摄影理论家、策展人顾铮进行了主题发言并与多位参展艺术家进行了小组对谈。本场论坛由中央美术学院美术馆学术部主任王春辰主持。 ...More
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