academic research

Fan Di’an: Learn From the Heart, and Pursue Both Art and Virtue...

2018-12-14 1429 read

In the complex cultural circumstance, Mr. Li Hu adhered to the reform of Chinese painting, insisted on the integration of Chinese and Western painting skills, explored the transformation from classical to realistic language, and created a large number of works with the features of the times and cultural creativity, leaving a rich and precious academic heritage for modern Chinese painting.

Wang Huaxiang: The Master of A Generation – Song Yuanwen...

2018-12-11 1287 read

Mr. Song Yuanwen’s large-scale solo exhibition is about to unveil, with a full display of his works and his artistic career. Mr. Song’s generation lived in a world where today’s young person may don’t understand, so that they may don’t necessarily have an accurate understanding of their art as well.

Fan Di’an Addressing “Song Yuanwen’s Solo Exhibition”: Take a Broad Vision to Set a Model for Printmaking ...

2018-12-11 1818 read

Mr. Song Yuanwen is a grandmaster fostered by new Chinese art education. During decades of artistic creation and art education career, with his great efforts of making an outstanding performance in printmaking and abundant achievement in imparting knowledge and educating people, he has made a significant contribution to the development of Chinese printmaking as well as the teaching of printmaking in CAFA. On the occasion of both the centenary anniversary of CAFA and the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up, we solemnly hold a large-scale art exhibition of Mr. Song Yuanwen, which is not only the best way to show and understand his artistic accomplishments, but also to better inherit and carry forward the excellent traditions of the elder generation of artists. With the spirit of selfless dedication, Mr. Song Yuanwen donated a large number of works to the university at the time of the exhibition, which is permanently collected by the university art museum, reflecting the high ideological level of an excellent communist party member artist and educator. His act of donation and the spectacle of the exhibition will become an essential record of the centennial celebration of CAFA. Home-returning Birds After Sunset, 2018Mr. Song Yuanwen was born in a farming family in northeast China. He has been longing for art since he was a child. He took part in revolutionary work when he was still a boy, thus setting up a revolutionary outlook on life and forming a pure belief that art serves the people. After entering CAFA, he rapidly developed his art techniques and made achievements in several fields, such as watercolor, illustration and printmaking. From the mid-1950s to the 1960s, he concentrated on studying creation traditions of printmaking and meanwhile paid more attention to explore innovation. With a large number of thematic creations of revolutionary history and works reflecting the construction of the new China’s socialism, he showed his talents and initially formed the artistic style of his personality, especially the creation method of integrating realism and romanticism. He laid emphasis on in-depth life, and through prints describing the production scene of workers and farmers, with bright and fresh print language to eulogize labor and new social climate. He also created a series of works full of revolutionary passion for expressing the atmosphere of the times and the aspirations of the people, such as the illustration for the novel Rainstorm, the series of works of “Battle Drum at the Equator” and so on. His works reflect the distinct characteristics of the times with a strong black and white relationship, rigorous image-building, and the form and rhythm of the picture. He combined the description of labor scenes with the symbolic expression refined and generalized from life, and conducted a profound exploration into the art form of printmaking and its technical language, adding new brilliance to the creation of new China’s printmaking. River Snow in the Spring, 1998Reform and opening up enabled China to usher in a new era for the development and construction of the society, and also brought new opportunities for the prosperity and advancement of Chinese literature and art. Mr. Song Yuanwen began a new creative journey with his keen artistic consciousness. He warmly welcomed the arrival of the spring of reform and opening up, and expressed his ambitions to sing the praises of the era, portray life and reveal the emotions for the people. Based on the experience of life in the northeast, he communicated closely with the group of printmaking artists in the Great Northern Wilderness and produced a large quantity of new works to present the boundless landscape and the scene of labor production in northern area, among which, “The Sleepless Earth”, “Chanty of Wusuli River”, “Summer”, “White Mountain and Black Water” and other works all express his deep feelings for the black land and also indicate his grasp of the natural scenery and labor spirit. These print works and his watercolor works during the same period opened a new window to show something from reality yet beyond reality. With a brand-new art style using threads of life while focusing on creating artistic conception, his spiritual pursuit is transformed into pure poetic lyricism through carving, and the pictures he created are rich in extended space, open sky, and vast horizon, in which forest trees, trailing geese in the sky, and the reed by the riverside weaved into a visual rhythm, arousing people a kind of soothing emotion. The poetic expression also mirrors the new development of Chinese society in the period of reform and opening up, particularly the features of the new era in terms of cultural connotation. After the havoc of the Cultural Revolution, the recovery of the human spirit required good image and lyric conception, and the restoration of society also needed poetic comfort. It was in this historical moment that Mr. Song Yuanwen showed the large picture of the landscape of China with a broad mind and revealed rich humanistic connotation by the refined language of printmaking, becoming a Chinese literary singer of the age of reform and opening up. His works have exerted a profound influence in printmaking and art circles. A Flock of Birds Searching for Home, 1991Mr. Song Yuanwen regards ordinary people as the natural parents whom he relies on and his artistic creation as a feedback to the people, which is an artistic spirit that has always been dominating his art practice. From the 1980s until his late life, his artistic steps have been significant and determined, and with a combination of realism and symbolism, he extracted the language of aesthetic form from real life and contributed many new works to the painting circle. His creation passion was very vigorous, thus leading to an increasingly mature printmaking language. Mr. Song Yuanwen has been teaching at CAFA since he graduated from its Department of Printmaking. He has always been educating people with the spirit of modesty and gentleman, benefiting the future students, and is engaged in education and teaching by a rigorous and meticulous method. From 1986 to 1993, he served as the director of the Department of Printmaking. Based on the teaching of printmaking pioneered by a sequence of predecessors, he further expanded the teaching pattern, strengthened the discipline construction and the studio teaching mechanism, and enriched the teaching content. At the same time, he added photography, design and composition and other subjects as the supplement, and integrated the teaching of creation techniques of various print types, so that the teaching of the Department of Printmaking can embody more the law of art education. He attached great importance to the training of difficulty, accuracy, capability and quality in teaching, especially paid attention to reinforcing the teaching of creation, and encouraged young students to absorb and draw on advantages of foreign art, take an intensive study into cultural traditions, and insist on going into the thick of life, which enabled the talents of the Department of Printmaking to catch up with the development of the times, both showing the central theme of Chinese literature and art on the creation topics and encouraging the exploration and innovation of the ontology Language of art, thus quite a lot of outstanding artistic talents have been cultivated. The Spring Brew in the Winter Snow, 2018In the development process of Chinese art welcoming its new cultural context, Mr. Song Yuanwen has laid emphasis on the cultural value and ontological research of printmaking, and united teachers of the Department of Printmaking with many printmakers with a modest mind, sparing no effort for the construction of the Department of Printmaking of CAFA and the development of Chinese printmaking. In the late years when he left his post, he was still concerned about the construction and development of the university, the discipline building and academic activities of the Department of Printmaking. With his rich experience in artistic creation and printmaking education, he continues to play his role in the advancement of Chinese printmaking and present his art belief and life state with a beginner’s mind.Mr. Song Yuanwen’s exhibition opens a colorful world for us, and his elevated feelings and broad realm demonstrated in his artistic world set up an artistic style of both professional excellence and moral integrity.Fan Di’an, Director of CAFADecember 2018

Su Xinping: The Preface of the Exhibition “Research for Song Yuanwen”...

2018-12-11 2514 read

Modern Chinese printmaking started in the revolutionary years of the 1920s and 1930s. The new woodcut tradition passed down from generation to generation forged a large number of brave and committed soldiers of literature and art in printmaking. As an artist and art educator who has made outstanding contributions to printmaking and art education since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Song Yuanwen was known to the world under such a historical background. From Mr. Song, we can feel the clear pulsation of the lifeline of modern Chinese art constructed by predecessors such as Li Hua, Gu Yuan, Huang Yongyu, Zhou Lingzhao and so on.

Unseen Connections and Discoveries | Imagine you are falling: but there is no ground, only stars!...

2018-11-08 16394 read

Despite the proliferation of images in the digital age, a condition that has inevitably contributed to the expanded presence of images in the world, even today photography maintains a sort of inescapable magical appeal.


2018-11-08 1963 read

Constellations also liberate the pictures from a strong tendency within photography to consider each successful image as the result ONLY of a special chemistry between the camera on one side and the eye and the finger of the artist at the other……

Shifting Boundaries: Images between the Public and the Private...

2018-11-08 15925 read

Starting from the surveillance society we are living in today, the 3rdBeijing Photo Biennial points to the complex coexistence and interplay between the social, public and private characteristics of photography, providing a platform for us to reconsider the role of the image in challenging the tension-filled relationship between the public and the private as well as its influence……

Troubled Intention Ahead...

2018-11-08 1770 read

If an exhibition seeks answers via posing questions, then which questions does the "Confusing Public and Private: The 3rd Beijing Photo Biennial" need to ask the audience? In my view, this edition of the biennial centers on a question which has entangled and coerced consistently from the invention of photography to the present: the ambiguous relationship between public and private.

Be Open to New Ideas and Draw on the Strengths of Others | Analyze “Discipline with Master’s Dignity – Teaching & Research Exhibition of No.3 Studio of the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA”...

2018-11-06 4048 read

The series of teaching exhibitions of the studio of different departments are actually combing through the teaching history of CAFA. From art thought to teaching method and to work image, the exhibition “Discipline with Master’s Dignity” presses as close to the historical facts as possible and use historical materials to pursue its reasons and find the contradictions and conflicts behind. It clearly presents the carrying out of the No.3 Studio’s teaching over the time and the wide dimension of its creation from three units as its narrative structure: “national style, Chinese manner”, “construct Chinese school of oil painting” and “base on tradition and face the contemporary”.

Fan Di’an: Keep to Beginner’s Mind and Establish the Elevation of Time for “CAFA Style” Oil Painting...

2018-10-22 12503 read

The development of oil painting in China has multiple “meanings”. As an art form from the West, the emergence, dissemination and popularization of oil painting in China have crossed the boundary of culture and become a cultural existence, acquiring social significance in a broad sense.
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