academic research

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

2018-12-11 1168 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 1599 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 2352 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 16034 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 1639 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 15738 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 1532 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 3011 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 12334 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.

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 1564 read

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.   
Quick loginAccount login
  • Mobile phone number will be your login ID
Use Artron membership to login