On the afternoon of October 16, 2019, "Gu YuanPaintingExhibition—Commemorating the Centenary of Gu Yuan”was opened at CAFA Art Museum.
"If Mr. Gu Yuan were still alive, how would he organize this exhibition?" In her opening speech, Mr. Gu Yuan''''''''s eldest daughter, Gu Ancun, talked emotionally about the unique and original style of this exhibition. The curatorial team has worked hard to restore Gu Yuan, paying tribute to him by presenting his paintings in the way most convenient for the audience. The title of the exhibition directly borrows from "Gu Yuan Painting Exhibition" written by Mr. Gu Yuan for his first exhibition in the 1980s. Gu Ancun said, “This exhibition seems to come out directly from the cave.” The curatorial team has used small magnet nails to imitate the feeling of using jujube twig nails in the Yanan period. Like the frugal "reading column", the paintings are displayed in their original forms.
Mr. Gu Yuan is a famous artist and art educator in China. He used to be the president of CAFA, the vice chairman of China Artists Association, and the vice chairman of China Printmakers Association. This year marks the centenary of Mr. Gu Yuan. CAFA has includedhim in the “Hundred Years of Glory ? Masters of Central Academy of Fine Arts” series, and organized the “Guan Yuan Painting Exhibition-Commemorating the Centennial of Gu Yuan’s Birth” academic exhibition as well as someresearch activities to systematically review the important artistic creation, academic and educational achievements of Mr. Gu Yuan, and relive the glorious years of he had spent. In this regard, we will salute to this great master who has made outstanding contributions to China''''''''s fine arts and fine arts education.
Zuo Zhongyi, member of the Standing Committee of the National People''''''''s Congress and vice chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, attended the opening ceremony. Some senior leaders, professors and artists, including Wu Biduan, Shi Jun, Yang Ye, Sheng Yang, Du Jian, Shao Dazhen, Yuan Yunsheng, Wen Lipeng, Pan Shixun, Jiang Caiping, Zhang Baowei, Li Hongren, Song Yuanwen, Weng Naiqiang, Guang Jun, Zhang Peiyi, Zhang Lichen, Peng Hongyuan, Ye Yuzhong, Lou Jiaben, Wen Guozheng, Zhou Jianfu, Ma Changli, Huang Huaying , as well as student representatives such as Lin Dianhui and Li Beige have also attending the opening ceremony.Wu Hongliang (executive vice president of Beijing Academy of Painting), Zeng Jingqiu (deputy director of the Publicity Department of Zhuhai Municipal Party Committee), Liu Chunchao (director of Gu Yuan Art Museum), Wang Wei (former director of the China Print School of Chinese Academy of Arts, and current honorary director of Wang Qi Art Museum), Li Qizhi (the editor-in-chief of The Complete Works of Gu Yuan of Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House),and the family and friends of Mr. Gu Yuan, as well as the teachers and students of CAFA all attending the opening ceremony. This opening ceremony was presided ober my Su Xinping, the vice president of CAFA.
Gao Hong, Secretary of the Party Committee of CAFA, pointed out in his speech that on the fifth anniversary of the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping''''''''s Literary and Art Work Symposium, at the important moment of celebrating the 70th birthday of New China, some important activities were held in CAFA as well as Mr. Gu Yuan’s hometown to pay tribute to the older generation of artists who had made outstanding contributions to the cause of Chinese fine arts and fine arts education, and to carry forward the noble cause inherited from the older generations of artists.With his revolutionary ideals, in the early years of the Anti-Japanese War, Mr. Gu Yuan used brushes and carving knives to show the heroic deeds of the Chinese army and the people’s fight against foreign aggression. From "Little Lu Yi" to "Big Lu Yi", he took root in northern Shaanxi.In the land, he truly lived among the people and created a large number of classics in the history of modern printmaking. Since the founding of New China, he has portrayed the magnificent mountains and rivers of the motherland with a broad vision, lyrical strokes, and simple artistic language, expressing the spiritual condition of the people, chanting a brand new era and creating a new vision after the birth of the new China. Mr. Gu Yuan has always practiced the creative method of "art comes from life" and the artistic ideal of "serving the people". His life is closely linked with the cause of modern Chinese printmaking, Chinese art and Chinese art education, which makes him “the artist for the people”. Gao said that the teachers and students of CAFA should implement the important ideas of General Secretary Xi Jinping''''''''s literary and artistic work in the process of studying Mr. Gu Yuan and other older artists as well as the process of learning and teaching, artistic creation, academic research, serving the societyand school management.
In his speech, Mr. Song Yuanwen, the representative of Mr. Gu Yuan’s students and the dean of the Original Art Department of CAFA, recalled with full affection the teachings of Mr. Gu Yuan during school. Mr. Gu Yuan often said, "Art is to find beautiful and meaningful things from ordinary life. This kind of thing may have been seen by everyone, but it may not be found. You find it, and express it in your language. That’s it. "Mr. Gu Yuan''''''''s artistic style had a wide influence among the students at that time. Song Yuanwen said," One is discovery, the other is expression. It seems simple, but with profound meanings. I have thought about it over again. The only thing I can follow is Mr. Gu’s artistic path "
Wang Huaxiang, vicepresident of the School of Design of CAFA and the dean of the Printmaking Department, said that Mr. Gu Yuan was diligent and dedicated to art throughout his life. His "truth" made "false" nowhere to be found. Wang Huaxiang deeply felt that a man who had left so many masterpieces for the history of printmaking in China was so simple and unsophisticated. Mr. Gu Yuan''''''''s words and deeds are so inspiring: an artist must be simple. Only by being simple, can you get close to being true, and only by being true can you create good works; an artist should be concerned about social trends and face various contradictions and conflicts; an artist should not pay too much attention to "success" or not, otherwise it will runagainst Gu Yuan’s thoughts.
The representative of Mr. Gu Yuan''''''''s family, Ms. Gu Ancun, couldn''''''''t hide the excitement in her speech. She told the legendary story how her father Gu Yuan''''''''s only set of Yan''''''''an prints could be saved till today. Mr. Gu Yuan created more than 200 pieces in Yan''''''''an from 1938 to 1946. After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, Gu Yuan overcame many difficulties and brought this set of works out of Yan''''''''an. Thus, the set of Yan''''''''an prints that have survived tribulation can be preserved to this day. This makes the original works presented in this exhibition even more precious. In this exhibition, a total of 243 pieces of paintings, drawings and watercolors, as well as documents and historical photos collected by family members will be presented. These artistic workswill convey to the audience Mr. Gu Yuan''''''''s simple and gentle character, which will definitely shorten the distance between Gu Yuan and his audience.
Su Xinping, Vice President of CAFA, presided over the opening ceremony
The exhibition will run until November 26.
Article by Qin Jianping, Zhao Jing and Sun Wen, Publicity Department Photo by He Yifan (Publicity Department) and Li Biao(Art Museum) Edited by by He Yifan, Publicity Department October 19, 2019
ADDRESS： CAFA .No.8 Hua Jia Di Nan St., Chao Yang District, Beijing, P. R. China