Curators: Ma Shulin, Deng Feng
Coordinator : Svetlana Michajlová
In remembrance of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Czech Republic, cultural and art circles of both countries carried out abundant and profound cultural communication and bilateral interactions. Exhibition exchange cooperatively run by the National Art Museum of China and the National Gallery in Prague opened a new chapter in this field, for which "Open Vision - Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art" is the first sign of the art conversation, and as a response, Czech part will hold contemporary art exhibition in China later.
With "open vision" as the theme, this exhibition is quite significant for that most selected works were created after introduction of reform and opening policy of China especially over recent 20 years, which display an extending comparison of time dimension in the open-ended history. Art types of the works include ink painting, canvas, devices and images, showing the characteristics of multiplicity and integration. It is fair to say that as called by the subject of new era, Chinese contemporary art creates special cultural stature and spiritual system by both modes of succession and development. This exhibition is expected to rely on open integral environment of Chinese society to have historical display and realistic observation, to surround relations among "nature, metropolis and human-orientation", to express initiative adjustment and standpoint reaction of Chinese contemporary art on the background of epoch-marking change. Therefore, in this exhibition, we will see the current change of Chinese traditional view of nature, face the cultural concern of urban reality and follow the introspection and inquiries to the philosophical issue - "existence".
Ma Shulin - curator / Deputy Director of the National Art Museum of China
Chinese Dragon and European Princess
Contemporary Chinese painting can be compared in recent decades to the influences of so-called western culture (that means European as that is where its foundation lies and much later derives from North America). The sudden acceptance of different, not only formal, principles - this basically involves a change in the perception of living values that resulted in a storm in Chinese art which is still raging.
In a very short space of time (from about the mid-1980s) influences were displayed in Chinese art from all currents of Euro-American art ranging from impressionism to the present day. The generation of Chinese "art revival" was suddenly overcome by expression, pop art, action art and the attraction of open political and sexual confession appeared. In this great haste and interconnection or even confusion of various techniques, materials and above all methods of consideration personal Chinese attitudes emerged shedding tradition and reacting to the contemporary world, and the changing appearance that Chinese society is co-creating. The digression from tradition does not end here, it will certainly continue, but I believe that Chinese artists through their gained freedom will return (freely, voluntarily and unwittingly) to principles which maintained social morality in China for a millennium and which are perhaps alien to us, but must have been very strong if they lasted for so long.
I am convinced that once the captivation of the impact of western influences fades away where the emphasis is above all on the subject where personal feelings and even passions prevail over general solutions of the problems of society, there will be a certain return to Chinese tradition. I do not think that classical Chinese painting should return to paper scrolls with canons, but the thousand year old tradition of Chinese culture and art in the works of contemporary (or slightly future) artists will in some way (and I do not want to anticipate how) certainly re-appear. There is not polemics in what is happening. On the contrary, such hope merely confirms the courage of contemporary efforts.
Milan Knížák / General Director of the National Gallery in Prague