Viewpoint Concise of Keynote Speeches
Art Exchange VOL.04/2013|by Wu Hua


Freehand Spirit and Culture of Harmony

Xue Yongnian (Professor of Central Academy of Fine Arts)

As to fine arts in Mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, while the new genres introduced from the West including installation and new media are in the process of development, the art on shelves is still leading in prosperity, especially traditional Chinese ink and wash has gained a new leap. The current traditional Chinese paintings generally fall into the following three categories: innovation from tradition, combination of Chinese and Western skills and experimental ink and wash. The first and second are still concrete and the third one is basically abstract. Those three categories not only achieve respective development in competition and complementary perfection but also provide an important revelation of development for other disciplines of fine arts and other arts.

Among the above three categories of Chinese paintings, the last two took place in the 20th century and reflect the advancement in exploration while the first demonstrates the development in heritage. Therefore, in order to study the development of Chinese fine arts in media period and how to strengthen Chinese culture’s influence upon the global cultural development structure, we must grasp the unique value of Chinese painting different from Western ones. We need to understand the ancient ink and wash and following innovation from tradition back into the historical background. Besides visual effect, we ought to focus on culture and explore the indispensible and unique humanist value behind the painting.

The core value of Chinese fine arts is reflected in Chinese paintings that keep absorbing traditional genes and exotic cultural factors to form a complete freehand aesthetic system during constant evolution. Based on Chinese philosophy and benefiting from meditation reflected by Chinese characters, Chinese paintings, instead of simulating and reproducing the objective world as basic target, intend to display the harmony between human and nature, between human and society and between ego and super-me as well as achieve ultimate self-transcendence of individual and orderly harmony of group.

Develop Contemporary Arts in the International Arena

Wang Yingwei (President of Hong Kong Administration of Arts Development)

Ever since 2001, Hong Kong Administration of Arts Development has taken up participation in the Venice Art Biennale and introduced local excellent artworks to the international arenas so as to promote the exchange of local arts with international counterpart. This year marks the 7th participation of Hong Kong and our virgin cooperation with M+ from Visual Cultural Museum of West Kowloon in the 55th Venice Art Biennale. We hope to further enhance the quality of this project through the internationally prestigious curator Li Liwei and its professional team and bring HK artists into full play in this international arena. Our cooperation was successful and exhibition won great attention and the largest coverage among all the sessions. Li Jie, one of the participant artists, was selected into the 5 most shining tomorrow stars by Wall Street Daily.

Venice Art Biennale is a well-known art exhibition in the world, and besides Hong Kong, there is national pavilion of China as well as exhibitions from Taiwan and Macao. Such a biennial event gathers Chinese artists from mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan together in Venice, which just demonstrates the status of Chinese contemporary arts in the world.

Last year, Hong Kong was invited to Liverpool Biennale in UK to perform works by three HK artists and teams. Last October, we made first cooperation with Manhattan Conservatory of Music from US to sponsor Manhattan Hong Kong Music Festival where we introduced excellent musicians and musical creations from Hong Kong to New York and promoted art exchange between the two cities. In addition to showcasing elegant pieces made by local composers at varied ages of Hong Kong, we presented works of many musicians of Chinese origin so as to promote music exchange from Hong Kong to USA.

New Ink & Wash: Combination of Tradition and Modernity

Wu Shaoying (Macao Visual Arts Society)

New Ink and Wash used to be called Modern Ink and Wash in the 1980s. The reasons are as follows: firstly, the artists conducting exploration in new ink and wash mostly took western modern art concept and technique mostly; secondly, the academics in Hong Kong and Taiwan used to call it modern; thirdly, many artists expect to draw a distance between their own works and traditional ones. In the 1990s, a significant change occurred as some artists turn to contemporary art concept and technique in the West. Consequently, such exploration was called Contemporary Ink and Wash.

The New Ink and Wash developed overseas as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan about 30 years earlier than that in mainland. At that time, Zhao Wuji in France, Lv Shoukun in Hong Kong and Liu Guosong in Taiwan succeeded in involving the abstract concept and technique from the West into ink and wash.

In the recent decade, I have been engaged in ink and wash creation with my objective to record the beauty of ink and wash. Ink and wash is an abstract and elegant expression of intellectual vision. From 1991 on, I made trials from Xuan paper to canvas, and in 2006, I began to video record the dynamic ink and wash as video will easily show the momentum and implication in the natural flow. With gradual flow of water, the integration of ink and water represent the complementary relationship between positive and negative of the Cosmo-outlook in Chinese philosophy.

In 2007, once when I was shooting a video recording of ink and wash, the dynamic infusion of water and ink stimulated my idea of photography that forms the still beauty. From 2008 on, I started to carry on experimental performance of ink and wash as extension to theatre. The interaction between actors and video and adoption of multimedia, live music and improvised dance constitute a mature yet naughty atmosphere and abundant yet creative scene.

Value and Influence of Chinese“Harmony”Culture in the Context of Multi-element Culture

Yan Gongda (Vice President of China Calligraphers Association)

We are now living in an Internet information age with economic globalization. This is an age of multilateral cooperation and multi-element cultures. In the context of globalization, it becomes our current issue to address commonly to safeguard the multi-element feature of world culture, promote dialogues between varied civilizations and cultures, and preserve the world cultural heritage.

First of all, the dialogue between cultures should be equal, open and cordial. Dialogue is not a confrontation but a pursuit for coexistence and integration. Secondly, it should be interactive, reciprocal and complementary. A genuine cultural exchange of harmonious world must accumulate cultural outcome of various countries and realize exchange and integration along with social and economic development. Thirdly, this dialogue must be based upon the global common focus with the mission of ultimate aim for human beings, that is to say, improvement on living environment and sustainable development of human society. Here we are proud to announce that the idea of “Integration of Man as Part of Nature” in Chinese culture is a great achievement in human civilization history and the most significant cultural contribution to the whole mankind. The idea of Harmony in Integration has been Chinese humanist spirit for thousands of years. The outlooks on nature, development, world composition, politics and society always focus on harmony which constitutes the cultural belief for awakening Chinese nation.

The core value of Chinese arts has its own aesthetic value and social function, and will become a guideline for modernization on a basis of Chinese national spirit and virtue. In order to promote mainstream culture in our age and shoulder the responsibility of national development, we must awaken people’s self-awareness to hold fast to science and rationality from the dignity as the universal value in comprehension of contemporary humanism. Current art circles call for such cultural awareness based on value inheritance and innovation as well as guideline and solicitude.

Music: Innovation from the Root of Tradition

Pan Huanglong (Ex-president of Music College of Taipei Art University, President of Asian Composers Alliance)

Influenced severely by Western part, the musical education in Taiwan showed an obvious preference for Western styles. How to balance the relationship between tradition and innovation is the main issue for current music circles in Taiwan to address. Absorbing nutrition and essence from traditional culture is an effective way to realize innovation in music. As to practice of musical innovation, firstly, I tried to involve Taiwanese ballad Taiwan Graffiti, Beiguan Music Beiguan Concerto Series, Guqin music Concerto of National Orchestra into the innovation and obtained good feedback; secondly, as to expansion of language property, I mixed mandarin and Southern Min together and combined oriental and occidental musical instruments to make a new version of Butterfly Dream by Zhuangzi with a fresh and different taste; thirdly, I introduced some elements from literature and history such as poems Night Dwelling at Maple Bridge and Penglai, proverb plus ancient poem Proverb vs Tang Poetry, and String Concerto of Great Unity in Book of Rites.

The great dimensions and significance of Chinese character is also the resource of inspirations of music. The construction art of Chinese character falls into the five categories of Basic, Combination, Parallel, Intersection and Mixture, all of which correspondingly inspire five innovative sound designs such as natural sound, artificial sound, wave sound, intersected sound and mixed sound.

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