As we all know, Xu Beihong’s greatest contribution to Chinese art was that after studying in France in 1919, he introduced oil painting and sketching systems to China through schooling, education, and communication, and established a modern art education system. The exhibition established the artistic standpoint of Xu Beihong’s oil paintings as “people’s livelihood concerns”.
In the first half of the 20th century, China’s internal and external troubles, and the intellectuals in it made different choices in the face of the epochal tasks that history unfolded to them.
Xu Beihong with a clear personality was deeply influenced by the New Culture Movement. At the historical node of the transformation of Chinese art development from tradition to modernity, Xu Beihong chose to use realism to “report the country with art”, which established his artistic thought of “art for life”. The decisive heart held a long-term debate with traditional Chinese painting schools that were far away from the national crisis and ignored the world ’s natural consciousness of paintings and oil painters who followed Western modern art. During this historical development, they formed their own Mature and perfect artistic thought.
Promoting the development of Chinese oil painting portraits and creating a precedent for large-scale historical oil paintings in modern significance, especially large-scale allegorical oil paintings such as “Tian Heng Five Hundred Scholars”, “Once Upon a Time” and “Yugong Yishan” are Xu Beihong’s artistic creation. He answered eloquently with the sound of a nation, a country, and an individual who should be in a state of national calamity and a nation in danger.
Living Art Forever: Marvel and lament the greatness and smallness of life
Respect for virtue, respect for literature, to the vast, as subtle as possible, extremely sophisticated, and follow the taoist golden mean, these are the standards of the best artists of the century.
“Living Art Forever: Marvel and lament the greatness and smallness of life” is the title of Mr. Xu Beihong’s “eighty-seven immortal scrolls” for his collection. Today, when we overview his artistic creation, reflection and study of his glorious achievements, we can say that his artistic cohesion What is displayed is “Living Art Forever”!
Looking back at history, we look to the backbone of the nation that underpins an era in those difficult years. They hold firm ideals and ambitions, fearless the dangers of life and the waves of circumstances, and explore, think, struggle, and forge ahead with extraordinary gut and courage, write a new chapter for the progress of history and the development of society. As a generation master of Chinese art in the 20th century and the founder of Chinese modern art education, Mr. Xu Beihong is such an outstanding model. In his limited life, he embraced his ideals, adhered to his original intentions, bowed to his heart, and devoting all his enthusiasm and life till the end of life.
“Living Art Forever” focuses on its life and success. In his early years, Mr. Xu Beihong accepted the support of ancient calligraphy and painting, studied the monuments of famous artists, and diligently accumulated knowledge. Inspired by the trend of thought of modern Chinese new culture, he aspired to the reform and revival of Chinese art and sought a new artistic path in the historical changes of Chinese society.
Under the conditions of the first half of the 20th century, Xu Beihong was concerned about the rise and fall of the nation and his unwavering mission consciousness. He devoted his compassion and compassion to the movement of cultural enlightenment. He expressed the national crisis with real emotions and the suffering of the people. In order to promote the development of realist art in China, large-scale paintings such as “Tian Heng Five Hundred Scholars”, “My Queen After”, “Yugong Yishan”, and “Nine Fangyi”. His works, whether they are Western paintings, Chinese paintings, historical subjects, realistic sketches or symbolic expressions, are full of consciousness of worry and deep contemplation.
In the exploration of artistic language, he worked hard to attract Xirunzhong, insisted on the integration of Chinese and Western, and built up his artistic ideas. In the direction of the development of Chinese painting, he has always taken “improved Chinese painting” as his historical cognition and practice path, and centered on the social realistic significance and modern form of Chinese painting. He has put forward specific details on the subject matter content, formal language, and evaluation criteria of Chinese painting. The discourse is based on the unity of realistic modeling and brushwork. The interweaving of the three cultural contexts, namely, traditional Chinese culture, western painting science system, and realist ideas, has made Xu Beihong’s artistic thought far-reaching in the development of modern Chinese art.
“Living Art Forever” lies in fulfilling this mission. From 1918 he was hired by Cai Yuanpei as a tutor of the Peking University Painting Research Association. After studying abroad, he devoted himself to art education. Until he was in charge of the National Peiping Art College and the first dean of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Mr. Xu Beihong always taught and educated people. Seen as career life, infused with enthusiasm.
He regards art education as the key to improving the quality of the people and transforming old culture, and cultivates new types of art talents. He introduced Western studies, emphasized the “scientific” and “photorealistic” rational spirit, attached great importance to the value of drawing as the basis of modeling, formed a systematic art education method and teaching model, and cultivated and influenced a large number of highly-skilled and creative artists. At the same time, he accepted the world’s wise men, united a large number of outstanding artists with different identities, schools, and concepts to build the building of the art education cause, advancing the path of modern art education in China.
“Living Art Forever” focuses on preach this purpose. As one of the leading figures in the 20th-century Chinese painting world, Mr. Xu Beihong became a physical practitioner who inherited culture and promoted national art with his comprehensive talents. He actively participated in frequent social and cultural activities, gathered cultural, political, and social forces, and became a pioneer and pioneer in the torrent of the times dedicated to the spread of new cultures.
Throughout his life, he has always kept working hard to collect and protect ancient Chinese calligraphy and painting as well as national cultural heritage with limited personal strength. His collection of paintings and paintings is diverse, and the difficult ups and downs of his collection have also become word of mouth. His collection of ancient paintings and calligraphy, and protection of cultural heritage, have far exceeded the pursuit of cultural classics by individual life, and have risen to the level of protecting traditional context and revitalizing national culture. Whether holding exhibitions at home or abroad, or going to lectures and talk about arts in various places, he has done his utmost to raise the profile of Chinese art and make the new cultural quality of Chinese art play a broad social role.
On the centennial birthday of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, we respect the contributions made by several generations of predecessors to the development of Chinese art and fine arts education, and for the profound academic tradition and outstanding achievements of the Central Academy of Fine Arts formed during the century. Proud of academic spirit. Individual life only shines in its contribution to society, and the value of life can be seen only in the long river of history. In the face of Mr. Xu Beihong’s art, we will appreciate more and more than the work itself …
Central Academy of Fine Arts
The Central Academy of Fine Arts, referred to as “CAFA”, was born in 1918. It was first named the National Beijing Academy of Fine Arts, the first national art education institution in Chinese history, and the beginning of modern art education in China. CAFA gave birth to the earliest art system in China and created the earliest university disciplines in calligraphy, modeling, design, architecture, and humanities in China. It is the founder of higher education in Chinese art since modern times.
The Central Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1918 and was a national Beijing art school initiated by Mr. Cai Yuanpei. In 1927, it was renamed the School of Art of Peiping University. In 1934, it was restored to the National Peiping Academy of Fine Arts. “In November 1949, the National Peiping Art College merged with the three Art Departments of North China University. The predecessor of the three Art Departments of North China University was the Art Department of Yan’an Lu Xun Academy of Art, founded in 1938. With the approval of the Central People’s Government, the National Academy of Fine Arts was established. In January 1950, it was officially named the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
The Central Academy of Fine Arts is the only high school of fine arts directly under the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. Programs, Chinese government scholarships for foreign students in China, receiving universities and the first batch of Ministry of Education demonstration bases for studying in China.
Centennial special exhibition
In order to welcome the centennial celebration of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, from March 16 to April 22, 2018, the Central Academy of Fine Arts will host a large-scale, comprehensive and comprehensive retrospective research exhibition of the first dean, Mr. Xu Beihong: “Living Art Forever – Xu Beihong Art Exhibition “.
The exhibition is hosted by the Central Academy of Fine Arts, co-organized by the Chinese Artists Association, and hosted by the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum and Xu Beihong Memorial Hall. It has received support from documents collected by many institutions across the country and academic support from scholars and experts, including the National Library, Tianjin Museum, Mei Lanfang Memorial Hall, Peking University Library, Zhonghua Book Company, Wu Zuoren Foundation, Changsha Na Dunhuang Pattern Research and Design Studio, etc.
Xu Beihong is the pioneer and founder of a new generation of art in the history of Chinese art in the 20th century. He is an outstanding painter and art educator. He devoted his life to “rejuvenating Chinese art”, advocated for realist artistic ideas, improved Chinese painting, and sketched and painted. The introduction and spread of exotic painting species to China created a precedent for the creation of large-scale historical paintings of modern significance, spreading Chinese art on the international stage, and always standing on the historical turning point of Chinese art from tradition to modernity in the 20th century.
Xu Beihong has made epoch-making historical achievements in all aspects of art thought, art creation, art education, and art activities. It is still a treasure trove of China’s fine arts industry and needs to be continuously and deeply explored and studied.
This exhibition is divided into six sections based on Xu Beihong’s historic contributions in oil painting, Chinese painting, sketching, calligraphy, art education, and collection of ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy. They are: Oil Painting-People’s Livelihood Concern, and Chinese Painting-Family and Country Feelings. The painting collection chapter—the essence of classics, the education chapter—for life as a teacher, the calligraphy chapter—refined and elegant, and the sketch—the best of all.