Old is new again at Beijing art museum

Updated: Oct 29, 2020 By Yang Xiaoyu Print
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A Ru rock, part of Gu Wenda’s installation Tian Xiang, on show at the Song Art Museum in Beijing. [Photo provided to]

Along with the "old traditions", newer traditions – the cultural traditions formed during the century after the First Opium War (1840-1939), are also highlighted in the exhibition.

"The impact of Western arts and thinking, together with Chinese artists' endeavors in modernizing the country's culture, has formed a new artistic tradition," explained He, the show's curator.

In He's view, Sanyu (1901-1966) and Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), two eminent pioneers of modern Chinese painting in the early 20th century, belong to this tradition. Both Sanyu and Lin received solid training in traditional Chinese art before heading to Paris.

After World War I, China's intellectual leader Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) proposed "the Revolution of Art", part of the New Culture Movement to modernize the nation. Under the auspices of Chen's proposal, a generation of Chinese artists emigrated to Paris, then a world hub of intellectuals and artists, where they learned from Western visual arts to improve their own.

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