Since the Tenth National Exhibition of Fine Arts, China’s contemporary fine arts has witnessed another five years of development, taking a more prosperous and delightful situation. Chinese culture has had strong cohesion and inspiration while the artists in the mainland and in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have never intimately unified before as today. They narrate the passion of compatriots, or observe phenomena of the world, or discuss literature and culture, or travel around mountains and rivers, jointly writing the brilliant chapters of China’s contemporary fine arts.
Since HK, Macao and Taiwan exhibition areas were first established in the Ninth National Exhibition of Fine Arts, the national exhibition of fine arts has become an important platform of fine arts exchange among the four places across the strait. With elite gathered and excellent works presented, the national exhibition of fine arts has enjoyed increasing popularity in HK, Macao and Taiwan while the artists have more passion and eagerness to take part in the exhibition, fully reflected in the large amount of exhibited works. These works, upon their rich themes and diversified styles, make prominent their era spirit, regional culture feature and innovative awareness, bringing new vitality to the national exhibition of fine arts and many helpful revelation for the fine arts innovation in the mainland. In the foreseeable future, as shown from exchange to promotion, a grand prosperous situation of China’s contemporary fine arts jointly pushed by artists of the four places across the strait must stand firmly among the stage of world arts.
From the perspective of history of arts, the unique position of HK, Macao and Taiwan fine arts on the stage of China’s fine arts is derived not only from their geographical location, but also from their unique characters and values all the more. Since late Ming Dynasty, HK and Macao have always been the bridgehead and hinge of Chinese and western culture exchange. Western culture moved northward via HK and Macao, and formed a situation of integrating Chinese and western culture features following hundreds of years of ups and downs. As the origin of modern fine arts, HK and Macao fine arts have always led the style of Chinese and western arts integration, showing their strong culture self-willingness and linguistic openness, and their nature of borrowing every advantage of overseas culture yet remaining independent. Meanwhile, HK and Macao fine arts has always highly respected traditional Chinese culture, and regarded it as their cultural trace and source for development. As such, HK and Macao fine arts have changed in an orderly manner in the history with excellent work appearing in generations endlessly. Since 1990s, Taiwan fine arts has formed a super-multi-diversified situation under the impact of contemporary western arts and demonstrated an open “international” trend. Such process strengthened, but not weakened the modern extension of Chinese culture trace, which in turn constituted the deep consciousness and core values of contemporary Taiwan fine arts. Confronted with exhibited works from HK, Macao and Taiwan in this exhibition, we are easy to sense the features above.
There are 210 pieces of work selected (including 91 pieces from HK, 36 from Macao and 33 from Taiwan) in the HK, Macao and Taiwan exhibition areas in the Eleventh National Exhibition of Fine Arts, and 35 pieces of excellent work nominated from them (including 22 pieces from HK, 4 from Macao and 9 from Taiwan). In terms of type of work exhibited, there are 100 pieces of traditional Chinese painting, 95 pieces of oil painting and other type of painting, and 15 pieces of sculpture while traditional Chinese painting, oil painting, lacquer painting, watercolor painting, print, comprehensive material and sculpture are the main types.
The deep impression left by the exhibited works is their strong and invigorating sense of era. In recent years, the economic and cultural exchange between the mainland and HK, Macao and Taiwan has been rather frequent. Confronted with great changes of social life and cultural scenes taken place in these areas, the local artists have profound feeling and rich experience, that as the momentum for innovation, have built their unique value judgment. Grand narration concerned with great changes in the cities and gentle description of daily life, exploration of spiritual state of contemporary persons and concern with historical changes of ecology and environment are all expressed in the exhibited works in a unique manner. As such, the exhibited works reflect the diversified themes and freshly show the social accountability and humanist concern of the artists. More delightfully, artists from the three places have made great leap forward in terms of arts exploration and innovation of forms. In particular, the achievements made in traditional Chinese painting are the most prominent. Artists have worked hard on how to express urban life with inkwash, and how to realize modern visionary transformation while extending traditional culture trace in traditional mountain and river paintings and flower and bird paintings. Following years of experiment and experience accumulation, a painting style of so-called “neo inkwash” has come into being, a delightful result in a stage. Such result is worth borrowing for the development of traditional Chinese painting in the mainland. In addition, in such fields as oil painting, watercolor painting, print, and sculpture, there are many pioneering achievements of application of new materials and exploration of new art languages. It’s worth mentioning that most exhibited works are made by middle-aged and young artists. Contemporary fine arts has become a stage on which middle-aged and young artists in the three places play their full roles, with encouraging and dynamic vitality of youth.
The prosperous situation of fine arts in the four places across the strait today is primarily attributable to the strong national strength of China and its profound cultural traditions. In such a great age, an unprecedented power of creation is bursting out in the field of fine arts in the four places across the strait, which is exactly the expectation of revitalizing Chinese culture. The fine arts in the four places across the strait must make their obligatory contribution for the great revitalization of Chinese culture, for which we are full of expectation.
The organization of the HK, Macao and Taiwan exhibition areas of the national exhibition of fine arts is confronted with many difficulties. The organizing committee has overcome the difficulties with high responsibility and specialization spirit. Under the instruction of China Artists Association and with the great support from Shantou Municipal Government, Shantou Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Shantou Artists Association and Shantou Culture Bureau, the head and staff of the organizing committee have made investigations and exchanges in HK, Macao and Taiwan, and accomplished the collection of works as schedule. The judge committee composed of artists, commentators and culture institute heads from the four places across the strait has carried out appraisals and selections with arts quality as the objective and fairness principle and responsible spirit. The exhibited works have regional features of the three places, giving attention to unique styles and representation of arts. In such course, Hong Kong Art Development Council and Cultural Affairs Bureau of Macao Special Administrative Region extended much help, ensuring smooth collection and appraisal of works, and the success of this exhibition, accumulating new experience for the organization of exhibition of fine arts to be held between the mainland and HK, Macao in the future.