The 4th Beijing International Art Biennale, China 2010
- To show the nowadays environment situation apperceived by artists
- To stimulate the pursuit of the society to the ideal environment
- To invite the artists over the world to co-build our spiritual existence
- To found an international art center of contemporary painting and sculpture
The platform of the international exchange
In 1895, Venice, the water city of Italy, held the first International Art Biennale. Since then, especially since the 1980s, many countries have held the international art biennale. The international art biennale has become a platform to realize the international art communication and to exhibit the cultural power and artistic characteristics of different countries with its cross-border effect and constant frequency of being held once every two years. Furthermore, it has become a symbolic cultural event for a city or a nation to project its international cultural image and status.
In 2003, following the international practice of running biennale and with the approval of the State Council, we established a form of biennale with Chinese characteristics (full name Beijing International Art Biennale, China, Beijing Biennale for short). Beijing Biennale is a large-scale international art exhibition hosted by China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and Chinese Artists Association. Its supporting organization is the Cultural Ministry of China. The successful holding of Beijing Biennale in 2003 and 2005 means that, China, an oriental and great country with a cultural history of 5,000 years has entered into the cutting edge of contemporary international art communications. By virtue of her cultural power and artistic characteristics, China is rising in art circle of the world.
In 2010, Beijing Biennale will go into a new phase, and we are going to invite the artists over the world to attach in common the importance to the serious environment problem as well as to co-build the ideal existence. By the time, Beijing biennale will hold together the whole world to exert the effort for the nice future of our existence.
The Unprecedented International Art Exhibition – the retrospection of the three past Beijing Biennales
Beijing Biennale has held thrice successfully. On the eve of holding the fourth Beijing Biennale, let our memory back to the scene of the three past Beijing Biennales. Let’s feel the excitement and sweetness again.
From September 20 to October 20, 2003, the first Beijing Biennale was held on schedule after overcoming “SARS”. It showed 677 pieces of works created by 329 artists from 48 countries and became “the most beautiful scenery in golden autumn.”
The second Beijing Biennale which was held during September 20th to October 20th enlarged its scale to 778 works created by 632 artists from 69 countries. In July of 2008, the number of participating countries attains 81 which including 701 artists in and abroad with their 747 creations. Its large scale and far-ranging sources of works is unprecedented in the exhibition history of fine arts. It is also infrequent in other countries that have held international art biennales.
Beijing Biennale can be called the unprecedented international distinguished gathering in China. The accumulative total number of the participating countries in the two Biennales is nearly to 100, the participating artists are close to 1000, the exhibiting works is 1455 and the manuscripts from both in and abroad is nearly 10000. The experts of the curatorial committee of Beijing Biennale selected the excellent works of different countries carefully and seriously to ensure its international level and high standard. Some worldwide artists represented the contemporary art achievements of the participating countries respectively. Their exhibiting works formed the contemporary history of painting and sculpture between east and west. In addition, a lot of potential rising stars’ participating formed the prospective art circles of the world in the future
The main exhibition sites of Beijing Biennale are National Fine Arts Museum of China and the Art Museum of China Millennium Monument. The flow of the visitors in the three main venues was over 20,000 per day and the accumulative number of visitors of the three biennales was over one million. The relating national leaders, several dozens of ambassadors of the participating countries in China, cultural officers and artists presented themselves in the opening ceremony or visited the exhibitions.
The large-scale international symposium was held during the period of the three Beijing Biennales. The representatives of theorists and artists from different countries said their say in the symposium, which added rich and active academic atmosphere to the Beijing Biennale.
Beijing Biennale feels no regret for the recognition of “An Unprecedented International Art Feast of China”.
The International Brand of Contemporary Chinese Culture – the cultural strategy aim of Beijing Biennale
Beijing Biennale is held in the politics and culture center of China, Beijing that has the political superiority and cultural power, which no other common city can exceed. From this point, the important strategical significance of China national culture development is highlighted more distinctively.
In 2005, the representative of Beijing municipality said in his opening address of the second Beijing Biennale, “Beijing Biennale is the only official biennale in China, named after Beijing. It develops its own characteristics based on its distinguished academic proposition in China and even in the world since the day of its birth. As an essential cultural region in China, Beijing is obliged to establish the projects with Chinese brand and even international brand in every field of culture and art, and maintain its advancement in culture. After successfully holding the biennale for several times, the Beijing Biennale will be a new symbol of Beijing and play a more important role in improving the contemporary culture. “
The Compendium of Cultural Development Plan in the period of the “Eleventh Quinquennial[H1] “ promulgated in September 2006 has already placed Beijing Biennale to “the important cultural activity of famous brand supported by the state” which implies Chinese government paying important attention and providing great support to Beijing Biennale. Meanwhile, it also fulfills the strategical aim to establish Beijing Biennale as the international culture brand of China.
At the beginning of holding the exhibition, Beijing Biennale already formed its own distinctive features of Chinese contemporary culture. It showed the grand bearing of China’s reforming and opening to the world and China’s wide and deep breast of absorbing the essence of contemporary art from both in and abroad. Consequently, Beijing Biennale is coming to the fore among the several tens of biennales in the world. We believe that Beijing Biennale will gradually become a new symbolic and indicative cultural activity of Beijing and international famous brand of Chinese contemporary culture under the great support of Chinese government as well as with the united cooperation with artists both in and abroad.
The Idea to Build a Harmonious World – The Basic Curatorial Idea of Beijing Biennale
The curatorial idea is the spirit of the contemporary art exhibition. Beijing Biennale implements collectivity curatorial system. The curatorial committee is making up of famous artistic experts and scholars both in and abroad, among which are mainly the principals from Chinese Artists Association. The idea to build a harmonious world is the basic gist of the curatorial theme idea of the third Beijing Biennale. To promote the harmony of the world, the progress of the society as well as the blessedness of human being by means of the contemporary art exhibition.
The contemporary world is experiencing profound exchanges of pattern of politics and economy. In order to realize the idea to build a harmonious world, artists should take on their social responsibility when war, terror, natural disasters, environmental protection in the world, the gap between the rich and the poor, racial discrimination and religious conflict are troubling people who are eager to lead a peaceful and harmonious life. This is just the realistic pertinence and basic springboard of confirming the curatorial theme of Beijing Biennale.
Along with the globalization tide, cultural diversity of various countries being sternly challenged, the national and regional characteristic of culture being vanishing rapidly, which cause the imbalance of human cultural ecology. In view of this question, the subject of the first Beijing Biennale is “originality: contemporary and locality”, for the purpose of initiating cultural innovation in compatibility with current age and the localization, maintaining the balance of human cultural ecology and eliminating inharmonious factors. This exhibition has centrally demonstrated unique performance ways of contemporary paintings and the sculpture art of countries of five continents. It is not difficult for us to peek at that contemporary artists try hard to seek traditional cultural spirit and the marks of their own countries, to discover various possibilities of the self-development and the self-renewal of regional culture in the context of globalization. This has also provided the new experience and styles for the world contemporary cultural arts. The international seminar of the first Beijing Biennale has launched an extensive and thorough discussion based on this subject.
The curatorial theme of the second Beijing Biennale was “humans tic concerns of contemporary art” which embodied art’s attention to people’s social life and public, the pursuit for peace ideal of human beings as well as thought on relations between contemporary people and natural environment. The theme definitely put forward the harmonious idea between people and people, between people and society and between people and nature. By virtue of the international culture exchanges, the uplifting exhibition theme of harmonious ideology advocates and encourages such esthetic taste as harmonious development of human beings. Meanwhile, it also puts the idea of building a harmonious society and world into the art field and embodies the national image that China as a developing economic and culture giant raises peacefully. The exhibition theme has received enthusiastic response of the participating artists from various countries and high appraisal of many media from both in and abroad.
The curatorial theme of the third Beijing Biennale “colors and olympism” also further carries through the idea of building a harmonious world. Beijing Biennale will be extended and perfected with the change of art situation in China as well as in the world. However, whatever change it will encounter, what will remain unchanged is the spirit of the exhibition, whose inherent quality is to protect harmony and balance of international artistic ecology. Harmonious development is a permanent theme for human beings. The pure-hearted exchanges and harmonious coexistence of various cultures are the momentums of harmonious development of world cultures as well as the important guarantee of building a harmonious world. Beijing Biennale always put the idea of building a harmonious world as the basic gist of curatorial ideology. By virtue of the exhibition of contemporary art, we promote the harmony of the world, progress of society as well as welfares of human beings.
After every edition of Beijing Biennale, the artists of various countries, continued to send us mails expressing their gratitude. Some of them hoped to present their exhibited works to the Organizing Committee (there are hundreds of donated works from foreign countries). Why were these artists from the entire world attracted to favor the Beijing Biennale? In short, the Beijing Biennale constructs the idea of a harmonious world and respects diversity of global cultures as well as advocates the equal dialogue between eastern and western culture. As a result, Beijing Biennale gets the recognition and support of artists from various countries.
Beijing Biennale will be extended and perfected with the change of art situation in China as well as in the world. However, whatever change it will encounter, what will remain unchanged is the spirit of the exhibition, whose inherent quality is to protect harmony and balance of international artistic ecology. Harmonious development is a permanent theme for human beings. The pure-hearted exchanges and harmonious coexistence of various cultures are the momentums of harmonious development of world cultures as well as the important guarantee of building a harmonious world. Beijing Biennale always put the idea of building a harmonious world as the basic gist of curatorial ideology.
The International Painting and Sculpture Center of Contemporary Art – The Remarkable Feature of Beijing Biennale
One of the distinctive characteristics of Beijing Biennale is to sticking to painting and sculpture as the main forms of exhibitions which not only accords with the realistic conditions of Chinese mainstream of art creating but also obeys the trend of contemporary art back to painting.
The exhibits were mainly paintings and sculptures, instead of such forms as installation and video-the mainstream forms prevailing in other biennales held in other countries. Beijing Biennale has formed its own sharp-cut distinctive character tics. Of course, Beijing Biennale is advanced, rather than conservative, open instead of closed, inclusive instead of exclusive. No element that can contribute to the elevation of the theme, to the expression of human feelings, shall be refused in any arbitrary manner. The sculpture section of this Biennale includes some works showing inclination to installation. In terms of painting, some of the works include the elements of photography and a wide range of comprehensive materials, melting various elements and techniques to strengthen the visual impact of the paintings. It can be said that this Biennale is successful for the diversity of subject matters, innovative techniques, novel styles, and rich connotation. It is an exploration of new possibilities for painting and sculpture from multiple perspectives, showing that these two traditional art genres are constantly growing along with the changes of the times, full of new vitality and energy.
Beijing Biennale, with its distinctive character tics, tries to make Beijing become the international center of painting and sculpture as well as the international contemporary famous art city, just like the cities such as Venice and St.Paul, which are famous for holding Biennale in the world.
“Most works on the contemporary art scene of America and Europe are video and installation. We found everything fresh and new when we saw so many paintings and sculptures from different countries in China. The traditional media should not decline because of the mew media’s appearing,” said a Swedish artist, “China offers one fulcrum for the world; world contemporary art inclining towards equilibrium because of China’s involvement. This is the point which made the Beijing Biennale different.”
The Trend of Contemporary Art in the Future – the Focus of the Media from both In and Abroad
The international curator as well as president of Italian culture center Vincenzo Sanfo said excitingly “if there is a place where a new and revolutionary movement takes place in the course of art development, which must be China.” Beijing Biennale, with the lofty idea of building a harmonious world and the feature of making Beijing as the painting and sculpture center of contemporary art indicates the trend of Chinese contemporary art in the future. Beijing Biennale is influencing the present pattern of contemporary world art and becoming the focus of media from both domestic and international world.
China’s main media, including CCTV, BTV, Hong Kong phoenix Television, sunlight Television, Hunan TV, China International Broadcasting station, Beijing People Broadcasting station, Xinhua News Agency, Chinese News service, People’s Daily, Guangming Daily, Beijing Daily, Beijing Youth Daily, literary newspaper, Chinese culture newspaper, “Fine arts”, “Fine arts Observation”, people’s net as well as Sina Net, all those televisions, the broadcasts, the publications, the magazines, the networks and more than one hundred media have carried the thorough interviews and reports on Beijing Biennale.
The important media from abroad including TV stations, broadcast, newspaper, magazine and internet of America, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia filmed special pictures, made long reports or reshipped the article about Beijing Biennale actively. “JoongAng Daily” of Korea remarked that while the world art has been dominated by Europe and America, a new power has been rising quickly in northeast Asia over the past century. Thanks to the initiation of Beijing Biennale, China may compete with western countries in the field of visual art
Environment Concern and Human Existence – The Prospect of the Third Beijing Biennale
The affect of the global financial crisis makes us at the same time reflect the existence situation of human being. How to build “The Ideal Existence” becomes once more a theme profoundly considered, and the problems concerning the existence and the environment crisis problems are also considered as the chiefly problem relating to the whole world. Appealing in the form of the art for the protection and the amelioration of the environment as well as the maintenance and the construction of our common existence should be the duty-bound social responsibility and the great mission of contemporary artists.
Hereby confirming the “Environment Concern and Human Existence” as the theme of the 4th Beijing Biennale, so as to make know the culture position and the art responsibility of the contemporary artists over the world regarding the environment problem. “We have only one human existence”, the theme breaches the essence of the traditional international problem and accentuates the arrival of the period characteristic by the common efforts.
In 2010, the 4th Beijing Biennale will continue to press close to the social situation in insisting the accomplished technicality and in augmenting the comprehension and the originality. From the global angle, holding together the people over the world who are interested in the plastic art by means of the contemporary form of the painting and sculpture to pay attention and appeal for the environment balance, especially the peace, the environment protection, the energy sources economy as well as the durable development and so on, the common theme of the whole world regarding the environment concern and the human existence and so on, the core theme. To stimulate in the art creation the attention, the amelioration, the maintenance and the construction of our common existence and social culture responsibility, to communicate the common significance of artists over the world by means of the more open and more comprehensive visual artistic form. Different languages could be able to call the same voice—Protecting the environment means protecting the human being.
In 2010, please take focus to Beijing, to the 4th Beijing Biennale. It will be another international art feast!
In 2010, let’s make a rendezvous in Beijing to co-build our spiritual existence as well as our green world!