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National Art Museum of China turns 50

05-22-2013 08:30 BJT

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By CCTV reporter Julian Waghann

In the Chinese capital where the National Arts Museum is marking a milestone birthday. An anniversary exhibition is being held to celebrate the art and the history behind the museum’s 50 years.

A sea of Chinese red immerses the great hall at the National Arts Museum of China. Renowned artists and visitors gather for the ribbon-cutting ceremony which marks the museum’s 50th birthday.

The event allows people to share the unique stories behind some of the pieces on display here.

"This painting has been with the family, first back to China, because after the Japanese invasion of Singapore, we were obliged to leave, we came back from Maligar to Bhurma, then Bhurma occupied by Japanese, we came back to Yun’nan to Sichuan…till 1945, the end of the second world war. And then my father was so ill. The doctor said he only had three months to live. So he has to go to the States for penicillin. So he went there in ’46 (so the painting with him all around) And then in 1950, my parents decided to come back to Chinese mainland because they decided to serve the new system, the new republic," Painter’s daughter Dr. Shuang Situ said.

An anniversary exhibition is being held to celebrate the art and the history behind the
museum’s 50 years.

The painter used art as a form of activist rebellion against the Japanese invasion. The piece was donated to the museum after he passed away. It is now one of the 100,000 items the museum has collected since it opened in 1963. 660 pieces are carefully selected for this particular occasion.

The painter used art as a form of activist rebellion against the Japanese invasion.

It is now one of the 100,000 items the museum has collected since it opened in 1963.

"On this 50-year anniversary exhibition, the National Arts Museum is rolling out many of its prized collections from the archive. The centrepiece of the exhibition has to be this painting "Father" by artist Luo Zhongli. The old man’s visage really speaks to half a century of hardship and tumultuous history, through which the museum has grown. At the same, the steady gaze also speaks plenty of expectations for the future," CCTV reporter Julian Waghann said.

Much has changed since the museum’s conception. At the time of its construction, the museum was one of the 10 most important buildings of the new Republic. Its visionary design, by Chinese architect Daì Nìan Cí, has allowed for the rapid expansion of the museum.

"A lot has changed here, not only with the amenities, but also in terms of the content- it’s more diverse now...Before, we to needed to buy an entrance ticket. Now it’s all free, and we can come and go as we please."

Aside from the archives, the event also presents additions to previously exhibited material. The museum currently displays art, including traditional Chinese painting, oil paintings, etched plates and sculptures as well as personal paraphernalia from artists. Rare masterpieces by Chinese artists and acquisitions from foreign maestros also feature. This will all become the basis for a permanent collection at a state-of-the art new museum currently in the pipeline.

“Our future goal is to making museum part of people’s lifestyle. Our economy is developing rapidly, so we have to provide the aesthetic nutrient for that growth. In the west, going to museums is primary activity for weekends and holidays. We hope with a diversified program, we can bring more people to the museums,” said Fan Di’an, Museum Director of National Arts Museum of China.

The 50 year anniversary exhibition runs from May 18 to July 8 for those needing their fix of art and also a personal history of contemporary China.

 

 


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