The Third No-Boundaries International Art Exhibition Officially Unveiled in Beijing
On July 21, 2018 (Saturday), the Third No-Boundaries (NOBO) International Art Exhibition hosted its opening ceremony at Columbia Global Centers | Beijing. The lively event saw an attendance of over hundred of young artists. Additionally, the event attracted many early education experts and art educators, as well as over 50 art education institutions. The exhibition was co-curated by Wei Zhen, Professor of Beijing Normal University’s School of Arts and Communications and Director of Beijing Normal University Gallery, and NOBO founder Baitong Yan. The exhibition presented the depictions of the “One Tree, One City” theme by children and adolescents from 15 countries, communicating the NOBO spirit of “promoting public welfare through, nurturing young world citizens.”
Themed as “One Tree, One City”, this year’s No-Boundaries International Art Exhibition places attention on the exuberance and strength of trees, celebrates the grandeur and colors of life, and emphasizes the interconnectivity of our lives and trees. The children’s artworks display their vital creativity and ingenuity. These children used their very own artistic language to express their observations and sentiments of the surrounding environment, communicating to us the love and responsibility they feel for the world. Reportedly, since the application process began on February 1, NOBO has received over 10 thousand artworks worldwide, as well as hosted multiple offline art camps in China and the US. Participants of the Art Exhibition include artists from 15 countries, including China, the US, France, Kenya, Brazil, the UK, South Korea, Japan, Greece, and Iran, the most for youth art exhibitions in recent years.
Attendees of the opening ceremony included Xin Peng, Executive Director and CFO of Columbia Global Centers, Dr. Portia Williams, Executive Director of International Affairs at Teachers College Columbia University, and Professor He Liu, Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Professor Wei Zhen of Beijing Normal University’s School of Arts and Communications attended the opening ceremony as NOBO’s academic consultant. Dr. Jian Zhu of Capital Normal University’s Department of Art Education was invited to lead the forum at the open ceremony. Graduates of Columbia University active in the fields of art and education presented certificates to the young artists in support.
Helena Na Xiao, Assistant Director of Columbia Global Centers | Beijing, expressed, as an Ivy League with 264 years of history, Columbia University has been a core factor in the progression of art and civilization. She stated in her speech, “Columbia University is introducing the education approach of shaping the young through art education in China. We are delighted to see that it is inspiring more and more children to understand and reflect on the importance of human as a community.”
In her opening speech, Dr. Portia Williams, Executive Director of International Affairs at Teachers College Columbia University, encouraged graduates of the Teachers College to take what they’ve learned and contribute to the society. She affirmed Baitong Yan’s efforts and sent blessings on behalf of Dr. Judith Burton, Director of Art & Art Education at Columbia University Teachers College and NOBO consultant. Dr. Williams proclaimed her anticipation of the November exhibition at Teachers College Columbia University.
NOBO Founder Baitong Yan stated, we hope to nurture children’s interest in public welfare through art education, so they become global citizens who care about others and the world.
In the forum, Professor He Liu, Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, discussed how art can connect children across the world, for children share common acceptance of colors, lines, and forms.
Wei Zhen, Professor of Beijing Normal University’s School of Arts and Communications and Director of Beijing Normal University Gallery, believes that when children are taught to “give the right answer” and “earn high scores”, they gradually get accustomed to waiting for the correct answer. However, in art we learn to accept differences, creativity, tolerance, and understanding, making the world a better place through aesthetic appreciation.
Professor Safwan M Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University, once publicly voiced his approval and support for NOBO, calling for adolescents around the world to participate. He stated, “No-Boundaries International Art Exhibition, by showcasing artworks of children and adolescents of different regions and cultures, embodies Columbia University’s philosophies in education. Regardless where these young artists are from, they come together through No-Boundaries. And together they look at global issues such as starvation and environmental protection. In No-Boundaries International Art Exhibition, art acts as a unique communication mode, breaking the geographic, cultural, and linguistic boundaries to become a world language.
This year, there are five parts to the exhibition: Little World Exhibit, China Exhibition, E-World Exhibition, Beijing Normal University Picture Book Education Exhibit, and Mind of No Boundaries Exhibit. Of the five, the Beijing Normal University Picture Book Education is co-hosted by NOBO, Beijing Normal University’s School of Arts and Communications, and Beijing Normal University’s Division for Cooperation in Basic Education; the Mind of No Boundaries Exhibit is cohosted by NOBO and Shanghai WABC Foundation. The exhibition not only showcases outstanding artworks from around the world, but also displays thousands of digital artworks through digital exhibits and projectors so that more artworks can be exhibited.
This year’s NOBO Exhibition in Beijing will be at Columbia Global Centers | Beijing until July 29 (closed on Saturday and Sunday). Thereafter, the exhibition will travel around the world in the US, France, Kenya, and Brazil. For more information on visiting the exhibition, please follow NOBO’s official WeChat account “ART-UN” or visit the NOBO official website www.noboundariesartshow.org.
NOBO, or Art Has No Boundaries, defying the limitations set by nationality, culture, and language, aims to build an international education platform for children around the world to enhance global awareness through art. Our mission is to promote global cultural exchange through art, to use art education to raise awareness of global issues and social responsibilities for young people around the world, and to encourage them to use art to impact the world.
Since its establishment in 2016, NOBO has successfully hosted international exhibitions for three years, as well as dozens of public lectures, art camps, and educational forums.
About the Exhibitions
Little World Exhibit: As an international non-profit educational program based in New York, this year’s exhibition displays artworks by children from more than 15 countries including China, the US, France, Kenya, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Iran, Greece, Russia, South Korea, and Japan. It is one of the few children’s art exhibitions in China participated by so many countries.
China Exhibit: As a country of vast territory and rich geographical features, China hosts various unparallel natural landscape, rich resources, diversified cultures and customs, and modern cities in rapid development. NOBO’s China Exhibit displays excellent artworks from all over China, ranging from northwest China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region to Heilongjiang Province in the country’s northeast part, from southwest China’s Yunnan Province to Guangdong Province in the south.
E-World Exhibition: For the first time, NOBO tries an innovative exhibition mode and displays artworks by children around the world through digital screens, synchronizing their online and offline display. The young NOBO artists are breaking time and regional boundaries to express themselves on an international stage.
Beijing Normal University Picture Book Education Exhibit:
The 2018 Beijing Normal University Picture Book Education, sharing the NOBO theme “One Tree, One City”, collected picture book creations from more than 50 schools affiliated with Beijing Normal University and 300,000 elementary students of the Universities in Elementary School Art Development Initiative. This sub-exhibition will be co-hosted by the BNU School of Arts and Communications, BNU Division for Cooperation in Basic Education, and NOBO, displaying about 20 picture books created with the “One Tree, One City” theme. The young NOBO artists tells their stories of trees and city, people and nature through picture books.
Mind of No Boundaries Exhibit:
In 2018, NOBO established the Mind of No Boundaries Exhibit, partnering with the Shanghai WABC Foundation to collect artworks from special populations to achieve “Art Has No Boundaries” on different levels. People’s Daily reported that NOBO’s UN exhibition of artworks created by those of special populations “breaks walls and boundaries, paving a smoother path of art for all children.” This exhibition is co-hosted by NOBO and Shanghai WABC Foundation, an organization that provides art therapy for the special population. This exhibit aims to help the public understand and accept the artistic talents of the special populations, building a diverse, harmonious, and positive social atmosphere.