On April 9, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing and No-Boundaries International Art Exhibition jointly held the fourth event of the 2017 No-Boundaries International Art Exhibition Art Lecture Series – “To Seize and Create Opportunities in Art Globalization” at Columbia Global Centers | Beijing. Professor YU Ding from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Artist HE Wenjue, and Artist WU Jian’an were invited to speak about curation, trend of art globalization, and their experiences in art works. Over 20,000 people watched live through iFeng live-streaming.
During his one-hour-long speech, Professor YU Ding introduced Arthur Danto’s Artworld theory, the Kassel Documenta, the “Everything in the World Exhibition of Chinese Public Art” opened in Kassel, and the “Happy Chinese New Year: Fantastic Art China” New York series of events, for which he served as the chief curator. Based on these examples, Professor Yu presented his perspectives on how to fit Chinese arts into the global discourse.
“In the context of globalization, art has no national boundaries. People are using the same language – art – to communicate with each other,” said Professor Yu. “Because of globalization and also because of China’s rapid rise, we are able to connect with Kassel and museums all over the world. This is an epic time.”
Artist HE Wenjue shared his experiences in art creation. He gave detailed introduction on some of his workpieces including his oil painting series “Water” and “Watching a Movie” and sculptures “A Beautiful Life” and “Tai Chi.” His works reflect his understanding on sex, life, and power.
Artist WU Jian’an infuses elements from a variety of folk arts, for example The Classic of Mountains and Seas, into his art pieces. His works show the inner power of culture and his unique understanding on traditional folktales as well as on human spirit, body will, and the connection between the part and whole. In addition, Wu introduced his experiences in the Kassel Documenta.
In the Q&A session, Professor Yu was kindly asked for his expectations and wishes to those who would want to work in the fields of arts management, curation, and art promotion.
“In ten years, China’s arts management will be the most promising and developing field in the world,” said Professor Yu. He believes that following China’s rapid economic growth, China will strongly promote cultural development. As a result, China will experience an increasing demand for professionals in arts. For developed countries such as the U.S.and Europe, however, the talent of creative and cultural industry is basically saturated.
To be an art manager, Professor Yu suggested that multilingual capability is quite important: “Because in the era of globalization, works cannot be done without communications and conversations.” In the meantime, “It is essential (for art managers) to possess a virtue of sincerity for arts and to immerse themselves into it.”
Some asked about the connection between Chinese art pieces and the themes of green and environmental protection, Professor Yu said that his three-year project in New York had involved elements of environmental protection since the second year.
“The environmental issue is a global topic, and it is a very important topic to get involved into the western discourse. Since 2016, the lunar year of the monkey, we have been co-operating with The Nature Conservancy of the U.S. and have organized a series of lectures on ‘Golden Monkey Protection and Nature.’ Through Chinese zodiacs, we are able to connect culture, art, and nature conservation.”