Art show from legendary school joins chorus of commemoration
Updated: 2015-09-15 11:05
By Chang Jun(China Daily USA)
In the global wave of commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a fabled art school in China has joined the international chorus by helping to tell stories about how Chinese people made great contributions and sacrificed on Asia Pacific battlefields.
The Luxun Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA) was established in 1938 by then Party leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai as they instigated China's revolution in Yan'an, Shaanxi province, and moved to Shenyang in 1940.
"In many ways, they called upon artists from LAFA to depict the arduous yet high-spirited anti-Japanese war, to record history and inspire patriotism, internationalism and wartime China-US friendship in the sacred hinterland," said Liu Xiaohua, Party Secretary of CPC LAFA Committee, who led a delegation from Shenyang to open an exhibition featuring selected works of LAFA staff and students in San Francisco on Sept 12.
Seventy-seven years ago, LAFA artists used pen, scorper, brush and palette as weapons to inspire the entire nation, which was trampled by Japanese invaders and undergoing the most severe suffering in its history, to unite and fight back against evil and oppression, Liu said.
"The message to the world was loud and clear - China is undefeatable," Liu added.
As a prelude to the Second Across the Pacific-China Arts Festival, organized by China International Culture Association in partnership with cultural societies in China and the US, the exhibition is aimed at helping US audiences better understand Japan's invasion of China and the long-enduring friendship between the US and China.
As a component of the festival, LAFA will present its Visual Oriental exhibition in the Bay Area through October, said Luo Linquan, consul general of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, in a congratulatory letter.
The rare documents and artwork on display during the month-long exhibit reflect not only the history and accomplishments of LAFA, but also trace the development of contemporary art in China from the Anti-Japanese War to the present, said Luo.
The exhibition carries special meaning and represents a significant milestone in the development of Sino-US cultural exchange and cooperation, said Bi Gang, deputy consul general of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, at the opening ceremony.
Bi added that the exhibit could also serve as a bridge between the two peoples to promote better understanding and friendship.
Wu Junkai of the International Art Center in San Francisco, which is hosting the exhibition, said his team has been working for six months to make sure each and every detail was impeccable.
"Personally as an artist myself, LAFA occupies a special place in my heart," said Wu. "The national spirit of persistence, resilience and perseverance are engraved into its name.
Boasting 61 pieces of selected works from LAFA, the 52 paintings and drawings and nine sculptures represent the artistic paths the school has taken to transform itself into a world renowned art institution.
The Across the Pacific-China Art Festival is one of the outcomes of the sixth China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, which was held in June in Washington, and part of the Ministry of Culture's effort to promote Chinese art in the US.
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(China Daily USA 09/15/2015 page2)
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