Many special guests for the opening of the international exhibition “Art & Peace”

On Tuesday, December 6, the China Cultural Center inaugurated its newest and last exhibition of the year: “Art & Peace, The International Tour Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Works of Art”. The exhibition gathers works from Chinese artists who took part in the previous editions of The Beijing International Art Biennale. A MUST-SEE!

Our modern society, the environmental challenges, war, terrorism, but also China’s traditional culture urban life and old customs are among the various contemporary topics being represented, deconstructed or reinterpreted in the paintings, sculptures, engravings or collages exhibited until the 19th of December at the China Cultural Center.

On the occasion of the opening of this new exhibition entitled: “Art & Peace” the center had the chance to welcome Mr LIU Dawei, and Mr XU Li, respectively President and Vice-President of the China Artists Association, a national body founded in 1949, headquartered in Beijing and which now count no less than 6 000 members. With the presence of such prominent representative of China’s contemporary art, the opportunity was seized to organise a seminar on the matter and introduce the Beijing International Biennale to Belgian and European artists, professors and experts in contemporary art.

A High-level Seminar on the Beijing International Art Biennale ( 中国北京国际美术双年展)

Renowned Chinese and Belgian guests participated to this cross-cultural dialogue on contemporary art, indeed, seated around the table were:

Chinese delegation:
Mr. LIU Dawei 刘大为, President of the China Artists Association
Mr. XU Li 徐里, Executive Vice-President of the China Artists Association
Mr. Li Jianmin 李建民, Minister-Counselor of the Mission of the PRC to the European Union
Mr. LIU Zhong 刘中, Director of International Department of the China Artists Association
Mr ZHANG Xue 张雪, Staff Member of International Department of the China Artists Association
Mr. WANG Zhiping 王治平, Professor of the School of Fine Arts of Inner Mongolia Normal University
Mr ZHAO Xinping 赵新平, Vice Professor of Faculty of Art and Design of Xi’an University of Technology

Belgian delegation
Mr. Michel BAUDSON, Honorary Director of the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Brussels and curator of the exhibition “Chine Ardente”  Mons 2015
Mr. Jean-Marie SIMONET, Director of the Institut Belge des Hautes Études Chinoises
Mrs Laurence BERNARD, art historian, professor at University Saint-Louis in Brussels
Ms. Pauline EMOND, Artist graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre (ENSAV) of Brussels and of the Royal College of Art of London
Ms. Annabelle MILON, graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre (ENSAV) of Brussels and laureate of the 2016 Prix Louis Schmidt

The seminar started with a detailed presentation by Mr. XU Li of the Beijing International Art Biennale which has been organized since 2002 and sponsored by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the Beijing Municipal Government and the China Artists Association. It is China’s international art exhibition of the highest standard, largest scale and biggest audience. The event attract high-profile artists from all over the world: Robert Combas(France), Anselm Kiefer (Germany), Tony Cragg (UK), Omar Galliani (Italy) etc. who concentrate their work on the characteristics of our modern society, the challenges it faces, events happening around the world… The last edition in 2015 presented 685 works from 96 countries, the next Biennale, to be held in 2017, will have for central theme “The Silk Road and World’s Civilizations”

Mr Baudson enumerated the various and rich cooperation he had with Chinese artists whether it was in China or Europe before moving on to the exhibition “Chine Ardente” he co-curated. This exhibition was held in Mons in 2015 and presented sculptures created by around 20 Chinese artists from the 70s to today. The monumental art works were displayed in the Ancient Abattoirs and already showed China’s awakening on the contemporary art scene.

Ms Emond, young artist, was the perfect link between the two presentation as she allowed the assembly to better grasp what it means exactly for Chinese and European artist to build a common artistic project. Using her own experience as example, she highlighted the opportunities but also the challenges that arise when two artists from such different background try to express together their vision on one particular topic. But the fact alone that she and her Chinese counterpart worked on a joint project is the proof that ahead of such cultural and artistic exchanges between China and European lies a fruitful future.

Belgian artists get ready, the invitation is sent!

To conclude the seminar, Mr LIU Dawei presented the China Artists Association and officially extended the invitation to every Belgian talents and welcomed them to take part to the 2017 Beijing International Biennale. Artists interested in participating can find more information about the selection process HERE.

The afternoon continued its course with a press conference organised to present the exhibition to the local, European and Chinese press. A total of 40 persons attended this side-event during which Mr Liu introduced “Art & Peace” the Biennale and the China Artists Association. Mr Tan, Director of the China Cultural Center, Mr Baudson and Mr Simonet also addressed the audience.

High-profile guests for the opening ceremony

After the seminar and the press conference finally came the opening ceremony of the exhibition “Art & Peace”. Some paintings and sculpture being exposed in the lobby of the center, for once the ceremony took place in the auditorium where around 140 guests were assembled.

Mr Rudi Vervoort Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region opened the ceremony with a few words on the particular meaning the title of the exhibition has not only for Belgium but several countries in Europe following the latest terrorist attacks. He hoped that such initiative would taken as example for the coming years.

His Excellency Qu Xing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Belgium was also present, in his speech he expressed his gratitude for this exhibition to be part of the events organised to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the PRC and the Kingdom of Belgium and highlighted once more how glad he was that the China Cultural Center had been so active for its first year of existence.

Mr Liu also addressed the audience, drawing the attention of the public into the sharpness, the subtlety and the intensity of how the Chinese artists, presented in this news exhibition, grasped through their work the ongoing changes experienced by our modern society. He also renewed his call to Belgian artists to participate to the 7th Beijing International Biennale to be held next year.

Finally Mr Baudson took the floor for a few words on how delighted he was to have been invited to take part in the seminar that took place earlier on and wished all success to the exhibition.

“Art & Peace, The International Tour Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Works of Art” will be hosted by the China Cultural until the 19th of December.

Opening times
Monday to Wednesday: 9:30 am to 8.00pm
Thursday – Friday: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm