On 16 June, 2016 CCC held a grand opening ceremony for "The Secret Code of Rocks-Natural Rock Art Exhibition", co-organized by China Cultural Centre, the International Cultural Exchange Centre under the Ministry of Culture of China and the Beijing Yingjie Museum of Stone Art in China. H.E. Mr. Lan Chongxin, Chargé d`affaires, Embassy of the People`s Republic of China to Malta, Mr Wang Yanjun, Director of China Cultural Centre in Malta (CCC), Mr. Li Yingjie , Curator of the Beijing Yingjie Museum of Stone Art, Mr. E.V. Borg, a renowned Art Critic, Curator and President of Arts Discussion Group were amongst the 70-odd guests present at the event.
Mr. Wang Yanjun opened the evening with a warm welcome address, expressing his gratitude to the attending guests. He introduced Mr. Li Yingjie as the first Chinese artist to have been invited to hold an exhibition at the Medici Riccardi Palace in Italy, and one who is further distinguished by being the owner of a prestigious museum and an art hotel in Beijing, apart from the resplendent reputation he enjoys owing to his extraordinary art work. Mr. Wang continued to explain that CCC aspires to be a platform that gives representation to Chinese and Maltese artists, as well as serve as a linking bridge of exchange between them.
The famed artist, Mr. Li Yingjie, commenced his speech with words of thanks, first to China Cultural Centre and International Cultural Exchange Centre for their great care, high regard and tremendous support which enabled the realization of this exhibition, before extending his gratitude to all present at for their kind appreciation and encouragement. He proceeded to express his hope that this exhibition would succeed in conveying Chinese people`s aesthetic ideals and spiritual pursuits, as implied by the time-honoured philosophy of upholding "harmony between man and the cosmos; nature and mankind", which they have advocated since ancient times. Moreover, he wished that the exhibition would serve as a means for China and Malta to share experience and knowledge on environmental protection, ecological orientation and sustainable development, through the medium of art.
In his speech, the art critic Mr. E.V. Borg lauded the exhibition as being of an exceptional standard. He described Mr. Li`s natural rock art as a confluence of humanity and nature`s inexhaustible timeless beauty, expounding on how the artist`s keen observation, insightful sensitivity and refined choices transformed these rocks into priceless treasures. Furthermore, so as to emphasize the perceived seamless collaboration between the artist and Mother Nature, Mr. Borg used an analogy of the expression "stone-cold" as being negated by the palpable warmth, life force and poetic grace exuded by these seemingly sentient beings. Moreover, he defined their emotive power as inviting deep thought, stimulating the imagination and indulging the senses.
The current exhibition is composed of 26 exquisite visual art pieces, themselves being invaluable ecological art, of stone in nature but enhanced by artistic conception and creative touch. The collection features a wide range of rock varieties, including slabs with veined jade patterns, wood-grain impressions, variegation reminiscent of oil-paintings, coloration resembling plum –blossoms or nightscapes, and so forth. Mr. E.V. Borg commented on the exhibition as being a reflection of the efforts and fruits of CCC`s long-term commitment to continually improve the level of the exhibitions it organizes.
CCC hopes that through the accomplishments of this exhibition the essentials of traditional Chinese Fine Art, as well as the harmonious co-existence of man and his ecosystem principle advocated by the Chinese populace are successfully conveyed. And at the same time, that it fosters in-depth dialogue and mutual learning, by way of communicating the development and status of contemporary Chinese art to local viewers and Maltese society at large.
On 17 June, 2016 Malta`s leading newspaper, the Times of Malta, gave media coverage to this exhibition, publishing an expert analysis on Li Yingjie`s works by Mr. E.V. Borg.
The exhibition will be on display at CCC in Valletta until June 27, following which it will be open to the public at Cavalier Art Hotel, between July 1 -15, where a talk and live discussion on the exhibition will be offered by the Art Discussion Group.
(Translated by Aida Daoud Bushra)