July 11 saw the grand inauguration of “Chinese Style – China National Academy of Painting`s Exhibition of Fan Painting”, co-organized by China National Academy of Painting and China Cultural Centre in Malta, at the CCC Gallery. This marks CNAP`s first ever exhibition in Malta. H.E. Mr Jiang Jiang Ambassador of the People`s Republic of China to Malta, Mr Zhang Jiangzhou, Vice President of China National Academy of Painting, Ms Catherine Tabone, Director, Culture Directorate, Representative of Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Mr Paul Bugeja, Chief Executive Officer of Malta Tourism Authority, Mr E.V. Borg, renowned local Curator and Art Critic, Mr Tony Cassar Darien, Artistic Director of Mediterranean Conference Centre, Dr Toni Sant Artistic Director of Spazju Kreattiv, St. James Cavalier, Mr Fredrick Cutajar, Vice Major of Santa Lucija, Mr Arthur Matikyan, Director of Russian Centre for Science and Culture, the German founder of the Dolphin Foundation for Science and Culture located in Malta, and many individuals promient on the local art scene were amongst the 90-odd guests present at the Inauguration.
Mr Wang Yanjung, Director of China Cultural Centre in Malta (CCC) delivered the opening speech, commencing with a sincere thanks to H.E. Jiang Jiang for his esteemed presence and for taking the first opportunity to attend CCC`s cultural events since His Excellency assumed the post of Ambassador to Malta. Mr Wang announced that this was also the first time that China National Academy of Painting (CNAP) held an exhibition in Malta, introducing it as China`s most prestigious Fine Art production and research Institution, subordinate to the Ministry of Culture of China, with a large membership of China`s most accomplished artists, so that it is the foremost representative of Chinese traditional and national fine arts. Mr Wang explained that China Cultural Centre in Malta has always strived to present the Maltese public with samples of the very best of Chinese Art Works, describing CCC as not only a showcase for Chinese culture and arts, but also a platform of communication and exchange between artists and the general public of our two countries. Moreover, he recalled that The “2014-2018 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Malta and the Government of the People`s Republic of China“ states that dialogue and collaboration between artists of both countries must be encouraged. Hence China Cultural Centre in Malta continues to pursue this objective, organizing various types of cultural events to promote Chinese culture and arts, as well as cultural exchange and cooperation between Chinese and Maltese artists.
Mr E.V. Borg lauded the brilliant exhibition, stating that the fine art exhibits were perhaps of the highest artistic level to have ever been held at CCC in Malta and also the most exemplary of the forward-looking attitude that Chinese Contemporary artists bear, the success of which he attributed to CCC`s energetic artistic exchange endeavors. Mr Borg spoke highly of China`s Opening and Reform, stating that it enabled the outside world to acquire closer contact and greater insight into Chinese culture over the past few decades. He pointed out that in the course of history, Eastern and Western Art have influenced each other, and that this exhibition epitomizes the recognized unique beauty and strong presence that Eastern art enjoys nowadays. As an expert in the field of art, Mr Borg proceeded to share his interesting curatorial and critical perspectives on the works, shedding light on various aspects and deepening guests` appreciation and understanding of artworks in Chinese traditional style.
Mr Zhang Jiangzhou, Vice President of China National Academy of Painting opened his speech with a warm welcome to all those present, and a heartfelt thanks to CCC for making this exhibition possible. Mr Zhang briefly introduced the China National Academy of Painting and expressed his wish to foster interaction with Malta`s art world, so as to promote exchange and collaboration between artists and art organizations of the two countries. He also expressed admiration for Malta`s unforgettable beauty, rich history, cultural wealth and the people`s positive aspirations for happiness in life, which this island it exudes. Mr Zhang concluded that Chinese Style exhibition is in essence the encounter one world`s beauty with that of another.
Ms Catherine Tabone praised CCC`s high quality cultural events and contribution to the friendship enjoyed by China and Malta. To enhance guests` appreciation of the Chinese Fan Painting exhibits, Ms Tabone shared expert knowledge on this unique fine art category, ranging from its significance and status in previous eras, to images generally depicted in this genres; as well as the creative use of fans to complement other art forms, including dance and poetry writing, and the function of the Chinese fan in various social contexts. In addition, Ms Tabone drew a comparative analysis on perceptions and cultural roles of fans in the East and West, expressing her view that a discourse which entertains dialogue on different cultures through the universal language of art is a natural and effective bridge of communication which does not require other explanatory means.
Apart from the events of the Inauguration Ceremony, on the same day CCC hosted a meeting with Ms Catherine Tabone and Dr Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, during which prospective long-term collaboration plans between Chinese and Maltese art Institutions were discussed, and later announced openly.
“Chinese Style—International Tour of Selected Fine Art Works from the China National Academy of Painting”, is an important part of the Promoting Chinese Fine Arts Overseas project. It is comprised of more than 200 exquisite artworks by over 100 great artists of the China National Academy of Painting, representative of the highest calibre of Contemporary Chinese Art, and offering a glimpse into the early, mid and late eras of Chinese art. The series of the touring exhibition which is currently on display in Malta consists of 28 selected Fan Paintings from a collection of 78 masterpieces, featuring works by senior master painters such as Li Baolin and Wang Yingchun, as well as outstanding young-middle age fine artists, including Liu Dawei, Long Rui , Yang Xiaoyang, Lu Yushun, Zhang Jiangnan, Ren Helin and Chenpeng.
Furthermore, this exhibition reflects CCC`s successful implementation of the policy for cultural exchange and collaboration goals designated by the The “2014-2018 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Malta and the Government of the People`s Republic of China”. The various cultural events organized by CCC simultaneously advance promotion of Chinese culture and arts as well as nurture dialogue and collaboration between artists of both countries, transforming their “handshake” in to a “hug of friendship”
During their stay in Malta, the visiting CNAP delegation and China Cultural Centre in Malta discussed plans to collaborate on the One Belt One Road artistic project. What is more, Mr Zhang Jiangzhou, Vice President of China National Academy of Painting, Mr He Jialin, Director of Creation & Research Department (CNAP) and for Mr Chen Peng, Secretary General of Chinese Painting Institute, each created two splendid fine art pieces for China Cultural Centre.
Translated by Aida Daoud Bushra