Media Coverage

The International Symposium of the 7th Beijing Biennale was held in Beijing


Dialogues on the Silk Road for Retrospect and Prospect

Photographed by Liu Hong


    Under the background of the grand opening of the 7th Beijing Biennale, the international symposium was held at the Qianmen Jianguo Hotel on September 25. Tao Qin, deputy secretary of the party leadership group and vice secretary general of the China Artists Association and convener of the curatorial committee of Beijing Biennale presented and delivered a speech at the event. Shao Dazhen, professor of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, counsel of the Beijing Biennale curatorial committee worked as the host-in-chief. Wang Yong, member of the Beijing Biennale curatorial committee and researcher of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, Ding Ning, professor of the School of Arts, Peking University and Shang Hui, executive chief editor of the Art Magazine acted as the host for sub-sessions. The symposium also invited Vincenzo Sanfo, president of Italian Center of Culture and Art, Zheng Baizhong, artist who created the big size theme-based painting, Rémy Aron, president of the France Artists Association, Sun Yumin and Zou Wen, professors of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Nguyen Minh Tan, representative of artists from Vietnam and over 20 curatorial committee members, theorists and artists. They all made a speech based on the theme and expressed their perceptions and conducted a broad exchange and deep discussion on retrospect and research of the history of exchange along the ancient Silk Road, the contemporary interpretation and artistic practice of the spirit of the Silk Road, the relations between international artistic creation and the spirit of the Silk Road and the further interpretation of the content of the theme-based artworks. All those participants of the symposium expressed their evaluations of the exhibition and put forward relevant advices. Over 200 persons including the curators of the special exhibitions of Greece, Indonesia and Mongolia and representatives of selected artists, art institutions and media presented at the symposium.


Ms. Tao Qin, Deputy Secretary of the Party Leadership Group and Deputy Secretary General of the China Artists Association is delivering a speech

Photographed by Liu Hong


    The academic theme of the symposium not only responded to the Belt and Road” Initiative , but also provided a platform for exchanges among international artists featured by its realistic significance and pertinence. Under the context ofThe Silk Road” and World Civilizations”, artists from China and foreign countires communicated with each other and explored the communication between the eastern and western civilization, which in turn broad the academic horizon of Beijing Biennale. In the remarks of Mr. Shao Dazhen, he mentioned that It is the first time that the number of participating countries surpassed 100 and Beijing Biennale stands as the first exhibition that involves over 100 countries, fully testifying to the fact that the theme ofThe Silk Roadinspires artists both from home and abroad and they are eager to express their perception for cultural communication and civilization inheritance, which received widespread participation, understanding and applaud. At this point of the 15th anniversary of Beijing Biennale, the exhibition will carry on its principle and specialities and motivate artists to make innovations and explorations in their expression.


Mr. Ding Ning, Professor of School of Arts, Peking University is hosting the Symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong

Mr. Shang Hui, Director, Executive Editor-in-Chief of the Art Magazine

Photographed by Liu Hong

Tao QinVice Secretary General made an in-depth interpretation of the academic topic. She pointed that, “the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative features peace, communication, exchange and sharing. It has become the mainstream of contemporary artistic creation in China to create works based on the spirit of the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, to represent the history of the Silk Road and its significance under today’s content. The Beijing Biennale, as a platform for exhibiting artworks from both China and foreign countries, motivated artists from all over the world to pay attention to the theme ‘The Silk Road and World Civilizations’. Selected artworks for the 7th Beijing Biennale cover a wide range of vivid and impressive historic and realistic subjects. Stories concerning the international friendship, communications among different countries and cultural exchange can be integrated into the artworks. The ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative will definitely go steady and further as there is a solid foundation based on friendship and communication and we belong to the common community of shared destiny. ” In her remarks, Tao Qin, the vice secretary general quoted the positive evaluation of representatives from different countries and expressed that the organizing committee will try its best to make the exhibition better and better, meeting the expectation of all concerning parties.


Mr. Wang Yong, Researcher of Chinese National Academy of Arts is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong

        In these speeches, the understanding and interpretation of the theme was the main focus. Mr. Wang Yong spoke highly of the artistic standard of the artworks in the 7th Beijing Biennale, obviously higher than previous ones. In terms of manifold artistic expressions, a marked feature of the works of the 7th Beijing Biennale is a mixture of realistic and romantic styles and coexistence of integration and difference. In between the tendencies of seeking common ground and reserving differences is a huge space of development which gives rise to a splendid scene where eastern and western arts integrate but each is unique on its own, paving the road for heart-to-heart communication. Mr. Vincenzo Sanfo talked about his over two decades of communication with China. He facilitated China to participate in the Venice Biennale for the first time in the official name. Since then, Beijing Biennale rooted in the hearts of Chinese artists. Later, he promoted the initiation of 1st Beijing Biennale and invited famous foreign artists to participate in the exhibition. In his mind, he hoped to let more people to understand Chinese culture and art under the context of the “Belt and Road” Initiative.

    While travelling around the world from Terracotta Warriors in China to coastal cities in Europe, from the Soviet Red Army monument in Berlin, the Nelson’s Column in London to the Statue of Liberty in New York, professor Ding Ning took note of all the poetic sceneries and reflected the value of art in realistic life with a profound academic perspective. He mentioned that art presented history and future in silence. In the remarks of Miguel Angel Benavides, the American curator, he said that, “The Silk Road is the beginning of a world without Borders. We should respect and appreciate each others’ contributions to this world we live in. But it is through the arts that all peoples, artists, viewers and historians, can exchange ideas or personal circumstances to create a dialogue that can bring us together with a common understanding about love, peace, freedom, humanity and life. ” In the speech of Sophia Kaitatzi-Whitlock, Vice-Chair of the Board of the SMCA of Thessaloniki she clearly stated that, Considering the long-term impact of the 7th Beijing Biennale of Contemporary Art and its ‘legacy’ to our common future, if you prefer, I would suggest that it is a most valuable and promising platform. Indeed, the spirit of the Silk Road and its aspiration to create and promote international contemporary art, in this light, is a proactive step towards bonding and towards broadening of horizons and, thus, in favor of deepening of our cultural relations.

    In the speech of Mr. Zheng Baizhong, Professor of Art College of Xiamen University introduced his creation process. Through the combination of historical and realistic themes, the artist ingeniously places the ancient and modern maritime Silk Roads into the same time and spaceshowing the prosperity of the shipping from the East to the West and the exchange and development of Chinese civilization and world civilizations. He adopts the unique artistic language of contemporary heavy-color gongbi painting, inherits the magnificent of the landscape, and expands the artistic language of Chinese painting in the performance of the exotic scenery, fully demonstrating the new chapter of the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st Century.

    Farahnaz Azarabadihaghan artist from Iran thought that, We can maintain the ancient Silk Road is a great piece of Art work through history which is a part of our global heritage. Human beings have always moved from place to place and trade with neighbors, exchanging goods, skills and ideas. Through communication and trade, it gradually linked up to form what are known today as the Silk Road. Travelers along the Silk Road were attracted not only by the trade but also by the intellectual and cultural exchanges. Communications among people from different countries also brought about the transmission of knowledge, ideas, cultures and beliefs, which had a profound impact on the history and civilizations of the people. May be the most lasting legacy of the Silk Road has been their role in bringing cultures and people in contact with each other and facilitating exchanges between them. 

    When it referred to the “internationalization” of Beijing Biennale, Professor Zou Wen pointed that, “I felt relieved to see that Beijing Biennale stuck to why it stared, accomplished its purpose by focusing on paintings and sculptures under the context of the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative and globalization, which is the most effective way to explore a steady flow of original, prevalent and abundant creations. 


Mr. Vincenzo Sanfo, President of Italian Center of Culture and Art is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong

Mr. Rémy Aron, President of the France Artists Association is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong


    Professor Ding Ning took retrospect, inspection, sharing and vision to conclude all those speeches: looking back at the influence of history towards people and cultural heritage; giving identification and more expectation to Beijing Biennale in inspection; sharing the customs, tradition and memory among different ethnic minorities through artworks; aspiring for the bright vision for common peaceful development. All these keywords were connected through the artistic “Silk Road”.


Mr. Zheng Baizhong( Chinese artist) is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong

Mr. Zou Wen, Professor of Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong 


Ms. Sun Yumin, Professor of Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong


 Mr. Feng Lumin, (Chinese artist) is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tan (Vietnamese artist) is speaking at the symposium

Photographed by Liu Hong


Members of the curatorial committee of Beijing Biennale is talking with artists

Photographed by Liu Hong

International Symposium of the 7th Beijing Biennale

Photographed by Liu Hong


In the free discussion section, all attendants were eager to express their opinions covering plenty of topics. Mr. Yang Xiaomao, one of the artists of the theme-based artwork talked about his own experience in following the so-called “contemporary art” when he studied aboard in France and eventually returned to realistic theme-based creations. Peintner Elmar Anton, the Austrian artist said that the concept of the “Silk Road” is not brand new as it always facilitated the communication between eastern and western cultures and witnessed the 7th Beijing Biennale in the most perfect way. The representative from the Dafen Oil Painting Village took the opportunity to introduce the preparations of the first Dafen International Oil Painting Biennale and warmly invited artists from all over the world to participate in their exhibition. Mr. Shao Dazhen, the host-in-chief pointed out that in the closing speech, the theme of “The Silk Road and World Civilizations” attracted the attention of artists from all over the world. It is not only a route for trade transaction between eastern and western countries; it is also a bridge for communications of world civilizations and heart-to-heart communication among people from different countries. The 7th Beijing Biennale involved unprecedented attention and participation. It will carry on its journey and turn into the platform for artists with different nationalities to present their talent and bring their imagination and creation into full play.

Counsels and representatives of the curatorial committee of Beijing Biennale is conferring donation certificates to artists

Photographed by Liu Hong


A group photo of counsels and representatives of the curatorial committee of Beijing Biennale and donators

Photographed by Liu Hong


    The organizing committee specially held a collection certificate conferring ceremony for all those donators who donated their works to the organizing committee, appreciating their generosity and contribution towards the communication between China and foreign countries.

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