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Duration:Sep. 24th- Oct. 15th,2017

Venue: National Art Museum of China

(NO.1 Wusi Avenue,Dongcheng District Beijing, China)

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Artists from Hundreds of Countries Created Artworks on the Silk Road and World Civilizations - the Final Selection of the 7th Beijing Biennale was Held in Beijing


On March 16, 2017, as the “two sessions” came to a successful close, according to the overall arrangement of the 7th Beijing Biennale, the final selection session of the 7th Beijing Biennale with the theme of the Silk Road and World Civilizations was held at the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. Based on the Regulations of Beijing Biennale, the members of the jury come from the Curatorial Committee. Chief Curators of the Beijing Biennale including Zuo Zhongyi, Liu Dawei, Xu Li, Feng Yuan, Wu Weishan and members of the Curatorial Committee including Ding Ning, Ma Shulin, Wang Yong, Lu Yushun, Tian Liming, Liu Jinan, Li Xiangqun, Shang Hui, Zhang Xiaoling, Hu Wei, Tao Qin, Chao Ge, Dong Xiaoming, Xue Yongnian, and Vincenzo Sanfo (Italy), an international curator were present at the meeting. Under the objective, fair and impartial principle, 652 piecessetfrom 109 countries are selected, including Chinese painting, oil painting, watercolor, print, pastel, sketch, mixed media, sculpture, installation, video and other styles. Among them, 183 pieces are from mainland China, and 469 pieces from outside mainland China. 6 Special Exhibitions including Special Exhibition of Indonesia, Special Exhibition of Mongolia, Special Exhibition of Georgia, Special Exhibition of Greece, Special Exhibition of The Tour of Art from Tintoretto to Lilanga and Special Exhibition of Donated Artworks from Previous Beijing Biennales. The final selection session is hosted by Tao Qin, Deputy Secretary of the China Artists Association Party Leadership Group, CounselVice Secretary-General and Convener of the Curatorial Committee of Beijing Biennale.

Artistic standard of applications from outside China greatly surpasses previous sessions, and more artists participated in the theme exhibition of the 7th Beijing Biennale. Entries from France, Egypt, Italy, Indonesia, Russia, Serbia, RomaniaIndia, Bangladesh, the USA, Greece, Iran, and Pakistan are all over 50 pieces. Thus the organizing committee can make a good choice. Overall, from the artistic, professional and relevant perspective, all these entries perform better than before. More countries, regions, and organizations applied on their initiative for the cooperation of a special exhibition. 6 of the special exhibition applications entered the final round, while at the very beginning there were ten applications for Special Exhibitions.

Compared with previous sessions, apparently more artists from mainland China submitted their applications. Among all these applications, Chinese painting and oil painting covers the highest percentage of all types. Sculpture, print and other forms occupy relatively small percentage but include almost all kinds relevant to paintings, sculptures, and videos. All these entries demonstrate the philosophy of the exhibition, that is, a stretch of the contemporary paintings and sculptures. Besides, not only more well-known artists exclusively create artworks pertinent to the theme of the 7th Beijing Biennale, many artists of the 80s and 90s age group perform their artistic exploration and interpretation and various possibilities in inheriting and carrying forward traditional art. 

At the beginning of the final selection meeting, Tao Qin, Deputy Secretary of the China Artists Association Party Leadership Group updated the latest preparation work to all the curatorial committee members on aspects of artwork creation motivation, international contacts, numbers, and contents of applications and widespread popularity of the exhibition.

Motivation for Artwork Creation on Multi-perspectives and Multi-layers

On July 20, 2016, the symposium on artwork creation of the 7th Beijing Biennale with the theme of “The Silk Road and World Civilizations” is held. In a bid to facilitate Chinese and foreign artists to understand the theme further, to ensure the academic standard of all the final selected artworks, the organizing committee gathered members of the curatorial committee, representatives of Chinese and foreign artists to discuss on how to create centering on the theme and all those curators provided much precious advice. On September 10, 2016, taking the opportunity of the opening ceremony of the “Paint One Another and Know One Another” Exhibition, which can be taken as a preview of the coming Beijing Biennale as 200 plus pieces of artwork coming from about 30 countries on the exhibition focus on world in the eye of Chinese artists and China in the eye of foreign artists, the forum of “from Paint One AnotherKnow One Another to The Silk Road and World Civilizations” is held in order to facilitate artists’ creation. At the forum, Xu Li, Secretary of the China Artists Association Party Leadership Group called on artists to create a panoramic work of large dimensions pertinent to the theme of “the Silk Road and Civilizations.”

Objectively, it is harder for creation than previous sessions as the theme of the 7th Beijing Biennale asks for works with strong pertinence. To facilitate Chinese and foreign artists creation, the working team with the Beijing Biennale Office, together with Curator Mr. Wang Yong, have done a lot of work in sorting out reference material targeted at two key words of the theme, that is, “The Silk Road” and “World Civilizations.”

From July to December (just before the deadline for collecting applications), 2016, aiming at assisting Chinese and foreign artists’ creation, especially important artworks, the organizing committee further combed through and integrated relevant reference material and put them under clear categories and released it on the official Wechat account of Beijing Biennale. Several major theme-based artworks were under close attention. For example, the organizing committee provided comprehensive assistance regarding particular size, style, content, and process for creation of two appointed works, one Chinese painting and one oil painting with large dimensions and a panoramic demonstration of “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”. Thus, the chief curator and representatives of curators were invited to come to the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles to assess sample artworks and provided advice; the organizing committee also came to Song Zhuang where a team for creation is located to update them on the latest development of the Belt and Road Initiative. In so doing, artists there can be reminded to integrate it into their creation. It can be said that the organizing committee attended to every aspect of assistance and service to facilitate their creation. The organizing committee is pleased to see that several leading artists put all things behind to create the appointed work exclusively. Mr. Zheng Baizhong, overcame a lot of difficulties to create great delicate brushwork. The chief artist for the designated oil painting woke up suddenly at late night as he got inspirations in his subconscious mind and couldn’t wait to pick up his paintbrush. Another theme-based oil painting is created from “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”. It uplifted the spiritual influence of the Silk Road with a trinity display, contemporary temporal-spatial transformation, romantic, artistic expression from the perspective of developing the “Belt and Road” in the spirit of Yu Gong. Professor Wang Hongliang and others from the Tsinghua University created a relief work on “President Xi Jinping addresses on the Belt and Road Initiative” which He Yiting, vice executive president of the Party School of the CPC provided advice on a modification when he paid a visit to the studio. The four important artworks from Chinese artists are all created to ensure there will be a nucleus for visual effect and unite about 600 pieces of Chinese and international artworks.

Intensive International Contact

It is harder to realize the objective of attracting 100 participating countries. As a result, the organizing committee has made intensive contacts with embassies of foreign countries in China, relevant international organizations, international curators and coordinators, especially those countries along the Silk Road and did a lot of publicity work to arouse attention from countries that had never participated in the exhibition or has no participants ever before, which received good result. It reached a new height in the numbers of contacts: the organizing committee made several dozens of contacts with embassies of foreign countries and Chinese embassies in foreign countries and in several embassies we even talked with ambassadors in person. They are asked to forward the information of Beijing Biennale to the Ministry of Culture and cultural organizations. ThusRegulations of Beijing Biennale in foreign languages could be seen on the official website of Ministry of Culture in many countries. Art museums from several countries expressed that they received information of Beijing Biennale both from the Ministry of Culture and Chinese embassies in their country and they exclaimed that the organizing committee had done excellent work in international public relations.

Breakthrough in the Number of Applications

After the deadline, last yeartwo teams separately in charge of Chinese and foreign applications worked overtime to register and compile all these material. There were tens of thousands of applications from 124 countries including China and special exhibition. All these applications covered different aspects under the theme of “The Silk Road and World Civilizations,” showing the international influence of Chinese art. As artists from foreign countries accepted regulations of the 7th Beijing Biennale with the theme of “The Silk Road and World Civilizations,” they also accepted the China’s artistic assertion. It can be seen from the caption for artwork that artists have carefully researched the interpretation in the regulation as they created works targeted at the theme.

To improve the assessment system of Beijing Biennale and work in line with the overall arrangement of China Artists Association for using the evaluation equipment, the selection of artworks for the 7th Beijing Biennale included two rounds: preliminary selection and final selection. In the middle of February, parts of curators made the initial selection from all entries, and all curators were invited to take part in the final selection. The “Belt and Road” artwork creation program with the China National Academy of Painting collectively submitted their completed Chinese paintings, oil paintings, prints, and sculptures and participated in the selection.

Applications from mainland Chinese artists for the theme exhibition is registered at more than 6,000 pieces, including Chinese painting, oil painting, print, watercolor, pastel, sketch, mixed media and sculpture, installation, video and other types. In the preliminary session, 641 pieces(set) of artworks were selected to the second round of selection, including 188 pieces(set) of Chinese painting, 211 pieces of oil painting, 127 pieces(set) of print and others, 92 pieces(set) of sculpture and installation, 23 pieces(set) of video and photo. Among all these selected works from mainland China, there are four major theme-based artworks mentioned above. Applications from outside mainland China is registered at 3473 pieces from 121 countries and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. New participating countries for the 7th Beijing Biennale include Benin, Brunei, Central Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Guinea, Honduras, Maldives, Nicaragua, Palestine, Panama, Seychelles, and Yemen. Yemen, Iraq, and Syria are in a state of political unrest, but embassies of these countries China and embassies of China in these countries all overcame difficulties and submitted applications with high qualities. The glory of human nature is illuminated on the platform of Beijing Biennale through paintings and sculptures. Apart from the Special Exhibitions, 531 pieces (set) from 119 countries were selected during the preliminary selection of international applications. More organizers applied for holding a special exhibition, among them, Special Exhibition of Indonesia, Special Exhibition of Mongolia, Special Exhibition of Georgia, Special Exhibition of Greece, Special Exhibition of from Italy to Africa arrived at the final selection session. There will be a Special Exhibition of Donated Artworks from Previous Beijing Biennales to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Beijing Biennales.

Breakthroughs have been made in both quality and quantity of international applications. The jury with the international team expressed their surprise during the selection session again and again and said that these applications are very impressive as they were with the highest standard.

Another feature of the 7th Beijing Biennale is that it attracted widespread attention before the exhibition. Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, the largest foreign language publishing house, contact the Beijing Biennale Office on their initiative and would like to take Beijing Biennale as a typical example in providing a platform for transmitting cultures with Chinese characteristics by making plans for its overseas publishing and promotion. JAGUAR, a German magazine for high-end international auto fans actively ask for coverage on Beijing Biennale. Under the recommendation of Mr. Vincenzo Sanfo, the chief editor of the Venice Art Info expressed that they could help to print a guide for how to visit Beijing Biennale during the Venice Biennale this year. Media from Australia inquired about detailed information concerning artists’ selection and would like to make coverage anytime on their initiative. One famous installation artist come to China to make an on-the-spot investigation of the National Art Museum of China where Beijing Biennale will be held at his expense, even though he didn’t know whether his work will be selected or not. He also repeatedly expressed that Beijing Biennale is an exhibition that he is desperate for. The newly arrived cultural attach of the Serbia Embassy in China took the initiative to pay an official visit to the Beijing Biennale Office and would like to seek cooperation. The newly-appointed minister of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Japan-China Friendship Center took the initiative to pay an official visit to a feasible system for tour exhibition to Japan of Beijing Biennale artworks. Selected artists of the 6th Beijing Biennale were invited to come to Yangzhou, creating a series of artworks of Yangzhou in the eyes of foreign artists, with which the Municipal Government of Yangzhou were satisfied, and they hoped to carry on the practice.

Remarks of Zuo Zhongyi, Member of Party Leadership, vice chairman, and secretary of the Secretariat of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles


On behalf of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Zuo Zhongyi, Member of Party Leadership, vice chairman, and secretary of the Secretariat of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles welcomed all the members of the curatorial committee and members of the jury to participated in the final selection session and extended thanks for their support to the Beijing Biennale in the previous year.

After listening to the introduction on the preparation situation of the 7th Beijing Biennale, he felt that all the work has been done well regarding recommendation of theme-based artworks, international communication, contributions soliciting and preliminary selection of artworks. All these preparation met the expectation and laid a solid foundation for the upcoming Beijing Biennale.

He expressed that Beijing Biennale has the greatest number of participating countries compared with other biennales. Thus it has become an important international platform for exhibiting contemporary paintings and sculptures. The 7th Beijing Biennale attracted applications from more than 100 participating countries. On the one hand, it demonstrated the improvement of China’s comprehensive national strength and its increasing international influence. On the other hand, the philosophy, theme and organizing mode of Beijing Biennale has won the recognition and respect from international artists. It has become an efficient carrier for enhancing our cultural confidence and demonstrating our cultural charm through cultural exchanges.

Every exhibition has its theme and orientation; thus there will always be selections. The theme of the 7th Beijing Biennale is “The Silk Road and World Civilizations,” a theme which is decided after sufficient discussion and is in line with the Belt and Road Initiative. Also, it works as concrete measures for practicing the critical remarks of President Xi Jinping, especially important remarks concerning literary and artistic works. The 7th Beijing Biennale has a distinct theme that can provide vast space for imagination and inspiration. What to choose and exhibit is to key to its final success as it is a theme-based international exhibition.

Concerning the orientation of selection of artworks, Mr. Zuo highlighted the following 3 points:

First, we need to uphold cultural confidence and cultural standpoint.

President Xi Jinping pointed that culture is the spirit of a country or a nation. Upholding cultural confidence is key to the rise and decline, cultural safety, and independence of the national spirit of a country. He also emphasized that how Chinese appreciate beauty can’t be tailored to the theories of western countries. China’s achievements of the artwork creation in recent years are there for all to see. The influence of China is larger than before in the international arena. Since last year, Liu Qibao, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee fully acclaimed the development in artwork creation on several occasions, including the meeting of publicity ministers at the provincial level. It can be said that China’s achievements in artwork creation are universally recognized. Many artists issued an appeal for expanding Chinese artists’ voice in the international artistic community while the Beijing Biennale can provide great opportunity and platform.

It is expected that we build the brand of Beijing Biennale with distinct Chinese characteristic and clear perception and we uphold the spirit of Chinese aesthetics and inherit the spirit of Chinese culture and demonstrate Chinese aesthetic demeanor in artwork creation and selection session.

Second, artworks need to focus on the theme, tell the story of China, make the voice of China heard by the outside world and carry forward the spirit of China.

It is the responsibility and mission of artists given by the era and the nation and it is also the requirement of President Xi Jinping to tell the story of China, make the voice of China heard by the outside world and demonstrate the features of China, especially the remarkable historical changes that modern China have made to deepen the insights of China, improve the understanding of China of people from foreign countries by appreciating the Chinese artworks. It is highly suggested that artworks linked by the Silk Road need to present the contributions that the splendid Chinese civilization and civilizations of other countries have made artistically. Through artworks and exhibitions, excellent artworks representative of today’s artistic standard in China, the spirit of the era, the styles and features of China and Chinese manner can be promoted to further present the achievements China have made over the years and the brand new features of Chinese people and facilitate the Chinese culture to go abroad.

Third, it is suggested to assimilate and borrow from others and explore and make innovations.

President Xi Jinping stressed that innovation is the core of literary and art creation. To inherit tradition and carry forward great traditional culture is something we need to emphasize, but to study and borrow from extraordinary cultural achievements of other countries is also encouraged. President Xi mentioned that civilization would become more colorful by communication and mutual learning. It is natural to learn from others as we make innovations but as President Xi Jinping has once said, a better development and prosperity in literary and art creation ask for insistent exploration, innovation, and integration of Chinese and western aspect. We are expected to develop and expand the spirit of the Silk Road featured by peace, cooperation, open-mind, inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual construction and mutual benefit in our exhibition. We need to learn from the experience of foreign countries, encourage energetically, artistic exploration and innovation while strengthening the friendship and cooperation with the international artist’s community. It is our expectation that an innovative development of traditional paintings and sculptures can be achieved by cooperation of Chinese artists and artists from all over the world.


Remarks of Liu Dawei, Chairman of the China Artists Association


Liu Dawei, chairman of the China Artists Association, expressed that, as a witness of the founding up of Beijing Biennale, he pays close attention to the development of the exhibition for all these years. Since it has been approved by the State Councilthe 1st Beijing Biennale in 2003 attracted 45 participating countries, which strengthened our resolve to build our system. The Program of Cultural Development during the National 11th Five-Year Plan Period initiated in September 2006 included Beijing Biennale as one of the brand cultural activities that need essential support. The 3rd Beijing Biennale was held in 2008 to act in concert with the Beijing Olympic Games, which led to the increase in the number of participating countries to 81. The 6th Beijing Biennale attracted even 96 countries to participate in 2015 while at the same time, the leading national group for review and standardization for celebrations, exhibitions seminars, and activities classified the Beijing Biennale as a reserved exhibition, the only one international exhibition of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. A breakthrough will be made in the upcoming 7th Beijing Biennale as it boasted 100 participating countries, which not only indicates a new milestone in the increase of numbers, it also demonstrates a further recognition and identification towards the exhibition system of Beijing Biennale from different countries around the world.

Chairman Liu appealed for the irreplaceable significance of “going global” and “learning from others” for Chinese art in improving the cultural confidence in the recent proposal during the two sessions. Artists’ exchanges are the most direct communication between China and the world and also the bridges for the world to understand China. Artists reproduce the history and spiritual characteristics of the nation with colorful plastic art language in an aesthetic sense. Among all artistic forms, fine art is the most direct way for conveying philosophy, thoughts and aesthetic perception and cultivating and connecting our inner world. Chinese artists have done a lot of practice in inheriting traditions and absorbing from others in recent years. Excellent artworks from Chinese artists kept going outside to make the world further understand the cultural and social development of China. China Artists Association has always attached great importance to the cultural confidence building of China and has achieved good results, and the founding up of Beijing Biennale is the most important step of it. Since its foundation, Beijing Biennale has continuously invited artists and theorists from all over the world to take part in it. Foreign artists showed great interests for the development of China during the exhibition and cultural exchange. Establishing an exhibition platform is the major step for China’s fine art to compete for international discourse right and has made due contributions to improve cultural confidence and strengthen cultural consciousness.


Remarks of Xu Li, Secretary of Party Leadership Group and Accredited Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association


Xu Li, Secretary of Party Leadership Group and Accredited Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association expressed that, the “copyright” of Beijing Biennale is ours, and the “principles” are decided by the organizing committee, but Beijing Biennale is a perpetual international platform for exhibiting artworks, from which all the artists engaged in paintings and sculptures can benefit. Beijing Biennale is different from other biennales as it has an independent academic orientation and the selection system for Chinese and foreign artworks is the specific embodiment of “Chinese Aesthetics” which has won the identification of artists from all over the world. The 7th Beijing Biennale is going to exhibit artworks from more than 100 countries. “The Silk Road and World Civilizations” theme of the 7th Beijing Biennale is closely connected with the Belt and Road Initiative, and it has extraordinary significance. In May, “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing, which extended a hot topic around the world. We can believe that the advance of Beijing Biennale and the Forum can produce a romantic interaction.

Ms. Tao Qin, Deputy Secretary of Party Leadership Group, Counsel, Vice Secretary-General of the China Artists Association, hosted the Selection Session


The 7th Beijing Biennale, as a great exhibition in 2017, co-sponsored by China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Beijing Municipal Government and China Artists Association and held at the National Art Museum of China, comes to its 15th anniversary this year. The exhibition as the first one in China under the theme of the “Silk Road” with more than 100 participating countries will receive full attention from home and abroad as the Belt and Road Initiative develop further. As a result, the selected works will definitely outshine previous ones and gain more appreciation and acclaim from the domestic and international artistic community.

Selection of the 7th Beijing Biennale

Selection of the 7th Beijing Biennale

Selection of the 7th Beijing Biennale

Selection of the 7th Beijing Biennale

Selection of the 7th Beijing Biennale

Selection of the 7th Beijing Biennale