Beacon of creativity

Updated 2018-03-20 08:23:02

The Xiangshan Campus of the China Academy of Art, designed by Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu, is a popular tourist destination in Hangzhou. [Photo/China Daily]

Xu Jiang, director of the China Academy of Art, rushed to Zhejiang's provincial capital Hangzhou, from Beijing on Thursday after the end of the first session of 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee.

This was because the CPPCC National Committee member had an urgent photo shoot to attend.

The next day, he joined more than 500 teachers and students from the academy at the foot of Gushan Hill by the West Lake, the best-known landscape in Hangzhou. The group gathered there to honor their predecessors who founded this school, one of the most prestigious cradles of learning for artists in China.

In 1928, around 30 faculty members and 50-odd students from the school took a similar photo at the same spot shortly after its inauguration. Among them were many top names from Chinese art circle such as Lin Fengmian, Pan Tianshou and Li Keran.

The location of the academy's campus has changed four times over the years. In the latest group photo there are many foreign faces. But Xu says the school remains true to its ideals.

"Students today still follow the principles of the founders," says Xu, 63.

"The pursuit to blend cultures is not out of date even now. In 1928, it was revolutionary as Chinese traditions were labeled as old, compared with 'newer' Western ones."

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