Many artists are not well understood through their works, says curator Lorand Hegyi, who got an idea four years ago to hold a series of thematic exhibitions to let their voices be heard.
Entitled The Artist's Voice, the first of the series of four exhibitions - to be held over two years - opened at Beijing's Parkview Museum on Sunday.
It features paintings, sculptures, installations, photos and videos by 29 established artists from 17 countries.
Speaking about the exhibition, its Hungarian curator and art historian, says: "Each artist has a vision of the world, life, history, values, fears, hopes and love. We should listen to them and understand the message."
At the entrance of the show hangs a photo by American artist Marina Abramovic taken in 1983 to document her performance work Soul of the World.
In it, a mother in red holds her dead son in white.
The artist's choice of rich colors to present the universal concept of life and death shows a "basic humanity", which is what Hegyi wants viewers to feel and understand.
The curator explains that contemporary art is not difficult to understand.
Just like literature, history and music, artworks send messages to viewers to explore basic emotions and values. And they also reflect how artists see the world, adds Hegyi.
In one room, all the works depict migrants.
There are images of migrants in Europe, migrant Chinese workers in Prato's Chinatown in Italy and homeless people depicted by artists such as Chinese oil painter Liu Xiaodong and Hungarian painter Laszlo Feher.
Explaining the idea behind the exhibition, Hegyi says that though we live in a very uncertain world now, confronting various problems, the basic values and subjects such as love and life do not change. That's why all the artworks focus on these subjects.
The four exhibitions over two years involve about 200 artists from across the world: Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
And when all the four shows are put together, it will cover the entire contemporary art world, says the curator.
Some of the works on show were provided by artists after discussions with the curator, and some are from Parkview Museum's own collection, a huge private art trove owned by Hong Kong collector George Wong, who passed away in December.
It's believed that Wong's collection includes 45 of Salvador Dali's works, dozens of Buddha statues and thousands of contemporary art pieces.
The idea of the exhibition was brought up by Wong four years ago with Hegyi. And the works will be displayed both at the Parkview Museum in Beijing and its branch in Singapore.
The second show will be about artists' manuscripts, for which the curator has spent the past four years visiting artists.
"It's a huge project, but it is worth it," Hegyi says.
If you go
10 am-9 pm, through Nov 20, Parkview Museum, 9 Dongdaqiao Road, Chaoyang district, Beijing. 010-5662-8568