Chinese, US schools explore the role of art in modern age

Updated 2018-11-28 08:32:00

SAN FRANCISCO-The China Academy of Art and the San Francisco Art Institute, both prestigious art schools in their respective countries, are currently holding an exhibition and a symposium to explore the role of art in the modern technological age.

The exhibition, entitled From/To: the Frontier of Chinese Art Education, showcases the works of more than 40 faculty members of the China Academy of Art, and includes oil paintings, ink paintings, sculptures and installments.

The show, which includes two parts being held at the SFAI's Chestnut Street campus and the Fort Mason campus, will run through Dec 9.

The exhibition was designed by CAA's faculty and students, who kicked off the process by inviting artists to ask 90 questions about art.

The questions aimed to generate conversation around the future role and mission of art academies in the modern technological age, says Xu Jiang, the head of CAA.

"The concept of 'from and to' reflects the international vision of CAA. And we hope the artist communities in San Francisco and even in the United States can better understand China's art education through the exhibition," says Xu.

The CAA, founded in 1928 in Hangzhou, is the first art academy with a comprehensive academic program, and seen as "the cradle of modern art education in China".

With over 9,000 students, it upholds its historic mission of revitalizing national art through its support of traditional art forms, while continuing to champion the innovative contemporary works of modern-day Chinese visual culture.

Before the exhibition, a two-day symposium was held along with the screening of Poverty of Sensibility-Panel 21: Art/Education in the 21st Century III.

The symposium was attended by leading scholars from China and the US, including professors of art history and practice, curators, and art program directors from art schools, galleries and museums.

Xu says CAA was the first art school to start exchange programs with overseas colleges following the launch of China's reform and opening-up in 1978, and SFAI became the first art school in the West to establish contact with it 32 years ago.

Early this year, the two schools signed an agreement in Hangzhou to strengthen exchanges through exhibitions, symposiums and student exchange programs.

According to the agreement, SFAI will organize an exhibition and co-host a symposium at CAA in Hangzhou next year.

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