Up-and-coming artists fuse traditional and modern techniques at museum show, METRO's Eric Jou reports
The emerging maturity of young artists is the theme of this year's showcase of student artists from all over China at the Today Art Museum.
With more than 260 student artists featured, the exhibition showcases the students' creativity, ingenuity and artistic technique in three different themed exhibition halls that all fall under the central theme of I call the shots of my youth.
Chen Xin, the organizer of this event for Today Art Museum, said this is a forum for young up-and-coming artists to showcase their work to a wide audience.
"This allows students to move from school to society by showing the maturity and evolution of their work," the 29-year-old said. "This is also a chance for the public to meet these artists as they shed their student shell."
Now in its fifth year, the exhibition changes themes every year to better showcase the young talent pool within China.
The museum is devoting three exhibition halls to showcase all the works, which range from traditional paint and canvas works to pieces that rely on video and audio technologies.
Today Art Museum believes exhibiting the students' pieces is a way to nurture the future of Chinese art.
The exhibit only showcases the works of art students who are still enrolled in university.
Chen believes that the development and modernization of China has led to a rise in personal expression and this is reflected in the art presented at the exhibition.
"I call the shots of my youth is the young artists' way of sharing who they are and how they've matured," said Chen.
"It also reveals how they see society has developed while they were growing up."
Open to the public, the theme was selected and voted for online. After the theme was picked, the sub-themes were developed, each of which has its own unique character.
From the topic of I call the shots of my youth, the exhibition is further divided into three different sub-sections entitled I and Reality, I and Dream and I and Recalling.
This is the first time that the exhibit has been broken down into sub-themes. With I and Reality, the focus is on meshing traditional techniques with modern contemporary methods to convey the artist's thoughts on society.
I and Dream focuses on the subconscious and dreams and ideas of the artist.
I and Recalling demonstrates their knowledge and interpretation of history and culture.
The works in each of the halls range from experimental art pieces with a statue, television monitors, and motion sensors to traditional paintings and collages.
Among the experimental art exhibits, a piece featuring a crying lady is particularly striking. As soon as someone walks past the statue a video reveals a woman crying and a statue to one side also begins to cry.
However upon further inspection of the video, viewers see that the woman in it is chopping onions.
Another experimental piece is a touch screen table that creates explosions of color and light when a user touches the screen. Not only does the screen respond to touch, it also responds to the heat of the object that is in contact with the screen.
"I'm here with my daughter today to let her experience art," said Fu Haifeng, who was at the exhibit with his daughter Yo Yo.
"I think this is a great way to allow everyone to see and witness the works of college students and showcase what they worked hard on during their time at school."
"I also want to introduce my daughter to art while she is young," added Fu.
The artworks displayed by the students and the museum also go through the scrutiny of fellow artists, collectors and art critics.
Scheduled for this coming Wednesday, the museum will host an award night, where prominent figures in the art community will critique and evaluate the works.
"I feel the exhibit's a great way for everyone to show and compare their own works with their peers," said Luo Huan, 27, a student from the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University.
Luo is exhibiting his work, a man sitting in a boat, outside of the third exhibition hall called I and Dream.
"I've always been interested in the struggles and changes of my peers, and their inner feelings," said Luo. "I just wanted to express those feelings and this boat symbolizes the roaming feelings of our time."
The art exhibit is open to the public seven days a week until August 8, from 10 am to 10 pm.