Inner Mongolian artworks exhibited in Beijing

By Chen Boyuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 29, 2017
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A miniature painting on display at the inauguration of Inner Mongolian artworks by Contemporary China in Beijing on May 28, 2017. [Photo by Chen Boyuan/]

Some 130 miniature artworks collected in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were officially included in the collection of Contemporary China in Beijing on May 28, the first anniversary of the Sino-Italian joint project.

They were selected from more than 400 submissions. These palm-sized artworks on 10*12-centimeter canvases represent the first batch of collection that will eventually feature artworks of all 56 ethnic groups in China.

The miniature artworks of Inner Mongolian artists include oil paintings, sculptures, photographs, even small gadgets, resembling those in the collection of Imago Mundi, the project operated by Italian artist Luciano Benetton, with whom Contemporary China is cooperating.

Themes naturally center on life in Inner Mongolia, a region with a large nomad population.

Yan Zhijie, the CEO of Beijing Kingsight Company and chief artistic director of Contemporary China, shared the same view with Benetton that "an exhibition of miniature artworks allows viewers to see more in a given limited space and time."

He went on: "It's a chance for Chinese artists to speak to the world in a limited space, so that the world can hear our unique voice," explaining how exhibitions of miniature artworks could attract more public participation and therefore "extract the essence of folk art in China."

Miniature art was "more inclusive" because ordinary people with a heart for art creation normally find a smaller canvas "less daunting" than a big frame in the same way that the public will consider palm-sized artworks "more approachable," he said.

Over the past year, 689 artists of 21 ethnic groups across China have submitted a total of 1,247 artworks. Yan expected this number would grow exponentially and reach 5,000 – enough for his planned national and world tours – in 2019, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Yan said that "inviting in" and "going global" are equally important for the development of Chinese art.

The effort to hold China's own Imago Mundi-style miniature artworks was recognized by Benetton. Adriano Madaro, Benetton's special supervisor for the China exhibitions, praised Contemporary China for its "very special" effort to display the cultures and art of different ethnic groups in China.

"Art is like a window of life through which the world gets to know China better," said Madaro at the inauguration ceremony.

Apart from organizing the national and world tour of Contemporary China, the same organization is also handling the China tours of Imago Mundi artworks. So far, Benetton's collection have been viewed by the public in Lincang, Kunming and Dali, all cities in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

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