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Yanhuang Art Museum reopened
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By Chen Lin
China.org.cn staff reporter

He Juxing, the new curator of the Yanhuang Art Museum and the Brand Image Department manager of the China Minsheng Banking Corp (CMBC), expresses his vision of the art museum through a recent experience: "At dusk last weekend I left the museum. While standing on the stairs, a picturesque scene materialized – a family of four were wandering along the street, walking toward our museum, and then sat together in the chairs on the lawn surrounding the museum. I think that sums up the concept of the museum – no barriers. We offer a haven to all those who want to visit our museum and to all those who adore the arts."
Watch the soundslide of Yanhuang Art Museum

A pianist performs in the exhibition hall. [China.org.cn]

The newly-decorated museum has removed barriers and introduced a more contemporary feel to the exhibition hall. It reopened on July 29 with the exhibition of Huang Zhou's works after six months of renovation. Huang Zhou (1925-1997), whose original name was Liang Shunian, was a celebrated Chinese painter and was also the first curator of the museum.

The exhibition, titled "The Great Master of Traditional Chinese Painting in the 20th Century – Huang Zhou", contains 51 of his best-known works. It will last until October 15, 2008.

He Juxing said, "The reopening is just the first step in our ten-year plan." Their dream is opening the doors to ordinary people and making the museum a real home for them. There will be series of exhibitions of "The Great Masters of traditional Chinese Painting in the 20th Century" of which Huang Zhou's exhibition is the first. They also plan to exhibit works from other famous artists. After these exhibitions there is a three-year schedule presenting a comparative exhibition of famous artists from China and other countries.

The museum will not only present exhibitions, the standard function of such venues, it will also conduct research into contemporary expression of traditional Chinese painting. The museum will be a place for the popularization and enlightenment of aesthetic values.

He Juxing explained that having now completed the first phase of the project, an ambitious second phase is being planned, containing an art cinema, a lecture hall, a center for research, and a book store of fine art.

Zheng Wenhui, the chairwoman of the Board of Yanhuang Art Museum and the widow of Huang Zhou, said that the Yanhuang Art Museum is the closest art museum to the main Olympic venues. Distinguished guests, athletes, coaches and visitors from all over the world will be welcomed to the exhibition.

The museum was entrusted to CMBC in December 2007. He Juxing said that this is purely a philanthropic arrangement, without any intention to generate profits or commercial activity. The Bank took on the project as a gesture of social responsibility, subsequently investing more than 20 million yuan (about US$2.9 million) in the renovation works.

The Yanhuang Art Museum was founded in 1991 with funds raised by a group of Chinese national culture and arts lovers under the guidance of Huang Zhou, who put all his money and energy into the project. It was Beijing's first major modern art museum.

Specializing in portraying panoramic scenes and large groups, the late Chinese Master Painter's works grace such places as the Great Hall of the People, the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and Zhongnanhai. Along with his figure paintings, Huang's animal works are also acclaimed as vivid and expert.

Founded on January 12, 1996 in Beijing, CMBC was the first national joint-stock commercial bank in China with shares mainly held by non-state-owned enterprises. In March 2007, CMBC was nominated for the "2006 China Charity Award".

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