|Chinese Style, Paintings of the Times features works by both young promising artists and established ones, including Rain by Luo Zhongli. (China Daily)|
Ever wonder about the overall state of the country's fine arts? The National Exhibition of Fine Arts has put together more than 600 pieces to give a comprehensive picture of the Chinese art scene.
Titled Chinese Style, Paintings of the Times, the exhibition was launched on Oct 12 in Jinan as part of the monthlong China Art Festival hosted by Shandong province.
The triennial exhibition has collated Chinese paintings, prints, watercolor, oil paintings and sculptures across three floors of Shandong Art Museum.
Exhibits include works selected from a nationwide pool of more than 4,600 entries and solicited pieces from established artists, such as Lu Yushun, Liu Dawei, Luo Zhongli and others.
"This gallery shows the state of Chinese arts over the past few years, they are very representative of our time," says Liu Dawei, chairman of the China Artists Association who also reviewed the entries of various subjects and artistic forms.
"The trend on display is very obvious, you could tell by comparing to the last exhibition three years ago," says Pan Lusheng, a member of China National Academy of Painting.
"For one, it's much more comprehensive. It also shows a positive attitude toward life and the future, in line with the times," says Pan, also president of Shandong University of Art and Design. "Arts are the first language to parse the contemporary society, and these items come from the country's mainstream."
"You see profuse new ideas, concepts and expressions. I feel very encouraged to see the creative freedom from the younger generation of artists," says Wang Yingchun, a painter and council member with China Artists Association.
"The other distinct feature of the items is a shared dose of positive energy," Wang says. Her own painting, where a young woman gives birth on her own in a cornfield, is one such example. She has treasured the image of the self-reliant woman in her memory for almost 50 years.
"It's not easy to see an exhibition on such a scale," says Lu Yushun, vice-president of China National Academy of Painting.
"You have access to almost any genre and topic you can think of," he says.
"More importantly, you don't just see craft from those with household names. You see what the younger, aspiring group are doing. They're grounded and hard-working, full of hope.
"The longing for a bright future is evident in each piece, even if it's a still or landscape, you see the upward-looking human spirits behind it, that's the zeitgeist." He has painted a "fascinating view of the beautiful sky and ground".
"All in all, the exhibition shows that the best time for arts has arrived," he says.
The 10th China Art Festival has also set up other exhibitions including the European Classics Exhibition with the Chinese debut of Da Vinci's Self-portrait and shows on Shandong folklores, the province's history and landscapes.
If you go
9 am-5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday until Dec 30. Shandong Art Museum, 10 Qingnian Road, Lixia district, Jinan, Shandong province. 0531-8262-0869.