Forum marking the 100th birthday of Hua Junwu was held in NAMOC
On July 30, 2015, a forum was held in the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) to commemorate the 100th birthday of Hua Junwu. The activity cherishing the memory of outstanding contribution of Hua to the cause of Chinese art was sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and Chinese Calligraphers Association. It was undertaken by the NAMOC, and co-organized by the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Zhejiang Provincial Federation of Literary and Art Circles.
Dong Wei said in the speech that General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed in the forum on literature and art work that socialist literature and art, in nature, is literature and art of the people. To well reflect people’s aspirations, literature and art must adhere to the fundamental direction of serving the people and socialism.This is a basic requirement of the Party on the literature and art front. It is also a key to decide the fate of Chinese literature and art. People’s practice and their life are inexhaustible source of creation of all literature and art. All literary and artistic innovation ultimately comes from the people. The artistic practice of Hua in his lifetime was all along closely associated with fervent social practice and people’s life. His works were particular in the depth of thought and breadth of themes. This was inseparable with his attention and reflection of social life. Hua conveyed the spirit of criticism and the power of satire needed in the society with his cartoons. More valuably, he gave full play to the unique advantage of cartoons that catered to the popular taste. He spread enlightenment, and took on social responsibility through the artistic mode, fully incarnating the social responsibility and bearing of an excellent artist.
Liu Dawei recalled bits and pieces of Hua in organization and leadership when chairing Chinese Artists Association for three decades. He said that Hua was earnest in carrying out the principles and policies of the Party and state over literature and art. He adhered to the principle of Party spirit, paid attention to the interests of the whole, united artists of the country, had the courage to take responsibility, willingly bore the burden and hard works. He was diligent and honest, open hearted, and spared no effort to make selfless dedication to develop Chinese fine arts undertaking stronger.
Wu Weishan spoke highly of Hua, whose cartoons were filled with intimacy to the people, concise spirituality and solid nationality. He recalled that in 2006, Hua, 90, donated 2,000 pieces of cartoons created over the years to NAMOC for permanent collection. Hua said earnestly that NAMOC needed not run art shows, made publicity or publish albums for his cartoons. It is highly admirable to take lightly personal honor and yet take the best interests of the country in mind.
Famous artists Shao Dazhen, Hou Yimin and Xu Pengfei recalled past events of getting along with Hua, an old friend “worth 100,000 powerful soldiers with his cartoons”, “sardonic and yet warmhearted”, adhering to principles, making constant self-examination, stressing political awareness and good conduct. Hua’s kinsfolk Hua Fangfang also spoke at the forum, recalling and evaluating Hua’s life story and artistic achievements in various angles.
Hua was an excellent Party member, devoted fighter for communism, founder of the fine arts undertaking of New China, famous cartoonist and social activist. He successively served as the head of the fine arts division and director of the literature and art department of People’s Daily; secretary-general, member of the secretariat, permanent secretary, vice-chairman and adviser of Chinese Artists Association; committee member and member of the secretariat and honorary member of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. He was a loyal fighter in the literature and art battlefront of New China, a fine arts master of noble character and high prestige in the Chinese art circles, and outstanding organizer and leader of fine arts work. Hua was occupied in the organization and leadership of Chinese fine arts undertaking for a long term. In the three decades of taking charge of Chinese Artists Association, Hua resolutely implemented the Party and state’s policies and guidelines on literature and art. He adhered to the principle of Party spirit, paid attention to the interests of the whole, and united artists across the country. He was brave to be responsible, willingly bore the burden of hard works, diligent and honest, broad-minded, and spared no efforts to develop Chinese fine arts undertaking stronger.
Hua was engaged in cartoon creation for over 70 years. He had broad creative ideas, and a good insight of social phenomena and the ways of the world. In his early years, he was adept in creating political cartoons, full of combativeness. His works closely gripped the pulse of the time, with unique characteristics, popular, philosophical. He applied himself to making his cartoons nationalized, in a popular style, enjoying high reputation home and abroad. His works played a significant role in encouraging the people in revolutionary wars. In the later period, he mainly created satirical cartoons to mercilessly mock social ugliness and backwardness. His works were ingenious, penetrating and humorous. In 1988, Hua was conferred with the Golden Monkey Reward, the highest award for Chinese cartoons. In 2001, he won the lifetime achievement award in Chinese Fine Arts Circle.
A participant of the Yan’an forum on literature and art, Hua practiced what he preached to serve the people with art. He was sincere with grassroots art lovers, took pains to help them and made a lot of friends. For decades, he held cartoon exhibitions in factories, mines, the army and countryside, allowing art to truly walk into the life of the people and serve the people, leaving a broad social impact. Today, as the circle of literature and art is studying the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping at the forum on literature and art, the literary and art workers should follow the example of Hua to love the country and people, improve morality and skills, guide their practice with social core values, take the people as the orientation of work, conscientiously fulfill the core values of the literary and art circles that are “patriotic, for the people, advocating morality and art”, go into the thick of life, take root with the people, create works for the people, dedicate the people with nourishment for the mind, with muscles and bones, morality and temperature, and make greater contribution for realizing the Chinese Dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Hua, NAMOC planned the NAMOC collection activation series exhibition The Ways of the World – Exhibition Commemorating 100th Birthday of Hua Junwu and put it on display in the 4th hall of NAMOC. More than 100 masterpieces on display were selected from the 2,000 pieces of donated works of Hua, in memory of his artistic achievements.