"Sculpture of Love-Memorial Exhibition of Works and Literatures of the Couple Sculptor Wang Linyi and Wang Henei"Was Ceremoniously Inaugurated in NAMOC
On the morning of November 30, 2015, "Sculpture of Love-Memorial Exhibition of Works and Literatures of the Couple Sculptor Wang Linyi and Wang Henei" was Ceremoniously Inaugurated in the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC). The exhibition was hosted by NAMOC and Central Academy of Fine Art. At the ceremony, on behalf of NAMOC, the curator awarded the donation certificate to Mr. Chang Shana and Mr. Shengyang, representative of sculptor Wang Linyi and Wang Henei. They accept the certificate and transmit it to Wang Huangsheng, the gallery curator of Central Academy of Fine Art. The certificate will be regarded as permanent collection in Central Academy of Fine Art.
NAMOC curator Wu Weishan stated that in 20th century, artistic stars outshone each other in Chinese art. The life and art, love and creation of the couple Wang Linyi and Wang Henei explained that homogeneous spiritual world was capable of melting heterogeneous cultural structure and then created the life community of beauty.
Wang Linyi (1908-1997) is the famous modern sculptor and art educator in China and his wife Wang Henei (1912-2000), also the sculptor, has made great achievement in her art career. This couple, with their happy marriage life for over half a century, has made outstanding contributions to the modern statue and development of modern statue education in China and left an impressive story of innocent and deep love. The exhibition held by NAMOC and Central Academy of Fine Art fully presented the lifelong creation essence and abundant literature of the couple for the first time. The exhibition divided over 500 works and literature into three parts of "Monument" "Shadow" and "Statue", which fully showed the life and art of Mr. Wang Linyi and Mrs. Wang Henei.
In the exhibition hall, the first part "Monument" firstly showed related works and documents of the relief May Thirtieth Movement of Monument to the People' s Heroes created by Wang Linyi from 1953 to 1955. In his teaching for decades of years, he always mentioned the words of "integrity" to his students and in his works the grasp to integrity of the work was fully presented. In the work of the relief May Thirtieth Movement, the vivid expression of serious and intense atmosphere and heavy and powerful steps of the work force fully presented his grasp and power of integrity in sculpture creation. Started with the May Thirtieth Movement, a monument in his sculpture career, the exhibition further developed the narration and discussion on the art career of Mr. Wang Linyi and Mrs. Wang Henei.
The No. 21 Hall on the left, through various kinds of photos, documents and works, displayed life experience of the couple before 1950s and their recognition and love process. Wang Linyi entered into Shanghai Training School of Fine Arts in 1924 and learned from Li Yishi. With the Li Yishi's instruction, Wang Linyi received normal sketch and painting training, which laid solid foundation for his extension on the art road. In 1926, Wang Linyi met Xu Beiong in Shanghai and developed close relations for his whole life. With Xu Beihong's appreciation and help, Wang Linyi went to France in 1929 for learning sculpture and entered into Paris Higher Academy of Fine Art as the first prize in 1932. In the next year, he met the French girl Renee Nikel and fell in deep love. This newly-married couple resolutely went back to China in 1937 and Renee Nikel changed her name into Wang Henei. When Wang Henei first arrived in China, she had to flee for safety with the occurrence of "July 7th Incident" and even had no time to experience the beauty of China. The turbulent life came to an end till the founding of the People's Republic of China. During this period, although few works are left through the eventful changes, various kinds of documents still can draw the historical outline. Several units of this part restored the early experience of this couple from different perspectives. For instance, the unit of "Mountain and Flowing Water" showed the color sketches of Wang Linyi with the instruction of Xu Beihong and inscription presented by Xu Beihong to Wang Linyin with photos and documents about their communication. These materials showed their sincere friendship. In the remains of Wang Linyi and Wang Henei, there were some albums of photos about scenery and portraits taken in 1930s and 1940s and complied by themselves. When the photography works were attracting more attention in early 20th century, what was the perspective of Wang Linyi as an artist? In the unit of "Perspective of Youth", this problem received full presentation. In this period, there were various kinds of literature to support their early art creation with few works left through the eventful changes. For most lost works of Wang Linyi, there were some photos for reference. For example, as one of the creations left during this period, King Yu Tamed the Flood created in 1942, displayed the focus on integrity of statue creation of Wang Linyi. He provided new explanation to the forceful spirit of traditional sculpture of China, particularly the stone sculpture in Qian and Han Dynasty and servants sculpture in Wei and Tang Dynasty.
The third part of exhibition, No. 20 Hall, present concentratedly sculpture creation of Wang Linyi and Wang Henei after 1950s. The memorial sculpture creation with numerous figures made by Wang Linyi showed his excellent grasp and control ability to the integrity, which not only presented in relief of May Thirtieth Movement, but also in Greater National Union in 1951 and Industrial and Agricultural Production of Minority in Northeast China in 1958. Apart from the memorial sculpture, the portraits creation of Wang Linyi also presented the grasp to the integrity with deleting the occasional and superficial aspect and keeping the features after his rational conclusion. Such works of Mill Girls (1956) and Female Head Portrait (1962) focused on the depiction of eyes, nose and mouth with deletion of complex details, which still expresses unique spiritual quality of the depicted subjects. Wang Henei loved animals and his animal sculpture was one of her sculpture art features. In her work Leopard (1979), she absorbed the wild beauty and majestic spirit of animal sculpture in Qin and Han Dynasty and got inspiration from the traditional image of "avoiding evils". The linear beauty of the Chinese traditional art realized good fusion in Wang Henei's sculpture. The fusion was not blunt and artificial but presented the balance between the "traditional” and the "modern", the "east" and the "west" in Wang Henei's works. Meanwhile, temperament of Chinese people was contained in figures created by Wang Henei. All of these are achievements made from her sincere love for the land of China and arduous efforts to incorporate into it.
The couple of Wang Linyi and Wang Henei have no children. They made a will to donate all of their belongings to Central Academy of Fine Art after death. The memorial exhibition of Mr. Wang Linyi and Mr. Wang Henei organized by NAMOC and Central Academy of Fine Art was the largest concentrated display of their art achievements and life experience. Their works collected in gallery of Central Academy of Fine Art will be copied and stored permanently in NAMOC, which will play an important role in modern art works collected in NAMOC. The contribution and love for the sculpture career of China made by Wang Linyi and Wang Henei will be recorded in the history forever.