Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of China-Belarus diplomatic relation establishment, “International Exhibition Exchange Series of NAMOC: Masterpieces of National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus” co-hosted by National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) and National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus launched on Oct. 24th, 2017 in NAMOC. Co-planned by Director Wu Weishan of NAMOC and Director Uladzimir Prakaptsou of Belarus National Art Museum, this exhibition also had Katherine Eizatova as the Executive Curator who held the post of Director of Modern Belarus Art Department in Belarus National Art Museum. Making great effort for cooperation in two years, two museums finally presented Masterpieces of National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus in NAMOC for the first time.
Guests present at the opening ceremony included Rudy Kiryl (Ambassador to China from the Republic of Belarus), Zhou Lining (Deputy Director of Art Department in the Ministry of Culture), Jin Shangyi (Honorary President of Chinese Artists Association and former President of Central Academy of Fine Arts), Wu Weishan (Director of National Art Museum of China and Vice Chairman of Chinese Artists Association), Fan Di’an (President of Central Academy of Fine Arts and Vice Chairman of Chinese Artists Association), Xu Li (Branch-party Secretary of Chinese Artists Association and Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Association), Zhang Shijun (Party Secretary of NAMOC), Uladzimir Prakaptsou (Director of National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus), Liu Dongyan (Director of Literature and Art Department of Art Department in the Ministry of Culture), Jiang Peng (Vice Director of Euro-Asia Department in Public Relations Bureau), Kuang Lecheng (Vice President of China Economic Information Society of the Xinhua News Agency), Shao Dazhen (Professor in Central Academy of Fine Arts and Famous Art Critic), Xi Jingzhi (Professor in Academy of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University and Famous Art Historian), Sheng Yang, Cao Chunsheng, Liu Huanzhang and Tian Shixin (professors in Central Academy of Arts and Famous Sculptors), Li Yue (Assistant President of China Economic Information Society of the Xinhua News Agency and General Manager of Xinhua Silk Road Business Division), Zhang Qing (Deputy Director of NAMOC), Yuri Laberge (Minister of Embassy in China from the Republic of Belarus), Katherine Eizatova (Exhibition Curator of “Masterpieces of National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus”) and Константин Селиханов (one of the artists of sculpture exhibition and sculptor from Belarus). An Yuanyuan, Deputy Director of NAMOC, presided over the opening ceremony.
In the opening ceremony, Director Wu Weishan, Ambassador Rudy Kiryl, Director Uladzimir Prakaptsou and Mr. Shao Dazhen delivered a speech for the exhibition successively. Director Uladzimir Prakaptsou read out the congratulations on behalf of Boris Svetlov who was the Minister of Ministry of Culture in Belarus.
On behalf of NAMOC, Director Wu Weishan expressed thanks to the guests from China and Belarus and showed sincere thanks to Belarus National Art Museum for bringing abundant and classical collections of Repin, Levitan, Shishkin and Serov to China and to share with Chinese people. He indicated that the most important thing of exchanges between countries, hometowns and people was the exchange between hearts as well as emotional interflow. It was often revealed in a certain kind of form which was taking out most important and precious collections, home treasure and national treasure to share with others. Therefore, it was the most important cultural behavior of heart exchange. In President Xi Jinping’s report in 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, he mentioned a very important content that the core of the community for constructing human destiny was “heart” which was our culture. Hosting the exhibition today was also practicing the conference spirit and was a behavior of constructing human cultural community. For this purpose, please allow me to give thanks to the strong support from Ministry of Culture of Belarus and their embassy in China.
Then Director Wu Weishan introduced that this year was the 25th anniversary of China-Belarus diplomatic relation establishment and cultural exchange cooperation between two countries developed rapidly in various ways. As an important node country in “Belt and Road” Initiative, the Republic of Belarus was one of the portals for Silk Road Economic Belt to enter Europe. Currently, under the framework of “Belt and Road” Initiative, two counties joined hands to launch broad cooperation in cultural field. Exchanges of art museums, museums and libraries between two countries were frequent for constructing profound cultural relationship and strengthening friendship among the people in two countries. Being an important achievement for practicing cooperation agreement between two art museums, this exhibition congealed genuine friendship between two art museums. Through this exhibition, we would walk into the world of Belarus art and arouse resonance in a larger scale with heart-heart exchange in art.
Ambassador Rudy Kiryl congratulated for successfully hosting the exhibition. He said, in these 25 years since China-Belarus diplomatic relation establishment, relationship development between two countries reflected a good trend and the cooperation also achieved an unprecedented high level. In recent years, cooperation in cultural field showed a new scene and we also have hosted a series of celebration activities in this year. The exhibition today was also one of the most important activities in the frame of celebrating 25th anniversary. “President Xi Jinping of PRC has the saying: remain true to our original aspiration. I think that this saying can generalize the meaning and connotation of this exhibition very well. We should not forget the tradition and history. And we must keep developing forward and continue joint effort by linking history and the present. Taking this opportunity, I want to give sincere thanks to Mr. Wu Weishan. Hope everyone gathering here could better feel the unique color and spiritual content of Belarus art.” He said.
Director Uladzimir Prakaptsou expressed sincere thanks to the sponsor and supporting departments as well as hard works of Director Wu Weishan and work team of NAMOC. He said, “Without you, this exhibition could not be so perfect.” Then he introduced that an agreement was signed on May 26th this year by ministers of Ministry of Culture from two countries. The 8th article said that two art museums would host exhibitions mutually in this and next year. Now a part of that has been finished. On May 2018, an exhibition of NAMOC would be hosted in Belarus National Art Museum. Welcome to visit Belarus in next year for attending NAMOC exhibition in Belarus National Art Museum.
Mr. Shao Dazhen has been studied in the Soviet Union. When he was studying in Repin Academy of Fine Arts, he was impressive to the painting, sculpture and block print in the Republic of Belarus. He indicated that Belarus art was an important part with national features in the art of the Soviet Union. It was a pity that few Belarus art exhibition were hosted in China in recent several decades. Therefore, it was meaningful for Masterpieces of National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus as well as the works of two sculptors. He believed that art exchange between two countries would expand ceaselessly which had great benefit for art life and artists to exchange art and skills mutually.
Belarus National Art Museum has ancient icon paintings and contemporary various styles of important art collections. Works exhibited this time span from 19th century till now and 57 masterpieces from Belarus National Art Museum are exhibited including portrait paintings, landscape painting, still life paintings and genre paintings etc. Works in various historical periods, forms and styles basically link a clear line of fine art development in Belarus.
Starting from classical Russian artists of 19th and early 20th century, the exhibition involved the works of familiar and favorite artists among Chinese audiences like Иван Николаевич Крамской, Repin, Shishkin, Levitan, Mackowski, Nesterov, БорисМихайлович Кустодиев and Serov etc.
Russian art is an important component of masterpieces in Belarus National Art Museum. It is mainly because of the deep influence of Russian art on Belarus art. In 19th century, many Belarus artists accepted artistic training in St. Petersburg (Khrutsky, Ариас грановского and Запад лива Енох анатольевича) and Moscow (Birajanizki Biluria and Zhukovski). Till 20th century, Belarus has formed excellent artist groups who not only work on artistic creation, but also dedicate in artistic teaching and artist cultivation. Lots of representative artists appear one after another including Volkov, Ahrikiki, Masennikov, Waschenk, Dentzig, Schlelienek, Gloumick and Zsoltk etc.
Director Uladzimir Prakaptsou of Belarus National Art Museum introduced that works of both older and young Belarus artists were closely related to the nation and people’s livelihood. Belarus art was also influenced by philosophical thoughts, aesthetic conceptions and various schools of the whole world now. Works of Belarus artists exhibited in “Masterpieces of National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus” were transmitting unique hue, rich spiritual world and emotional world of Belarus formative arts as well as inheritance and peculiarity of great traditions in Belarus national culture.
At present, the relationship between two countries becomes increasingly close. The main purpose of this exhibition is to give Chinese audiences a chance to appreciate classical Russian art from Belarus National Art Museum and modern symbolic Belarus artist works so as to enhance mutual understanding among people from two countries.
This exhibition is strongly supported by Ministry of Culture and Cultural Alliance in Belarus. Special thanks must go to Embassy in Belarus from PRC and Mink Chinese Culture Center.
The exhibition was presented in No. 19-21 Exhibition hall (on the fifth floor) of NAMOC and will be sustained into Dec. 17th (not open to the public on Mondays).