On the morning of December 14, 2017, co-sponsored by the Chinese Artists Association and Capital Normal University, “the First National Fine Arts Exhibition of College Students” raised the curtain in National Art Museum of China (NAMOC).
This exhibition received a total of 7,075 works submitted from various arts colleges and universities all over the country, including 2,350 Chinese paintings, 2,693 oil paintings, 1,132 watercolor paintings and 900 woodblock paintings, which were entirely created by junior college students, undergraduates, master students and doctoral students. 301 works were shortlisted, including 96 Chinese paintings, 103 oil paintings, 51 woodblock paintings and 51 watercolor paintings.
It could be seen from the exhibition site, in addition to colleges of fine arts, schools of arts and the co-host Capital Normal University, regional comprehensive universities, science and engineering universities and normal universities accounted for about 30%-40% of shortlisted works on exhibit. The artistic expressions and artistic perspectives of art majors from these higher education institutions were quite different from those of specialized universities. They faced up to the common artistic problems and came up with different solutions. Whether they manifested social reality or reflected on their own self-consciousness, they gave full play to traditional proficient skills, and pioneered the frontiers in the different fields of thinking. More young students enjoyed display space thanks to this exhibition. Teaching modes of different universities and the collision of ideas were of inspiring significance.
This exhibition also introduced some suggestions, made by the jury of college teachers, for young students. Yu Xiaodong, a professor at Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, commented so: “There are three aspects that need to be emphasized. Firstly, the foundation must be laid. The youthful period is the best time to lay a solid foundation. Secondly, vision should be broad. We must not only take a close look at the present, but also recall the past, review the the history of mankind and the culture that arose in the meantime, and then think deeply. Thirdly, students must make clear what they are interested in, and then keep going”. According to Sun Zhijun, a professor at College of Fine Arts, Capital Normal University, in university campus, all students must lose no time to study hard, uphold independent artistic attitude, and never blindly follow the trend. According to Liu Jin’an, also a professor at College of Fine Arts, Capital Normal University, this exhibition will have the greater significance beyond expectation. As revealed in appraisal process, more practices should be put into cultivation mode of art majors in universities fundamentally.
“National Fine Arts Exhibition of College Students” marked a successful collaboration between the Chinese Artists Association and Capital Normal University. It not only unfolded a panoramic scroll for the overall mindset and creative features of the nationwide art majors, but also took a holistic view of current youth art creation. At the same time, it provided a model for research and reflection on art education and personnel training in colleges and universities.
“National Fine Arts Exhibition of College Students” was the first national-class exhibition with focus on college students’ art achievements, which was aimed to inspire more young students’ creative enthusiasm and creative potential, find promising young art talents, and encourage them to constantly improve their own artistic skills and moral accomplishments, roll out the truly stirring masterpieces to echo with the evolutions of the times and give new calls of the times, and make their own contribution to achieving the prosperity of the Chinese culture and realizing China Dream for Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.
With this exhibition as a good start, “National Fine Arts Exhibition of College Students” becomes a national exhibition held every three years by the China Artists Association. It is dedicated to selecting nationwide excellent college students' artworks, building a platform to foster high-quality, high-level outstanding art talents with strong cultural self-confidence, and providing strong support and guarantee.
On the afternoon of December 14, 2017, “Symposium on Art Creation Research and Advanced Art Education in the New Era” was held in Capital Normal University. Experts and scholars from Tsinghua University, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Chinese National Academy of Arts and other national-class art universities conducted extensive and in-depth exchanges upon evaluation criteria for college students’ art creation in the new era, teaching methods of higher art education in the new era, college students’ international perspective and cultural self-confidence for art creation in the new era and college students’ art creation topics in the big data context.