East and West: Co-exist for Each Other
Source:Artintern.net Author:Dr. Gao Yi Date: 2013-09-06 Size:
The history of Chinese art is primarily a history of absorbing foreign cultures with an open mind. Today, for traditional Chinese art

The history of Chinese art is primarily a history of absorbing foreign cultures with an open mind. Today, for traditional Chinese art, we should appreciate those works of the ancients from an artist’s perspective, and try to understand their thoughts and predicaments by spiritual communication and meditation. In fact, this is a natural way for the ancient people. So when appreciating traditional Chinese art, we must first be able to be in the same sentiment of the ancients in order to understand their hardship in representing their sentiment. At the same time, today when we learn from tradition, we would not just concern with the technical aspects, but should understand the historical origin of the technology or representational way. More importantly, we need to find the thing that we call representation today in contemporary Chinese art in the traditional Chinese spirit.

At the same time, contemporary Western artists are more interested in people's life situation by analyzing and representing the causes for social problems through their works by appropriate artistic form. Today, contemporary art has actually become a visual way for the artists to express their ideas or thoughts. Although some ideas or thoughts have been expressed in traditional Western art, we must admit that it has never been so prominent. In other words, narration or visual representation of a literature is no longer the main stream of art with the development of society and technology, especially information technology. Contemporary Art has changed from being appreciated to an active expression of concepts, which involves an astonishing transformation: that is, art has become a kind of life experience and the artists can use any appropriate medium to express their sentiments.

In the age we live today, cultural differences still exist. However, ultimately speaking, human nature is the same. Using too many labels of East and West to distinguish works in culture and art will mislead both oneself and the others. Especially for academic research, in the development of the Eastern and Western art history, the fact is that they always have mutual influence and we can even say that they co-exist for each other.

This exhibition is an echo for the one titled Inverse Conversation curated by Dr. Claudia Brown, professor of art history at Arizona State University on show at ASU last February. Works by eighteen students and professors from both ASU and Renmin University were there for the exhibition. The exhibition is now staged in Beijing, and we are very pleased to see that more professors and students from both universities have joined us. Although only about fifty works are on display, which cannot show the whole picture of contemporary art in the two countries, we can still explore the situation of today's art together by trying to understand each other's creative ideas and in the meanwhile, strengthen our friendship through this exhibition.

[Editor] 纪晓棠