The number of foreign guests attending the opening ceremony of the 8th Beijing Art International Biennale (BIAB) and visiting the exhibition was the highest in a single exhibition at the National Art Museum of China. Diplomatic envoys, cultural and press officials from nearly 50 embassies in China attended the opening ceremony or visited the exhibition. Over 200 participating artists from more than 90 countries attended the opening ceremony and other activities.
It is worth mentioning that the ambassadors of Spain, New Zealand and other countries to China who missed the opening ceremony due to their busy business made a special visit to the exhibition; New Zealand, Lebanon and other embassies in China held reception specially for participating artists. Officials and representatives from the Wellington government of New Zealand, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association and other relevant foreign affairs organizations at home and abroad also made special trips to the Biennale.
Spanish ambassador to China D. Rafael Dezcallar de Mazarredo paid a special visit to the museum. The ambassador said that he not only paid close attention to and recognized the "Special Exhibition of Contemporary Art from the Kingdom of Spain to South America" set up this year, but also fully praised the entire Beijing Biennale and looked forward to more cooperation on this basis.
At 3 pm on September 2, Spanish ambassador to China D. Rafael Dezcallar de Mazarredo made a special trip to the National Art Museum of China to visit the 8th BIAB in the company of Ms. Tao Qin, the Deputy Secretary of the Leading Party Members' Group of Chinese Artists Association as well as the convener of the Beijing Biennale Organizing Committee. Accompanied by Deputy Secretary Tao, the ambassador visited the works of the “Special Exhibition of Contemporary Art from the Kingdom of Spain to South America", which embodies a distinctive Latin American style. Ms. Tao also gave a detailed explanation of the excellent works both from China and abroad that he was interested in. The ambassador had in-depth communication with the organizers, curator and two participating artists who explained their creation philosophy and the background of their own work to the ambassador.
Artist Arturo Berned Luque is introducing his work to the Spanish Ambassador
Spanish sculpture "Head XVII 207c32", by Arturo Berned Luque, is a reinterpretation of shape, space and metal materials. The artist conceived his idea based on geometric figures that feature mathematic rules and symbolic meaning, and finally presented the sculpture in golden ratio. Moving from one place to another, you’ll find a different shape and color of this work, which shows great philosophical significance.
The Spanish oil painting “Celestial Fights" is the work of Alberto Reguera. The blue color is gradually diffusing in the simple picture and the vague shapes are like unknown celestial bodies, forming a quite intriguing atmosphere. The abstract style of the work is very unique. It is not a simple accumulation of colors, but an interpretation of the artist’s spirituality. It shows the picturesque landscape of Chinese painting, the combination of 2D and 3D, and the three-dimensional effect of texture with abstract painting language.
The New Zealand Ambassador to China visited the Beijing Biennale
The New Zealand ambassador said that with the support of the Beijing Biennale Organizing Committee, “The Special Exhibition of Contemporary Art of New Zealand” was very successful. It would be of great help to promote the contemporary art of New Zealand through the international platform of BIAB.
On the morning of September 12, New Zealand Ambassador to China Ms. Clare Fearnley used her vacation time to visit the BIAB with her family. Deputy Secretary Tao Qin met with them in the New Zealand Special Exhibition Hall. They appreciated the works of the theme exhibition and the New Zealand Special Exhibition together. Ambassador Clare Fearnley is very familiar with the curator of the special exhibition, Ms. Linda Rose Tyler, and many participating artists. She was very interested in almost every work of the New Zealand Special Exhibition and stopped from time to time to observe and appreciate them.
New Zealand is a beautiful island country in the Pacific Ocean. People living here are from diverse ethnic groups. There are Maori indigenous peoples who lived here more than 1,000 years ago - the land featuring long white clouds is their sweet home. There are also European ethnic groups who came to seek a new lifestyle after the industrial revolution. There have also been a large number of Asian immigrants to this region against the backdrop of globalization for nearly a century.
The 32 works on display at this New Zealand Special Exhibition shows the country’s cultural diversity. The artists mainly include three sections: Aboriginal Maori, European New Zealand artists and Asian New Zealand artists. The types of works range from painting to sculpture and installation, expressed in an abstract, concrete, or realistic way with rich content and strong artistry. Ambassador Clare Fearnley praised these works again and again, and thanked the Beijing Biennale Organizing Committee for its strong support, which enabled New Zealand contemporary art to be displayed on the international platform of the Beijing Biennale. Deputy Secretary Tao Qin said that with the platform of BIAB, New Zealand's contemporary art has expanded its international influence and become better known to the world. Ambassador Clare Fearnley agreed with this and once again expressed warm congratulations on the success of the Beijing Biennale. Later, Ambassador Fearnley and her family watched other exhibits of the Beijing Biennale.
The Lebanese Ambassador to China Milia Jabbour held a reception for the artists
On the morning of September 12, Ms. Katie Taylor Duke, senior art consultant of Wellington, New Zealand, also made a special trip to watch the exhibition. Two representative works provided by Wellington City were also presented at the New Zealand Special Exhibition. One of the works, Plan Nine, was created by Kerry Ann Lee, a Chinese New Zealander. She explored the identity and diverse cultural forms in an interesting way and created expressive works that reflect the society. Ms. Katie Duke gave high praise of the work and Deputy Secretary Tao Qin gave a detailed introduction. Later, they had a fruitful dialogue on future cooperation. Ms. Tao mentioned that the Beijing Biennale is held every two years, and the Chinese Artists Association promotes the works of outstanding Chinese artists around the world every year when it goes abroad. She hoped that the Beijing Biennale and other platforms like "Art and Peace" and "China Art World Tour" could serve as the bridge for two sides to have long-term exchanges and cooperation.
Ms. Katie Taylor Duke said that she felt very lucky seeing Wellington government's collection on display at the Beijing Biennale, and also hoped that the works of 2021 "Chinese Art's Trip to the World” would be displayed in Wellington. She would take care of the matter and help contact the appropriate exhibition venue after returning her country. She also mentioned that Wellington and Canberra are twin cities, so she would actively explore the possibility of Chinese works displaying in the two cities. Deputy Secretary Tao Qin agreed with Ms. Katie Taylor Duke’s proposal to establish an art exchange mechanism in Beijing, Wellington and Canberra, and also showed the courtesy, model and achievements of exhibitions held by the Chinese Artists Association in Denmark, Czech Republic and other places. Both sides agreed to push forward the exhibition of Chinese works in New Zealand in 2021 as soon as possible. The meeting was relaxing, pleasant and fruitful, laying a good foundation for further cooperation between the two sides.
Ms. Tao Qin accompanied the delegation from the Wellington government of New Zealand to visit the exhibition
On the morning of September 17, the president of Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries Ms. Li Xiaolin, delegation of Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association headed by Director of Goto Sumio Museum of Art, Hiroko Goto, as well as the organizer of the New Zealand Special Exhibition visited the 8th BIAB. Deputy Secretary Ms. Tao Qin accompanied President Ms. Li Xiaolin and foreign guests throughout their visits and gave rich, vivid explanations to the works. During the spare time, she received an exclusive interview from Global Times.
President Li Xiaolin and Deputy Secretary Tao Qin exchanged ideas with the delegation of Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association. President Li praised the long-standing cultural exchanges between China and Japan. Ms. Tao said that she would always maintain good and frequent interaction and cooperation with Japanese-Chinese Cultural Exchange Association. For each and every year, the Beijing Biennale Organizing Committee recommends outstanding Japanese artists to participate the exhibition. This time, the Japanese delegation’s visit exactly shows the results of exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. Hiroko Goto, head of the Japanese-Chinese delegation, thanked President Li Xiaolin and Deputy Secretary Tao Qin for their attention to the cultural exchange between China and Japan. One representative of the delegation, Mr. Hiroshi Negoro, expressed his heartfelt admiration that the Beijing Biennale is the best contemporary art exhibition he has ever seen. Later, President Li Xiaolin visited “The Special Exhibition of Contemporary Art of New Zealand” with the company of Deputy Secretary Tao. He had a close conversation with the organizers of the special exhibition and representatives of New Zealand artists, gaining a better understand of the current art situation and artistic characteristics of New Zealand. He praised the distinctive national characteristics and rich, unique works of the New Zealand Special Exhibition. Since President Li likes painting very much, he was overjoyed to see those works from more than 110 countries all over the world come together. At last, President Li Xiaolin fully praised the scale, artistic value as well as the rich content of the works of Beijing Biennale.
The wonderful 8th BIAB has not yet come to an end, but the prelude of the 9th BIAB featuring international cooperation and exchange has already started. The next Beijing Biennale is planned to be held from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2022. Since Beijing will host the Winter Olympics in 2022, we hope the BIAB will connect with the Olympics again. We look forward to more international friends gathering in Beijing Biennale, sharing thoughts of art and enjoying themselves for the combination of strength and beauty.