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03 September - 17 October 2007
St Michael’s (Engineers) Castle

The Russian Museum within the framework of the Year of China in Russia opens the exposition of Chinese art consisting of two exhibitions in the rooms of the St Michael’s (Engineers) Castle on September 3, 2007. Art of Chinese Print. Carved Print by Li Lanqing Alongside with painting, calligraphy and poetry, the carved print is traditionally considered one of the four unique Chinese arts, which constitute the cultural heritage of the country. The red Chinese imprint is not simply a signature or a sign, but an object of aesthetic contemplation. The exhibition includes works by Li Lanqing, created from 2003 to April 2007. Preserving traditions of Chinese carved print the author uses new daring and original creative ideas. Due to the elegant "design" of hieroglyphs, excellent composition of the image and the skillful use of carving methods, each work acquires its own original artistic beauty. The works created under the influence of Russian music and literature take a special place in the exposition. They reflect the profound emotional experience of the author and his sincere love for the Russian culture. Li Lanqing is the former Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, the former Mayor of Tianjing Municipality and Minister for Foreign Economic Relations and Trade. As the Head of the Russian-Chinese Committee for Cooperation in the Field of Economics and Trade and of the Russian-Chinese Committee for Cooperation in the Field of Education, Culture, Sport and Health Protection, Li Lanqing contributed much to the strengthening of friendship and cooperation between China and Russia. Now he is the Head of the Foundation of Development of Education in China and the Foundation of Management Encouragement of the Fudan University. Open Chinese Art The visitors will see the exposition of forty-three paintings by thirty-nine modern Chinese artists. All the works for the exhibition are from the collection of the China National Museum of Arts and are lent by the People’s Republic of China with the aim to choose the works in accordance with the idea of the exhibition to show the Chinese painting from 1978 to 2006. The historic period, from which the works of the exhibition are dated, is the most crucial for the People’s Republic of China: in 1978 Deng Xiaoping set China on the way of "reforms and openness". The exposition consists of three sections: "Heart of the Homeland", "Spirit of the East", "Impressions of the New Age". One of the curators of the exhibition Yi E, deputy head of the scientific department of the China National Museum of Arts, considers that these sections topically accentuate the main courses of creative search in the after-reform Chinese painting. The first section, dedicated to the "realism of the homeland", demonstrates art that calls upon to reconsider the results of the Cultural Revolution and strives for enlightenment and awakening of humanity. The artists, who are attracted by various creative manners from academic painting to photo-realism, represent this school. The "Spirit of the East" section presents the paintings that became an answer to the Western modernism and various influences of Euro-American art upon Chinese culture of the twentieth century. Here ideas and methods of Western European painting reproduce the spirit of Chinese culture and Eastern mentality. Deliberate tendency to reproduce the spirit of the East testifies not only to the respect Chinese artists have for the original sources of creative work, but also to the fact that in the field of artistic language they got free from Western influence and seriously think of the fate of their art in global environment. The works of the "Impressions of the New Age" section reflect changes in the Chinese society connected with the quick development of urbanization. Artists of several generations and of various social statuses are the exponents of the exhibition. There are patriarchs of Chinese painting of the twentieth century such as Jin Shanyi (born 1934), permanent member of the People’s Political Advisory Board, deputy head of the All-China Union of Literati, student of the artist K. Maximov in the 1950s; Zhan Tianjun (born 1931), head of the All-China Society of Oil Painting and a student of Maximov too. There are also free artists such as Fan Lijun (born 1963), Xu Xiaoyan (born 1960), Zeng Fanzhi (born 1964), Zeng Hao (born 1963), Yin Qi, who lives both in Beijing and Paris (born 1962). The exhibition is held in collaboration with the Federal Agency on Culture and Cinematography of Russian Federation, the State Museum and Exhibition Center "ROSIZO" and the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.