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Location:Hall of Literary Brilliance (Wenhua dian)
Dates: 2021-07-13 through 2021-08-12
On 12 July 2021, “Beautiful China: The Art of Liu Rendao” opened at the Hall of Literary Brilliance (Wenhua dian) in the Palace Museum. The exhibition is jointly organized by the Palace Museum, China Artists Association, Tsinghua University Academy of Arts & Design, Cultural Relics Society of China, and China International Culture Communication Center with academic direction by Professor Lu Xiaobo, dean of Tsinghua University Academy of Arts & Design and vice-chair of China Artists Association. Also present at the opening ceremony was Wang Xudong, member of the leading Party group of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the director of the Palace Museum; Du Haijiang, the Palace Museum Party secretary and deputy-director; Wang Yuegong, deputy-director of the Palace Museum; Shan Jixiang, director of the Cultural Relics Society of China and former director of the Palace Museum; Tao Qin, deputy-secretary of the sub-Party group of the China Artists Association; Lu Xiaobo, dean of Tsinghua University Academy of Arts & Design; and Zhang Qiujian, deputy-secretary of the Subcommittee of Education, Science, Culture, Health, and Sports of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
The exhibition’s aim is to implement the spirit of the talk on literary and artistic work by President Xi Jinping, present a gift for the centennial of the founding of the Communist Party of China, express the artist’s love and praise for his homeland, keep pace with the times, and convey the sincere emotions of the Chinese people. With the theme “Beautiful China”, the exhibition places the traditional Chinese paintings of Liu Rendao (b. 1964) at the core and concentrates his more than thirty years of fieldwork-driven creativity with displays of over 200 works of traditional Chinese painting, lacquer painting, calligraphy, jade carving, ceramics, and documents. These works of various periods and genres demonstrate his view of art and artistic achievements in a multidimensional way.
The exhibition also presents Liu Rendao’s quintessential painting Limitless Vista of Floating Clouds above Misty Mountains (Fuyun shan’ai mangcangcang). The work was taken on a five-day journey to space aboard the spacecraft Shenzhou 6 in 2005, making it the first ever traditional Chinese painting taken into space. The display of this work promotes the spirit of the extraordinary heroism of China’s aeronautics and astronautics program, spreads astronautic culture and art, and encourages more youth to love and yearn for careers in air and space industries and related cultural and artistic ventures.
Having been nurtured by China’s outstanding traditional culture, Liu Rendao edited Comprehensive Views of Famous Paintings (Minghua guanzhi), Famous Paintings in the Imperial Collections of Successive Dynasties (Lidai huangdi yucang dianping minghua), and other works in the 1990s. Works such as Myriad Things of Island Life (Daosheng wanwu), Why Search for Immortals at Penglai Island? (Xunxian hebi Penglai dao), Immortal Realm in the Mortal World (Renjian xianjing), and The Passion of Countless Layers of Mountains (Wanchong dashan qing) demonstrate his understanding of traditional Chinese painting and combine traditional Chinese and Western artistic elements in organic creativity to form an art style with a contemporary feel and strong aura of life.
The Palace Museum preserves an immense collection of the finest historical and cultural artifacts and has, from the beginning, observed the vigorous development of contemporary art and proactively provided an exhibition platform for contemporary artists. These outstanding works of contemporary art that reflect social trends and emit the aura of a New Era infuse the ancient Forbidden City with youthfulness. The New Era also gives the Palace Museum a new mission. In the future, the Palace Museum will continually expand cooperation and interaction with the contemporary art scene and advance the construction of the “Vibrant Palace Museum” system with a tolerant demeanor in the practical application of the Chinese value “everything being nourished without mutual harm, concurrent paths without offense”. Bolstering the influence of China’s excellent traditional culture as represented by the Palace Museum on the contemporary world, these efforts will inspire limitless creativity in this New Era. As the public is provided avenues to appreciate the glorious achievements of China’s ancient art, they will also have an opportunity to enjoy fine works of the current age.
Notice on Reservations
“Beautiful China: The Art of Liu Rendao” is on view in the Hall of Literary Brilliance (Wenhua dian) in the Forbidden City from 13 July – 12 August 2021. Apart from the general admission ticket to the Forbidden City, no additional ticket is sold for the exhibition. In light of current epidemic prevention and control requirements, and in accordance with regulations requiring reservations, limiting the number of daily visitors, and setting visiting-time intervals, the exhibition requires advance reservations. The daily quota is 3,000 visitors; reservations close once the quota is reached.
Visitors may make reservations via the Palace Museum’s online ticketing service (https://gugong.ktmtech.cn/) or the Palace Museum’s official WeChat account by real-name registration with a second-generation ID card (for Chinese residents) or passport (for foreigners). At the entrance, visitors may also scan a QR code for on-site reservations. When entering, each visitor must present the ID card or passport used at the time of reservation.
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu