'The Collection of Oil Paintings by Contemporary Chinese Students’
JOHANNES STEGMANN ART GALLERY
UNIVERSITY OF THE FREE STATE
The Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery of the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein and the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA), in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, will be hosting an exhibition of an exquisite Chinese State Collection ‘Oil paintings by Contemporary Chinese Students’, funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
According to Chinese authorities, the first oil painting was introduced to China in 1579, when Western missionaries arrived there to spread Christianity. They not only brought paintings reflecting scenes of Christ and Christianity, but also sowed the seeds of oil painting in China. Over four hundred years, Chinese oil painting has been faced by turbulent times and conflicts between the native culture and foreign trends of thought, and stood up to the social transformation and historical changes. Comparing to the past, contemporary Chinese oil painting has been localised and has become a prominent part in oil painting circles around the world.
It may not be easy to comprehend the past, present and future development of the arts of a particular nation, judged over a rather limited period. However, an exhibition of paintings by graduates from the academies of fine arts may provide a fairly trusted vehicle to arrive at that end. Creations of these graduates reflect the transition as well as future development of the arts in their country. As the works of art of art graduates display the quality of art education in their country, they also, to some extent, prove the country’s accomplishments and consolidate its position in the global realm or art. For an individual artist, his/her graduation works are not only the first major expression of his/her creativity but also an explosive manifestation of personal talent. More often than not, those works become masterpieces and even help in building his/her reputation as an artist, attracting the attention of both critics and collectors.
‘The Collection of Oil Paintings by Contemporary Chinese Students’ is organised for this purpose. It consists of 60 excellent pieces by talented graduates from the prestigious academies of fine arts in China, created during the past two years. Some of these outstanding young artists are most likely to become the future leaders of the art world in China. In this regard, this exhibition provides a glimpse of the prospects and future development of oil painting in the People’s Republic of China.
The exhibition will be on show at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, Sasol Library, University of the Free State from the 19th of April to 11th of May. Gallery hours: Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 16:30. For more information please contact the gallery at 051 401 2706.
The exhibition is funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). NLDTF relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery. The Lotteries Act and regulations guide the way in which NLDTF funding may be allocated. The NLDTF wants the grants to make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable, and to improve the sustainability of the beneficiary organisations. Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLDTF contributes to South Africa’s development.