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CGTN: Art Archive: Largest-ever record of ancient Chinese paintings on display in southwest China
Published: October 15, 2021 22:59 By Nicole Ng    浏览:

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A sixteen-year long project to collect and tabulate ancient Chinese paintings from around the world is on display in China's southwest. CGTN's Nicole Ng visited the exhibition to learn more.

Two thousand years and ten dynasties. Ancient Chinese painting is a broad term for works diverse in style and substance. Until now researchers knew only fragments of this long history. But an over-a-decade long project involving hundreds of experts and museums has brought about the most complete art archive ever for this period.

NICOLE NG Chongqing "There are 240 of these volumes full of art in this collection. So it would take a long time to go through them all. But this special exhibition is bringing the highlights to the public. Chongqing is the first stop in a nationwide tour."

It's a chance for the public to get up close and personal with works usually preserved behind thick glass.

PROFESSOR JIAO XINGTAO Vice President, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute "Visitors can get so close their noses touch the picture. They can see every plant and tree, every stroke and detail. This will help deepen our learning and connection with traditional culture. That's why this digital transformation is significant."

The professor says it can also deepen our understanding of how artists may have influenced each other. These two works for example are near identical, but had always been an ocean apart. One in the US, and one in China.

PROFESSOR JIAO XINGTAO Vice President, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute "If you look at this, you'll find there are very interesting, very revealing artistic elements including changes in technique. It gives us more background into the artist and the changing attitudes and views of the time."

The exhibition is attracting students, art lovers and the culturally curious. We asked a few what their impressions are so far.

"This exhibition for students like us, well, when you only look at books, there's no connection."

"It's a fine exhibition. There is a lot worth learning about."

"I'm discovering that our ancient art there's a lot of depth and it's reached many heights."

Ancient works brought back together reigniting interest and posing questions about how much we really know. Nicole Ng, CGTN.


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