Colored sculpture in China: Innovating, passing on tradition

chinadaily.com.cn
Updated: Sept 25, 2018

Huan Niangby Zhang Chang [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]

The invitational exhibition Colored Sculpture in China was held in Beijing on Sept 22.

The exhibition was one of the largest of its kind, gathering more than 200 artworks from across the nation. Exhibits include representative pieces from inheritors of colored sculpture and highly rated works from students at art schools, representing different cultural styles.

In China, colored sculpture not only influences areas of folk art, but is becoming accepted by more academics, artists and professional scholars.

The exhibition was co-organized by the Museum of Chinese Garden and Landscape Architecture and the Colored Sculpture Committee of Chinese Folk Literature and Art Association and co-hosted by several institutions, including the Arts and Design Academy at Beijing University of Technology.

A colored sculpture is shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]

Zhang Chang, a fourth-generation inheritor of Zhang-style clay figurine making, said: "The times are changing, and people's tastes are also evolving. I think inheritance is not about keeping the traditional arts as is, but creating and innovating on the basis of passing on our excellent tradition."

Colored sculptures by Zhang, including the piece Huan Niang, are being shown at the exhibition.

Zou Feng, vice-president of the Art and Design Academy of Beijing University of Technology, said: "This exhibition pulled modern colored sculpture and general audiences closer, to let people understand the art form with more firsthand sensational recognition. We can say this exhibition created an effective link among traditional arts and crafts, modern life and the society."

Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]

Furthermore, Zou revealed colored sculpture has already been included in the curriculum at Beijing University of Technology.

"Very few schools still offer colored sculpture as a major by itself. But our teachers and folk artists are all trying very hard to keep and pass on this traditional craft," said Huang Tao, secretary of the Party committee at Beijing University of Technology. To that end, he suggested including colored sculpture in introductory courses at art institutions.

Duration: Sept 22, 2018 - Jan 6, 2019

Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
A colored sculpture is shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
A colored sculpture is shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
A colored sculpture is shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
A child looks at colored sculpture shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]
Colored sculptures are shown at the exhibition. [Photo by Feng Minghui/China Daily]