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2014 Suzhou Jinji Lake Biennale Opens Dialogue About Suzhou Industrial Park and Art

May 23, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

The 2014 Suzhou Jinji Lake Biennale opened on the morning of May 16 at Ligongdi in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), where sculptures by nearly 100 young artists from all over China were on display, sparking dialogue between art and life.

The event will last from May 16 to June 15.

The 2014 Suzhou Jinji Lake Biennale represents SIP's cultural achievements over the past 20 years

The 2014 Suzhou Jinji Lake Biennale represents SIP’s cultural achievements over the past 20 years

As an artistic gala event created by SIP for all people, the inaugural Suzhou Jinji Lake Biennale was successfully held in 2012. Co-hosted by Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee and the Institute of Sculpture at Chinese National Academy of Arts, and organized by Harmony Group and the SIP Federation of Literary and Art Circles, this year’s biennale is themed, “Impressions of Jiangnan, Dreams in the Water Towns,” where a series of contemporary youth-oriented events will be held around the scenic lake and river district.

An exhibition of contemporary art, unprecedented in size and scope

At the main venue, common materials such as copper, stone and stainless steel have been transformed by the hands of artists into many varied shapes, alternatively humorous and thought-provoking. Some of the works portray picturesque scenes of Jiangnan, the strikingly beautiful area on the southern side of the Yangtze River, while others are modernistic renderings of famous historical figures. This year’s event encompasses a wide range of artistic disciplines — sculpture, painting, photography, visual design, and applied arts — incorporating popular elements emblematic of the culture of today while preserving those of traditional culture. Among the artists involved in the exhibit are both veteran inheritors of civil art and newly emerging artists and curators born after 1980.

The themed sculpture exhibition features Wu Weishan, chief planner of the event and dean of the Institute of Sculpture at the Chinese National Academy of Arts, and gathers more than 80 works by young sculptors who are representative of the contemporary sculpture community. Most of the displayed works are recent creations, while some are representative of Suzhou, embodying the artist’s understanding of Jiangnan’s unique regional characteristics. As students of Western realism and inheritors of the Chinese freehand style, these young sculptors are more focused on the daily lives of the common people, highlighting the spirit of the new times, while embodying both artistic traditions and innovation from their own perspectives.

Experiencing cultural vitality at the park during a leisurely walk

By leveraging both Suzhou’s cultural resources, as well as the city’s recent achievements, the biennale is a starting point for SIP’s achievements in the domain of cultural development over the past 20 years. Commenting on the theme of “Impressions of Jiangnan, Dreams in the Water Towns,” Mr. Wu said, “Suzhou is home to a centuries-old traditional culture. Embroidery, Pingtan and Kunqu Opera are all part of this valuable cultural wealth. Suzhou is also closely linked to water, and the water town culture dominates that of the city. Materials, spirit and water town inspire the theme of this year’s event. The biennale poetizes the city’s natural and human habitat via art, and, through the medium of art, provides a poetic picture of the Jiangnan lake and river district on the south side of the Yangzte River.”

Chairman of Suzhou Industrial Park Yang Zhiping stated, “We will grow the biennale into a SIP-focused, Wu culture-based, internationally influential artistic and cultural event in which all participants are actively involved.”

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