Colour of West China Seminar

On 12 September 2015, the Confucius Institute at UNSW Australia hosted two renowned artists of Chinese Western-style artwork.

On 12 September 2015, the Confucius Institute at UNSW Australia hosted two renowned artists of Chinese Western-style artwork, Changjiang WU and Xixin ZHANG, at a seminar on the specifics of this unique art style, where they shared their experiences of working with one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures.

Facilitated by Laurie Pearcey, Director, International Strategy (Greater China and India) and Director, Confucius Institute at UNSW Australia, this seminar was part of the “Experience China – Cultural Exploration of West China” exhibition which was opened at a special ceremony immediately prior to the seminar. The exhibition is a window for Australian people to understand the diversity of China’s culture and traditions.

Professor Changjiang WU is the Deputy Chair of the China Artists Association and is a Professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). He specialises in pencil sketching, watercolour and printmaking and has visited Tibet more than 30 times to paint award-winning landscapes that capture life on the plateaus. Some of his most famous works include “After the Snow” and “Two Tibetan Children”. Professor Wu has held over 30 solo exhibitions in Spain, Japan and China and his works have won outstanding awards, including the Jury Award for the Norwegian International Print Exhibition. His works feature at a range of prestigious galleries around the world including at China’s National Art Museum, the British Museum and Belgium’s Antwerp Museum to name but a few.

Xixin ZHANG (Tibetan name: Pama Tashi) is a native of Tibet and belongs to the Nakhi ethnic group. Xixin is currently the Vice-President of the Tibetan Artists Association and Deputy Director of the Tibetan Painting and Calligraphy Institution. A locally and internationally renowned Tibetan artist, his painting “Summit of the Goddess” received the Gold Medal award at the Second Canadian International Exhibition of Ink Painting, as well as the Tibetan Mount Everest Creative Art award. From 1990 he has held three exhibitions in Paris, and has also held solo and combined exhibitions all over the world, including Malaysia, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Nepal, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau. His paintings have been highly recognised by professionals and audiences around the world, and many of his paintings have been collected by both national and international art organisations.



Professor Wu (left) and Mr Zhang (right) with Chinese Director A/Prof Junfang Xi

During the seminar Professor Wu and Mr Zhang discussed the future of Chinese art and how to develop a global audience and appreciation. The two prominent artists acknowledged that there are several challenges to achieving such a goal, but reinforced that it is a realistic one worth striving for.

They also talked at length about the celebrated Tibetan painting tradition known as ‘Thangka’.  Thangka usually depicts a Buddhist deity and is generally painted on cotton or silk, and continue to serve as important teaching tools depicting the life of the Buddha.

The VIP attendees consisted of various high-profile Chinese artists educators and businesspeople, including Jin Xing, General Manager, Confucius Institute at University of Sydney; Yan Feng, Chinese Director, Confucius Institute at University of Sydney; Wu Yun, President, Australian Chinese Calligraphy Association; celebrated artist Jiawei Shen.

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