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MOMA Dubrovnik: Enjoy the ‘Enthusiasm for Ink Wash Painting’

Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik hosts the amazing exhibition ‘ENTHUSIASM FOR INK WASH PAINTING — CNAP Ink Wash Painting Art Exhibition’ until September 22, 2019. The coordinators are China National Academy of Painting: Nan Zhang, and from Croatia Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik: Jelena Tamindžija, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia: Iva Hraste Sočo, Iva Mostarčić, Romana Brajša.

Inside the exhibition Enthusiasm for Ink Wash Painting, contemporary ink wash paintings explore the culture obligations and emotional commitments required for creating the value system of Chinese ink wash painting. The works balance both a solid traditional, cultural basis with distinctive contemporary characteristics. Coming into form under the influence of a strict Chinese ink wash value system and the backdrop of globalization, this exhibition aims to display the intricacies of ink wash painting as unique to the medium. Ink wash painting is capable of portraying the reality of daily life while understanding the spiritual endurance of contemporary people, continually acknowledging the role of art in building human civilizations.

Embodying Chinese history and culture while reflecting the painter’s personal experience, the freehand brushwork central to ink wash painting allows great attention towards an individual’s own spiritual feelings. During the century-long development of the form, the characteristic of focusing on the aesthetic standards of traditional scholars was developed alongside the independent language system that integrated poetry, calligraphy, painting and seals art. 100 years ago marked the New Culture Movement beginning the modernization of Chinese culture, with ink wash painting witnessing significant transformation in concept, form, and language. Now, following the 40-year reform and opening up, present Chinese ink wash painting displays diverse values and artistic forms.

Exhibited here are the latest ink wash paintings created by artists from the CNAP. Closely related to traditional Chinese ink wash painting, these pieces are characterized by their diverse aesthetic standards and language forms, displaying the artistic freedom and energetic personalities of contemporary artists. Nature works showing mountains, waters, flowers, and birds express concerns for humanity, while figure paintings portraying the living environment examine the spiritual condition of the modern civilization. The paintings seek to convey the independent value system of contemporary artists, and their unique ideas regarding political and cultural issues. The globalization and localization, spiritual and linguistic issues, are all held under the present cultural backdrop.

In this smaller collection of paintings, the diversity of art forms allows the condition of contemporary Chinese ink wash painting to be displayed comprehensively. From these paintings, it is evident that the traditional ink wash painting has been revitalized by contemporary artists. The form has become an essential carrier of people’s concern for humanity, showing the characteristics and spiritual connotations of Chinese culture through its own unique value system.

Far from China – the cradle of ink wash painting – we hold the exhibition in Europe with the aim of helping European people to develop their understanding of Chinese ink wash painting. They can feel the charm of Chinese art, and acknowledge the thought-provoking wisdom that the works embody hoping that this exhibition will both promote cultural exchanges, and become a bridge for mutual cultural learning and interconnectivity between our people.

Photos by Hrvoje Curić for DuList, Miho Skvrce for MOMA Dubrovnik