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China Central Academy of Fine Arts Exhibit

October 3, 2013

CAFAAn exhibition of contemporary art by top graduates from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), China’s premier art academy, will make its U.S. debut at our Leonard Pearlstein Gallery in the URBN Center Annex (3401 Filbert St.) from Friday, Oct. 4 through Friday, Nov. 22. An opening reception will be held in the gallery on Oct. 4, beginning at 5 p.m., and will include CAFA dignitaries Mr. Wang Min, dean of CAFA’s School of Design, and Wang Huangsheng, director of the CAFA Art Museum.

The exhibition, “The Start of a Long Journey,” features paintings, prints, sculptures and video installations from 20 of the prestigious and highly exclusive academy’s most talented recent graduates, called “the cream of China’s aspiring artists” by The New York Times in a recent feature on the Beijing opening of the show. The featured works showcase emerging Chinese culture and reflect the distinguished level of fine arts education in China.  

“Since its founding 95 years ago, CAFA has built an extensive collection of the outstanding works of its alumni,” said CAFA Vice President Xu Bing, an artist and MacArthur Fellowship recipient. “The collection has become an integral part of the history of fine arts education in China. We are honored to present CAFA graduates’ excellent work at Drexel and introduce them to audiences in the United States.”

CAFA describes the pieces in the exhibition as critical assessments of the previous era of Chinese art, which were shaped by the intellectual trends during the Cold War period as well as traditional Chinese wisdom.

Highlights include: “Adding and Subtracting,” a sculpture of books and texts by Wu Wer; “The Landscape in Mist, Fibonacci Mountain,” a multi-dimensional work combining gouache paper, pencil drawings and video by Ye Qiuyang; and Zhang Yifan’s “the Elephant Series" of digital print-making, acrylic and laser-cutting works.

“CAFA is widely recognized as the most respected academy of Chinese fine arts,” said Dr. Joseph Gregory, head of the Department of Art & Art History in the Westphal College. “A great many of China’s leading contemporary artists have, in fact, graduated from CAFA. For this reason, we are thrilled to have been chosen as the only American venue to show this new work. We hope this exhibition will become a platform for future cooperation and exchange between the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and Drexel University.”