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China Daily Global / 2021-06 / 11 / Page015

Colorful narration of CPC history

By ZHANG KUN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-06-11 00:00

A group of Shanghai artists visited Yan'an in Shaanxi province last September to experience the unique landscape of northwestern China and learn about the early history of the Communist Party of China.

Later in December, Yan'an artists traveled to Shanghai and visited historical CPC sites. The Shanghai International Cultural Exchange Association, which initiated the exchange visits, then put together the artworks created from these tours in the exhibition From Shikumen to Pagoda Hill that began on June 3 and will run until July 18.

A total of 105 artworks, including oil paintings, prints, water-ink art, and photos, by 88 artists was selected for the showcase.

He Dongmei, head of publicity from Yan'an city, says the first national congress of the CPC was held in a shikumen building, or stone gate houses, in Shanghai.

"Shanghai is the birthplace of the Party, and where the pioneering revolutionists pledged to devote their lives to the nation," she says. "Yan'an was the most important center and base of Chinese revolution where the Party grew strong and went on to influence the whole country.

"The CPC took a long journey from the shikumen house in Shanghai to Pagoda Hill (Baotashan) in Yan'an, which marked a revolutionary path that took Chinese people to a brand new world."

In Shanghai, Yan'an artists visited the historical site of the first, second and fourth national congresses of the CPC; the original publishing house of New Youth, an important magazine that introduced Communist ideas to China; and the former residences of historical figures such as Chen Wangdao, the first scholar to translate the Communist Manifesto into the Chinese language.

In Yan'an, artists included historical sites related to the Chinese Communist Revolution, the roaring Yellow River and Pagoda Hill in their paintings.

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), a nine-level pagoda was built atop a hill overlooking Yan'an city. In 1935, the central committee of the CPC settled in Yan'an and the pagoda hill soon became a symbol of the revolution.

"All these paintings are pictures of history and reality. More importantly, they are a passionate ode to the centennial journey of the Party," says Fan Jianlin, director of the Jiushi Art Museum.

"We hope this red-themed art exhibition will touch people's hearts, and visitors would be able to experience the beauty of the pioneering revolutionaries' faith and dedication that have transcended art itself."

A large ink painting by Le Zhenwen was printed on the exhibition poster. Le's artwork, measuring 2 meters in width, features clouds billowing through the mountains of Yan'an. Le was among the dozens of Shanghai artists that visited Yan'an last year.

"The more I learned about the Communist Revolution, the more I became convinced that only the CPC could build China into what we have today," says the 75-year-old artist, who is the head of Xu Beihong Art College at Shanghai Maritime University.

If you go

10 am-6 pm (last entry before 5:30 pm), Monday-Sunday, through July 18. Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum, 6F 27 Zhongshan No 1 Road East, Huangpu district, Shanghai.





The Shanghai exhibition, From Shikumen to Pagoda Hill, features artworks created by Shanghai artists who visited Yan'an in Shaanxi province, and Yan'an artists who traveled to Shanghai and visited historical CPC sites. CHINA DAILY



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