The 4th Beijing International Art Biennale：Environment Concern and Human Existence
During September 20, 2010 to October 4, 2010, “The 4th Beijing International Art Biennale, China 2010” hosted by China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and Chinese Artists Association will be held in the National Art Museum of China. In the golden autumn, Beijing welcomes in a grand meeting of Chinese and foreign culture and art exchange.
Since initiated in 2003, Beijing Biennale has held thrice continuously and successfully in 2003, 2005 and 2008. The number of participating countries in the 4th Beijing Biennale has attained to 85 from the 45 of 1st Biennale, 69 of 2nd Biennale and 81 of 3rd Biennale. The number of participating countries increases rapidly, which has exceeded the development speed of world famous Venice Biennale and Sao Paulo Biennale. Meanwhile, the curatorial theme of biennale pays more and more attentions to global issues concerned both by contemporary human and society and the art quality of works are always kept in high level. So the influence of Beijing Biennale in contemporary art world is increasing day by day, which makes it to be the contemporary international art exhibition with global views and Chinese characteristics. Matching with Beijing Olympics, the 3rd Beijing Biennale of 2008 showed the dual charm of force and beauty to the world; working in concert with Shanghai Expo, this 4th Beijing Biennale of this year stretches the zealous and friendly arms to the world.
The theme of the 4th Beijing Biennale is “Environment Concern and Human Existence”, so as to make know the culture position and the art responsibility of the contemporary artists over the world regarding the environment problem. “Ecology” originally refers to the habits and lifestyle of creatures and their relations with surroundings, namely, human beings and other species’ patterns of living and developing in a certain natural environment. The theme of exhibition is concentrated and wide, with rich multiple meanings and wide inclusion as well as the practical pertinence and strong issue consciousness. “Environment Concern and Human Existence” integrates the environment concern and homeland construction, enlarges the cultural view and deepens the spirit essence. “Ecology” refers to not only natural ecology, but also human ecology; “Homeland” implies not only the physical environment, but also spiritual home. The environmental issue has attracted universal attentions. In the 20th century, the environment of human has been deteriorated. People at the end of 20th century once had innocent fantasy for the future world of new century, however, human are disillusioned because of the frequent natural calamities in world and the man-made destroy phenomenon for environment at the beginning of 21st century. At present, the global ecological crisis is even severe than the financial crisis, which not only threatens the earth we live by, but also endangers our posterity. Facing to the destructive calamity, we are in the same boat and should reply to the global ecological crisis together. What more worthy of anxiety than dominant natural ecological crisis is recessive human ecological crisis is, namely, the lack of human spirit, looseness of moral self-regulating mechanism and weakness of environmental awareness. Without the spiritual homeland, human will destroy the natural homeland certainly. Starting from the self-concern of anthropopneumism, exploiting and plundering the natural resources overly, and murdering and deracinating other species, it will destroy the ecological balance of nature, worsen the ecological environment and suffer the punishment of nature finally. Contemporary artists are incumbent on calling on and wakening human’s environmental awareness and moral self-regulation in the way of art and constructing the harmonious natural and spiritual homeland of human and nature.
By publicity and contribution inviting activities, “Environment Concern and Human Existence” which is the theme of the 4th Beijing Biennale has been generally recognized and responded by the national and foreign artists. Under the strong assistance of foreign embassies in China, Chinese Embassy in foreign countries, international art organizations and international curators, we have received over 12,000 pieces of contributions of 4,000 artists from China and other 93 countries in the world. Through strict review and selection, the Curatorial Committee of the 4th Beijing Biennale has chosen 535 participating artists and 562 pieces of works in which 164 pieces are from China (including Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan) and 398 pieces are from foreign countries. Beside the theme exhibition, there still have two special exhibitions of “Contemporary Art Exhibition of Chile” and “Contemporary Art Exhibition of Austria”. In content, the art works based on the theme of “Environment Concern and Human Existence” can generally be pided into two kinds: one is critical and warning type, and the other is positive and laudatory. The former focuses on the incisive criticism for the bad thoughts and actions of destroying environment and the deep warning for the severity of ecological crisis; the latter focuses on the positive affirmation for the consciousness and measures of protecting environment and the passionate praise for constructing the perfect homeland with balance ecology. In form, these works mainly consist of paintings and sculptures (it has become one of Beijing Biennale’s brand characteristics which are different from other international biennales). At the same time, it also absorbs some new media types such as installation, video and so on, so as to fully show the theme of “Environment Concern and Human Existence” with rich connotation from more views. In style, these works fully incarnate the persified development state of art style in the contemporary world. It almost has all kinds of contemporary fashion styles in the world, such as realistic, impressionistic, expressive, surreal, representational, nonrepresentational, decorative, etc. Just as initiated by “Originality: Contemporary and Locality” which is the theme of the first Beijing Biennale, even with the same style in surface, the works from different countries also have different regionally and national characteristics, which makes the explanation of a same theme colorful. Of course art is not the illustration of theme or concept but the artists’ expression of internal spirit and emotion. No matter what content, form and style they have, these works are all the artistic creation rich in inspiration, literary talent and personality, saturated with internal spirit and emotion of artists, placed with good ideal that human and nature live in harmony on, and expressing the feelings of loving all life. So they can arouse humans’ consciousness of protecting environment, enhance humans’ confidence of overcoming the ecological crisis and building a green homeland, and make the visitors get special spiritual edification, molding of feelings and aesthetic enjoyment.
Lao Tzu says that “Man adheres to earth, earth adheres to heaven, heaven adheres to Tao, and Tao adheres to nature”. Chuang Tzu says that “Heaven and earth coexist with me and everything is combined with me”. The ancient Chinese philosophers pursue “unity of heaven and man”, and the modern western philosophers also yearn for “The person fills the contribution, the poetic sentiment roots occupies above this earth”. If human can really live in harmony with nature, what a wonderful world it is!