Thomas Matthew Wood

Art in the mountain city

Photo of Chongqing taken by Thomas Matthew Wood

By Thomas Matthew Wood

Last Sunday I went to Chongqing Art Museum (重庆美术馆), a newly-opened strikingly-designed building in Jiefangbei (解放碑), one of Chongqing's city centres. I went there because of my own personal curiosity but also because I was planning a lesson on art for my Senior 2 students and I thought that I should supply them with information about the art available to them in their own city.

The exhibition that I saw was a collection of works by French artists and Chinese artists who had been inspired by French art in some way; many of them had lived or studied in France. Rémy Aron, the president of ChiFa, the organisation that organised the exhibition, wrote in the foreword to the exhibition the following: "Chinese artists have a peculiar attraction to France. For them Paris represents the city of the permanence and the continuity of Western culture and Europe's centre of gravity." I agree with him as I think that France has a very visible cultural influence in China. For example, the Eiffel Tower is probably one of the most reproduced images that you see in China: it adorns everything from T-shirts to my students' notebooks. France represents sophistication and fashion. Thus I can see why it is a place for Chinese artists to gravitate towards and be inspired by.

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Editor:Liu Kan