Liu Xian: Wood-Engraving Master

  • Dates:2019-09-08 - 2019-10-07
  • Location:CAFAM Gallery 4F
  • Opening:2019-09-18 14:00
  • Organizer(s): CAFAM
  • Organizer: CAFAM
  • Chief Planner: Fan Di'an
  • Art Director: Zhang Zikang
  • Curator: Li Yaochen

Details

His works are full of brightness and clarity, creating a comfortable and vast atmosphere filled in every detail of the painting, reaching a new height of the time by transforming Chinese printmaking into a casual creative style by absorbing western art essence.

Preface

Foreword

In the course of the development of Chinese art in the first half the 20th century, the emerging printmaking movement was a vigorous artistic force where cultural ideals were promoted, the idea of facing real life was encouraged, and great art works were shinning. A large number of artists had gathered together, seeking truth in thought, and bravely breaking the traditional rules in art. They had written a moving art chapter in the moving national liberation movement, showing the new quality and majestic power of culture. In this group, Mr. Liu Xian was an original participant and a consistent insister. His contribution to the Chinese printmaking history had given him eternal brilliance. 

Under the enlightenment of the May Fourth New Culture Thought and the cultural situation of salvation of the nation, Liu Xian had a strong passion since he was young. Lu Xun, the flag-bearer of the emerging printmaking movement, was not only Liu Xian’s spiritual mentor, but also a creative instructor who gave Liu Xian direct guidance. Liu Xian created illustrations for Lu Xun’s works. In Lu Xun’s wood-engraving works collection, Liu Xian’s art works accounted for the largest number. Owing to this relationship, Liu Xian’s art was based on reflecting social problems while insisting on the pursuit of the soul. It was like looking for the spiritual destination in the dark sky at night, using the thought of art and pen of effort to ignite the flame. 

After the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan, Liu Xian resolutely stopped studying in Japan, coming back to his motherland to participate in the anti-Japanese salvation campaign with his companions from wood-engraving field. He then went to Yan’an to work as a wood-engraving teacher in the Department of Fine Arts in  the Lu Xun Aacemy of Fine Arts, where he dedicated himself to art creation. Chairman Mao Zedong spoke highly of Liu Xian’s art works which recorded the anti-Japanese warfare and praised the work and life of people in Democratic Base. He said: “I don’t know the disciplines of wood-engraving, but I like appreciating it. Comrade Liu Xian has been here for just a short period, but he has created many art works. I hope that he continues to work hard on the creation of new art for our country.” Inspired by Mao Zedong’s literary thoughts, Liu Xian and other artists in Yan’an worked together along the direction of New Art, played an important role in attacking the enemy and inspiring the people by creating revolutionary artworks. 

Born with talent and growing up with deep understanding of art, Liu Xian tends to be detailed in his wood-engraving technique. Learning from western printmaking, he innovated a new format of wood-engraving (木口木刻). The artworks created with the new technique had a rigorous composition and exquisite shape with the burin and ink lines seamlessly integrated with the wood grain texture. His works are full of brightness and clarity, creating a comfortable and vast atmosphere filled in every detail of the painting, reaching a new height of the time by transforming Chinese printmaking into a  casual creative style by absorbing western art essence.   

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Liu Xian bore in mind the change of the times and the new yearning for “beauty” in the society, Liu Xian themed his artworks to expression of natural life and fable stories. The style became fresher and more comfortable. He expressed his praises of the new society and of the simple life in a large number of artworks and book illustrations, represented by his work series Hundred Flowers Blossom.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement and the 70th anniversary of the founding of new China. It is very realistic for understanding the artistic contribution of Mr. Liu Xian and the spirit of exploration of a generation of predecessors by holding the "Liu Xian: Wood-Engraving Master” exhibition. Looking closely at the traces of the burins and pens is like listening to the sound of wood pecking. Who can say that the tiny wood-engraving is not a miniature of the era and Mr Liu Xian’s art life?


                                                                       Fan Di’an

September 2019


Foreword

In the course of the development of Chinese art in the first half the 20th century, the emerging printmaking movement was a vigorous artistic force where cultural ideals were promoted, the idea of facing real life was encouraged, and great art works were shinning. A large number of artists had gathered together, seeking truth in thought, and bravely breaking the traditional rules in art. They had written a moving art chapter in the moving national liberation movement, showing the new quality and majestic power of culture. In this group, Mr. Liu Xian was an original participant and a consistent insister. His contribution to the Chinese printmaking history had given him eternal brilliance. 

Under the enlightenment of the May Fourth New Culture Thought and the cultural situation of salvation of the nation, Liu Xian had a strong passion since he was young. Lu Xun, the flag-bearer of the emerging printmaking movement, was not only Liu Xian’s spiritual mentor, but also a creative instructor who gave Liu Xian direct guidance. Liu Xian created illustrations for Lu Xun’s works. In Lu Xun’s wood-engraving works collection, Liu Xian’s art works accounted for the largest number. Owing to this relationship, Liu Xian’s art was based on reflecting social problems while insisting on the pursuit of the soul. It was like looking for the spiritual destination in the dark sky at night, using the thought of art and pen of effort to ignite the flame. 

After the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan, Liu Xian resolutely stopped studying in Japan, coming back to his motherland to participate in the anti-Japanese salvation campaign with his companions from wood-engraving field. He then went to Yan’an to work as a wood-engraving teacher in the Department of Fine Arts in  the Lu Xun Aacemy of Fine Arts, where he dedicated himself to art creation. Chairman Mao Zedong spoke highly of Liu Xian’s art works which recorded the anti-Japanese warfare and praised the work and life of people in Democratic Base. He said: “I don’t know the disciplines of wood-engraving, but I like appreciating it. Comrade Liu Xian has been here for just a short period, but he has created many art works. I hope that he continues to work hard on the creation of new art for our country.” Inspired by Mao Zedong’s literary thoughts, Liu Xian and other artists in Yan’an worked together along the direction of New Art, played an important role in attacking the enemy and inspiring the people by creating revolutionary artworks. 

Born with talent and growing up with deep understanding of art, Liu Xian tends to be detailed in his wood-engraving technique. Learning from western printmaking, he innovated a new format of wood-engraving (木口木刻). The artworks created with the new technique had a rigorous composition and exquisite shape with the burin and ink lines seamlessly integrated with the wood grain texture. His works are full of brightness and clarity, creating a comfortable and vast atmosphere filled in every detail of the painting, reaching a new height of the time by transforming Chinese printmaking into a  casual creative style by absorbing western art essence.   

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Liu Xian bore in mind the change of the times and the new yearning for “beauty” in the society, Liu Xian themed his artworks to expression of natural life and fable stories. The style became fresher and more comfortable. He expressed his praises of the new society and of the simple life in a large number of artworks and book illustrations, represented by his work series Hundred Flowers Blossom.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement and the 70th anniversary of the founding of new China. It is very realistic for understanding the artistic contribution of Mr. Liu Xian and the spirit of exploration of a generation of predecessors by holding the "Liu Xian: Wood-Engraving Master” exhibition. Looking closely at the traces of the burins and pens is like listening to the sound of wood pecking. Who can say that the tiny wood-engraving is not a miniature of the era and Mr Liu Xian’s art life?


                                                                       Fan Di’an

September 2019


Artworks

Photographs

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This event was organized on the principles of fairness, impartiality, and voluntary participation and withdrawal. Participants undertake all risk and liability for themselves. All events have risks, and participants must be aware of the risks related to their chosen event.

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Event participants should be adults (people 18 years or older with full civil legal capacity). Underage persons must be accompanied by an adult.

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Event participants undertake all liability for their personal safety during the event, and event participants are encouraged to purchase personal safety insurance. Should an accident occur during an event, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for the accident, but both have the obligation to provide assistance. Event participants should actively organize and implement rescue efforts, but do not undertake any legal or economic liability for the accident itself. The museum does not undertake civil or joint liability for the personal safety of event participants.

Article V

During the event, event participants should respect the order of the museum event and ensure the safety of the museum site, the artworks in displays, exhibitions, and collections, and the derived products. If an event causes any degree of loss or damage to the museum site, space, artworks, or derived products due to an individual, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for losses. The event participant must negotiate and provide compensation according to the relevant legal statutes and museum rules. The museum may sue for legal and financial liability.

Article VI

Event participants will participate in the event under the guidance of museum staff and event leaders or instructors and must correctly use the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities provided for the event. If a participant causes injury or harm to him/herself or others while using the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, or causes the damage or destruction of the tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, the event participant must undertake all related liability and provide compensation for the financial losses. Persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for personal accidents.

CAFA Art Museum Portraiture Rights Licensing Agreement

According to The Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China, The General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and The Provisional Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Some Issues Related to the Full Implementation of the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and upon friendly negotiation, Party A and Party B have arrived at the following agreement regarding the use of works bearing Party A’s image in order to clarify the rights and obligations of the portrait licenser (Party A) and the user (Party B):

I. General Provisions

(1) Party A is the portraiture rights holder in this agreement. Party A voluntarily licenses its portraiture rights to Party B for the purposes stipulated in this agreement and permitted by law.

(2) Party B (CAFA Art Museum) is a specialized, international modern art museum. CAFA Art Museum keeps pace with the times, and works to create an open, free, and academic space and atmosphere for positive interaction with groups, corporations, institutions, artists, and visitors. With CAFA’s academic research as a foundation, the museum plans multi-disciplinary exhibitions, conferences, and public education events with participants from around the world, providing a platform for exchange, learning, and exhibition for CAFA’s students and instructors, artists from around the world, and the general public. As a public institution, the primary purposes of CAFA Art Museum’s public education events are academic and beneficial to society.

(3) Party B will photograph all CAFA Public Education Department events for Party A.

II. Content, Forms of Use, and Geographical Scope of Use

(1) Content. The content of images taken by Party B bearing Party A’s likeness include: ① CAFA Art Museum ② CAFA campus ③ All events planned or executed by the CAFAM Public Education Department.

(2) Forms of Use. For use in CAFA’s publications, products with CDs, and promotional materials.

(3) Geographical Scope of Use

The applicable geographic scope is global.

The media in which the portraiture may be used encompasses any media that does not infringe upon Party A’s portraiture rights (e.g., magazines and the internet).

III. Term of Portraiture Rights Use

Use in perpetuity.

IV. Licensing Fees

The fees for images bearing Party A’s likeness will be undertaken by Party B.

After completion, Party B does not need to pay any fees to Party A for images bearing Party A’s likeness.

Additional Terms

(1) All matters not discussed in this agreement shall be resolved through friendly negotiation between both parties. Both parties may then sign a supplementary agreement, provided it does not violate any laws or regulations.

(2) This agreement comes into effect on the date that it is signed (sealed) and the relevant boxes are selected by Party A and Party B.

(3) This agreement exists in paper and electronic forms. The paper form is made in duplicate, with Party A and Party B each retaining one copy with the same legal efficacy.

Event participants implicitly accept and undertake all the obligations stated in this agreement. Those who do not consent will be seen as abandoning the right to participate in this event. Before participating in this event, please speak to your family members to obtain their consent and inform them of this disclaimer. After participants sign/check the required box, participants and their families will be seen as having read and agreed to these terms.

I have carefully read and agree to the above provisions.

Group Visit Agreement
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CAFA Art Museum Publication Authorization Agreement

I fully agree to CAFA Art Museum (CAFAM) submitting to CAFA for publication the images, pictures, texts, writings, and event products (such as works created during participation in workshops) related to me from my participation in public events (including museum member events) organized by the CAFA Art Museum Public Education Department. CAFA can publish these materials by electronic, web, or other digital means, and I hereby agree to be included in the China Knowledge Resource Bank, the CAFA Database, the CAFA Art Museum Database, and related data, documentation, and filing institutions and platforms. Regarding their use in CAFA and dissemination on the internet, I agree to make use of these rights according to the stated Rules.

CAFA Art Museum Event Safety Disclaimer

Article I

This event was organized on the principles of fairness, impartiality, and voluntary participation and withdrawal. Participants undertake all risk and liability for themselves. All events have risks, and participants must be aware of the risks related to their chosen event.

Article II

Event participants must abide by the laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China, as well as moral and ethical norms. All participants must demonstrate good character, respect for others, friendship, and a willingness to help others.

Article III

Event participants should be adults (people 18 years or older with full civil legal capacity). Underage persons must be accompanied by an adult.

Article IV

Event participants undertake all liability for their personal safety during the event, and event participants are encouraged to purchase personal safety insurance. Should an accident occur during an event, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for the accident, but both have the obligation to provide assistance. Event participants should actively organize and implement rescue efforts, but do not undertake any legal or economic liability for the accident itself. The museum does not undertake civil or joint liability for the personal safety of event participants.

Article V

During the event, event participants should respect the order of the museum event and ensure the safety of the museum site, the artworks in displays, exhibitions, and collections, and the derived products. If an event causes any degree of loss or damage to the museum site, space, artworks, or derived products due to an individual, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for losses. The event participant must negotiate and provide compensation according to the relevant legal statutes and museum rules. The museum may sue for legal and financial liability.

Article VI

Event participants will participate in the event under the guidance of museum staff and event leaders or instructors and must correctly use the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities provided for the event. If a participant causes injury or harm to him/herself or others while using the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, or causes the damage or destruction of the tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, the event participant must undertake all related liability and provide compensation for the financial losses. Persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for personal accidents.

CAFA Art Museum Portraiture Rights Licensing Agreement

According to The Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China, The General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and The Provisional Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Some Issues Related to the Full Implementation of the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and upon friendly negotiation, Party A and Party B have arrived at the following agreement regarding the use of works bearing Party A’s image in order to clarify the rights and obligations of the portrait licenser (Party A) and the user (Party B):

I. General Provisions

(1) Party A is the portraiture rights holder in this agreement. Party A voluntarily licenses its portraiture rights to Party B for the purposes stipulated in this agreement and permitted by law.

(2) Party B (CAFA Art Museum) is a specialized, international modern art museum. CAFA Art Museum keeps pace with the times, and works to create an open, free, and academic space and atmosphere for positive interaction with groups, corporations, institutions, artists, and visitors. With CAFA’s academic research as a foundation, the museum plans multi-disciplinary exhibitions, conferences, and public education events with participants from around the world, providing a platform for exchange, learning, and exhibition for CAFA’s students and instructors, artists from around the world, and the general public. As a public institution, the primary purposes of CAFA Art Museum’s public education events are academic and beneficial to society.

(3) Party B will photograph all CAFA Public Education Department events for Party A.

II. Content, Forms of Use, and Geographical Scope of Use

(1) Content. The content of images taken by Party B bearing Party A’s likeness include: ① CAFA Art Museum ② CAFA campus ③ All events planned or executed by the CAFAM Public Education Department.

(2) Forms of Use. For use in CAFA’s publications, products with CDs, and promotional materials.

(3) Geographical Scope of Use

The applicable geographic scope is global.

The media in which the portraiture may be used encompasses any media that does not infringe upon Party A’s portraiture rights (e.g., magazines and the internet).

III. Term of Portraiture Rights Use

Use in perpetuity.

IV. Licensing Fees

The fees for images bearing Party A’s likeness will be undertaken by Party B.

After completion, Party B does not need to pay any fees to Party A for images bearing Party A’s likeness.

Additional Terms

(1) All matters not discussed in this agreement shall be resolved through friendly negotiation between both parties. Both parties may then sign a supplementary agreement, provided it does not violate any laws or regulations.

(2) This agreement comes into effect on the date that it is signed (sealed) and the relevant boxes are selected by Party A and Party B.

(3) This agreement exists in paper and electronic forms. The paper form is made in duplicate, with Party A and Party B each retaining one copy with the same legal efficacy.

Event participants implicitly accept and undertake all the obligations stated in this agreement. Those who do not consent will be seen as abandoning the right to participate in this event. Before participating in this event, please speak to your family members to obtain their consent and inform them of this disclaimer. After participants sign/check the required box, participants and their families will be seen as having read and agreed to these terms.

I have carefully read and agree to the above provisions.

Group Visit Agreement
and Statement

CAFA Art Museum Publication Authorization Agreement

I fully agree to CAFA Art Museum (CAFAM) submitting to CAFA for publication the images, pictures, texts, writings, and event products (such as works created during participation in workshops) related to me from my participation in public events (including museum member events) organized by the CAFA Art Museum Public Education Department. CAFA can publish these materials by electronic, web, or other digital means, and I hereby agree to be included in the China Knowledge Resource Bank, the CAFA Database, the CAFA Art Museum Database, and related data, documentation, and filing institutions and platforms. Regarding their use in CAFA and dissemination on the internet, I agree to make use of these rights according to the stated Rules.

CAFA Art Museum Event Safety Disclaimer

Article I

This event was organized on the principles of fairness, impartiality, and voluntary participation and withdrawal. Participants undertake all risk and liability for themselves. All events have risks, and participants must be aware of the risks related to their chosen event.

Article II

Event participants must abide by the laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China, as well as moral and ethical norms. All participants must demonstrate good character, respect for others, friendship, and a willingness to help others.

Article III

Event participants should be adults (people 18 years or older with full civil legal capacity). Underage persons must be accompanied by an adult.

Article IV

Event participants undertake all liability for their personal safety during the event, and event participants are encouraged to purchase personal safety insurance. Should an accident occur during an event, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for the accident, but both have the obligation to provide assistance. Event participants should actively organize and implement rescue efforts, but do not undertake any legal or economic liability for the accident itself. The museum does not undertake civil or joint liability for the personal safety of event participants.

Article V

During the event, event participants should respect the order of the museum event and ensure the safety of the museum site, the artworks in displays, exhibitions, and collections, and the derived products. If an event causes any degree of loss or damage to the museum site, space, artworks, or derived products due to an individual, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for losses. The event participant must negotiate and provide compensation according to the relevant legal statutes and museum rules. The museum may sue for legal and financial liability.

Article VI

Event participants will participate in the event under the guidance of museum staff and event leaders or instructors and must correctly use the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities provided for the event. If a participant causes injury or harm to him/herself or others while using the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, or causes the damage or destruction of the tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, the event participant must undertake all related liability and provide compensation for the financial losses. Persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for personal accidents.

CAFA Art Museum Portraiture Rights Licensing Agreement

According to The Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China, The General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and The Provisional Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Some Issues Related to the Full Implementation of the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and upon friendly negotiation, Party A and Party B have arrived at the following agreement regarding the use of works bearing Party A’s image in order to clarify the rights and obligations of the portrait licenser (Party A) and the user (Party B):

I. General Provisions

(1) Party A is the portraiture rights holder in this agreement. Party A voluntarily licenses its portraiture rights to Party B for the purposes stipulated in this agreement and permitted by law.

(2) Party B (CAFA Art Museum) is a specialized, international modern art museum. CAFA Art Museum keeps pace with the times, and works to create an open, free, and academic space and atmosphere for positive interaction with groups, corporations, institutions, artists, and visitors. With CAFA’s academic research as a foundation, the museum plans multi-disciplinary exhibitions, conferences, and public education events with participants from around the world, providing a platform for exchange, learning, and exhibition for CAFA’s students and instructors, artists from around the world, and the general public. As a public institution, the primary purposes of CAFA Art Museum’s public education events are academic and beneficial to society.

(3) Party B will photograph all CAFA Public Education Department events for Party A.

II. Content, Forms of Use, and Geographical Scope of Use

(1) Content. The content of images taken by Party B bearing Party A’s likeness include: ① CAFA Art Museum ② CAFA campus ③ All events planned or executed by the CAFAM Public Education Department.

(2) Forms of Use. For use in CAFA’s publications, products with CDs, and promotional materials.

(3) Geographical Scope of Use

The applicable geographic scope is global.

The media in which the portraiture may be used encompasses any media that does not infringe upon Party A’s portraiture rights (e.g., magazines and the internet).

III. Term of Portraiture Rights Use

Use in perpetuity.

IV. Licensing Fees

The fees for images bearing Party A’s likeness will be undertaken by Party B.

After completion, Party B does not need to pay any fees to Party A for images bearing Party A’s likeness.

Additional Terms

(1) All matters not discussed in this agreement shall be resolved through friendly negotiation between both parties. Both parties may then sign a supplementary agreement, provided it does not violate any laws or regulations.

(2) This agreement comes into effect on the date that it is signed (sealed) and the relevant boxes are selected by Party A and Party B.

(3) This agreement exists in paper and electronic forms. The paper form is made in duplicate, with Party A and Party B each retaining one copy with the same legal efficacy.

Event participants implicitly accept and undertake all the obligations stated in this agreement. Those who do not consent will be seen as abandoning the right to participate in this event. Before participating in this event, please speak to your family members to obtain their consent and inform them of this disclaimer. After participants sign/check the required box, participants and their families will be seen as having read and agreed to these terms.

I have carefully read and agree to the above provisions.

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