The crossroads of Chinese visual and lyrical art
If you are a poetry lover, "MING Literati Gathering: The Art of Poets I" curated by Zhao Ye is a must-see.
Fusing poetry and art, the exhibition is currently running at Mingyuan Art Museum.
The exhibition features 13 contemporary Chinese poets, including Bei Dao. Visitors can see both their words in original manuscripts and visual imagination displayed in artworks.
Through calligraphy, paintings, photography, videos and installations, the exhibition reflects the artistic achievements of contemporary Chinese poetry.
"Poets, some of the sharpest perceivers in society, have profound insights into the spiritual essence and cultural trends of the times, and create prophetic and revelatory expressions," said Zhao. "They have played an extremely important role in Eastern and Western art history. Martin Heidegger even believed that all art is essentially poetry."
Poets review and reflect on the lives under an era of fragmentation. They face the soul and meanings of love and pursue something transcendent.
In fact, poets had an unshakable social status in the 1980s when the young generation was eager to find charisma in literature. Hordes of people rushed to bookstores to search for poetry books and recited popular poems. There was a prevailing joke at that time: "The identity of a poet is akin to a free pass to win meals and girls."
Today the poetry community has become quite small, but for true lovers of the craft, the fever still lingers.
The artworks created by the poets in the exhibition reveal their lyrical sensitivity, subtle feelings and unique imagination to the public.
"My painting is actually a visible form of poetry," said Sun Lei, one of the poets featured in the exhibition.
While for Ouyang Jianghe, another participating poet, "Writing calligraphy makes me feel like I have had a previous life and afterlife."
One of the exhibition's highlights is artworks from Han Bo. A graduate of Fudan University, Han is a poet, artist, novelist, playwright, travel writer and curator.
His acrylic canvas titled "The fox knows more, but the vixen marks more" is filled with brilliant hues and dream-like scenarios, with a strong narrative power that might be deciphered differently by each viewer.
Dates: Through September 19 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm
Venue: Mingyuan Art Museum
Address: 1199 Fuxing Road M.
Admission is free. Please reserve your time via WeChat: mingyuanmuseum