On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea, GAFA and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Guangzhou jointly hold the Empathy •Connection—China-ROK Contemporary Art Exchange Exhibition. We have invited 17 pioneering artists who are representatives in the field of contemporary art from both countries for exchanges,including the South Korean artists Hyungkoo KANG, Seungjio LEE, Leenam LEE, Hayoon Jay Lee, Bongsang YOO, Yishik MYUNG, and Chinese artists Cao Fei, Chen Ke, Chen Tong, Fan Bo, Feng Feng, Fang Shaohua, Hu Jieming, Li Jinghu, Qin Jin, Song Guangzhi, Yang Jiecang. The exhibition officially opened at the University Town Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts on Aug 24, with the opening ceremony presided over by Hong Rongman, the deputy director of the art museum.
Han Jae Heuk, Consul General of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Guangzhou, said in his speech at the opening ceremony, "In a situation where culturalexchanges between South Korea and China were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a great thirst for art exchanges between the two countries. In this sense, I think this exhibition is the result of broadening mutual understanding of both countries’culture and art. Works by South Korean artists were previously exhibited in Beijing and received a good response. They are now exhibited together with representative works of artists from China and Lingnan thanks to the efforts of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, the cradle of Lingnan art education, and other parties concerned. These art works jointly build a bridge for exchanges between China and South Korea. This is very impressive and meaningful."
Consul General Han Jae Heuk of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Guangzhou delivering the opening speech
Fan Bo, vice president of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, said in his opening speech, "Active artistic and cultural exchanges have energized the development of contemporary art in both countries. On this basis, this exhibition aims to present outstanding achievements in contemporary art made by the two countries in East Asia, South Korea and China, and to further promote exchanges and dialogues between the two countries in contemporary art and culture. This will be a time to discuss the present and future developmentpotential of East Asian contemporary art through lively and in-depth works of artists."
Fan Bo, Vice President of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, delivering the opening speech
Hyungkoo KANG, as the representative artist of the Korean side, delivered an online speech: "Inthe future, China and Korea, as cultural communities in Asia, shall maintainthe profound ties between them in the future, regardless of the years of diplomatic relations. I think this exhibition will help share the kind of cultural mood pursued not only by Asia but also the whole world."
Hyungkoo KANG, the representative artist of the South Korean side, delivering an online speech
Chen Tong delivered a speech as the representative artist of China. He said, "Culture or art, just like language, is always affected by geographic space, and there is bound to be less estrangement between neighbors. I believe this exhibition will be a new evidence for cultural closeness between China and South Korea."
Chen Tong, the representative artist of China, delivering a speech
"This exhibition presents six modern Korean artists globally active in media art, photography, image performance and painting." said the Korean curator Choi Anna, who delivered an online speech and guided tour of their works at the opening ceremony. "Their artworks reflect contemporary art vision, celebrate the vitality, modernity and tradition of modern Korean art after the 1980s and define the identities of the artists. We hope that, through cultural exchange platform like this, artists from both China and South Korea will be inspired to create more new artworks."
An online speech and a guided tour by Choi Anna, the South Korean curator
Chinese curator Chen Xiaoyang delivered a live speech and guided tour. She said, "The artists participating in this exhibition are pioneering artists in the field of contemporary art from China and South Korea. Most of them have received educationin a modern art academy. Their artistic ideas, choice of media and personal styles reflect the intertwining of East Asian traditions and globalization. Apart from making keen judgments about the real world we live in and manifesting such judgments in a profound manner, the artists also deal with choices and constructions regarding cultural attributes. We can always see implicit or explicit debates on the relation between mountain and water, self and nature, utensil and Tao that are inherent intraditional East Asian culture in their works."
Chinese curator Chen Xiaoyang delivering a speech and guided tour
Finally, XieChangjing, the Party Secretary of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, announced the official opening of the exhibition.
Xie Changjing, Party Secretary of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, declared the official opening
Hong Rongman, Deputy Director of the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, presided over the opening ceremony
the cake-cutting ceremony for the Empathy • Connection— China-ROK Contemporary Art Exchange Exhibition and
the 30th anniversary of the establishmentof diplomatic ties between China and South Korea
On the opening day, the organizer held a ceremony of "Floating Wine Cups" in the newly opened multi-functional hall space named A Cube in the University Town Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Fu Lang, Executive Vice President of Guangdong Public Diplomacy Association, delivered a toast: "China and South Korea are separated by a narrow strip of water and have a long history of cultural exchanges. Today, we meet here with fine wine. I wish the friendship between China and South Korea will last forever!"
Fu Lang, Executive Vice President of Guangdong Public Diplomacy Association, delivering a toast
"Floating Wine Cups" is an ancient Chinese tradition dating back to the Zhou Dynasty. Guests sit by the water and the wine glasses float down the river, and the drinkers write poems and draw pictures. Later generations of literati and calligrapher also imitate the elegant gathering. At the same time, this custom is not only used to gather and celebrate, but also to pray for good luck and avoid disaster. It has been three years since the outbreak of COVID-19, the international cultural exchange and exhibition have been greatly limited. We hope that by the rare gathering of the artworks of the two countries in this exhibition, also with the aid of network communication for artists to complete valuable dialogue online, the dialogue of the results can also be put on display in South Korea to jointly explore the future of East Asian art when COVID-19 is gone.
The scene of the ceremony of "Floating Wine Cups"
The exhibition runs until Oct 9, 2022.