Bulgarian and Chinese artists walk the Silk Road together

Lecturers from the academies of art in Sofia and Beijing are walking the Silk Road to trace the lines in art that form a bond between tradition and contemporaneity. To mark 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and China, the National Art Gallery in Sofia is designating two of its floors to the exhibition of works by 40 Bulgarian and 51 Chinese artists.

After being shown at the Taimiao Art Muzeum in Beijing, the Bulgarian-Chinese exhibition “Silk Road: from tradition to contemporaneity” is now on display at the former royal palace in Sofia. Painters and sculptors are presenting their works in a variety of styles and themes, the means of expression ranging from classical painting and prints to digital prints and mixed media.

The participants from China are displaying an exhibition that is exceedingly diverse says Alexandra Yaneva, project curator. To my mind, as a Christian and a person from a different latitude, the most striking work is that byWan Jon, a bronze sculpture of Lao-Tze, as well as the sculpture by Tze Kan “One of the seven sages of the bamboo grove”. Another breathtaking work is the porcelain tea ceremony set by Xuan Chunmao. Some of the works by Chinese artists we are seeing are a real surprise, because they were actually created in Bulgaria. For example the colourful, optimistic, skillful landscapes from Nesebar and Plovdiv, as seen through the eyes of an Eastern kind of sensibility.

The Bulgarian painters and sculptors, among them Prof. Andrey Daniel, Prof. Emil Popov, Prof. Svilen Stefanov, Konstantin Kostov and Veliko Marinchevski present their latest works created over the past few years. One of these works is Prof. Anna Boyadjieva’s installation “Gentle layers” which stands in the centre of the exhibition area. Depending on the spot where it is exhibited, the installation changes, presenting variations of its own self with each successive exhibition, says Alexandra Yaneva.

The portraits of three generations of people connected by family ties, all in the same colour range, convey a universal message of the unifying force of family.

They are works by Prof. Desislava Mincheva, the curator adds. The artist has chosen to present her own self in a self-portrait, to the right is a portrait of her mother, to the left – of her beloved son. The portraits are larger than usual and demonstrate the mastery with which the painter has captured the characteristics of the human face, its inner dynamics. In these powerful paintings Desislava Mincheva combines psychological mastery with mixed media skills.

Bulgaria and China established diplomatic relations on 3 October, 1949, and one year later opened embassies in Beijing and in Sofia. Through the years the dialogue between the two countries has had its ups and downs, and today is based on a mutual will for cooperation in the sphere of economy, education and culture. China is this country’s second biggest export partner outside the EU after Turkey. As Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov said, Bulgaria’s export to China has increased ten-fold in recent years, to reach the record-high USD 882 million last year. Trade between the two countries amounts to USD 2.4 billion, which is 22 percent up on 2017. Bulgaria and China recently signed a strategic partnership declaration in spheres such as trade, investments, infrastructure, SMEs, tourism.

English: Milena Daynova

(Photos: nationalgallery.bg and Diana Tsankova)

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