In the afternoon of Nov. 5th, with the theme of "situation and carem" the 5th Amity Foundation Christian Art Exhibition opened at the Gallery of Nanjing University of the Arts. It was the first exhibition about Christian culture since the foundation of the gallery. The sponsor expected that this exhibition would display the realistic conditions of modern and contemporary Christian art, allowing the public to know more about Christian art and spread love and care as advocated by Christianity.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Qiu Zhonghui, the Secretary-General of Amity Foundation, made a speech on behalf of the sponsor. He said Amity Foundation had always devoted itself to promoting Christian culture and communication arts. Four Christian art exhibitions were held before and this one was the beginning of celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Amity Foundation. He hoped to take this opportunity to make the public know more about Christian culture.
In his speech, he especially mentioned a motto quoted by Bishop Ding Guangxun, the founder of Amity Foundation, "The purpose of all decent writers, painters and sculptors is to make virtues more lovely, evils more hateful and wonders more striking." He believed that art was able to awaken the truth, goodness and beauty deep in one's heart, which coincided with the mission of Amity Foundation's social and public welfare undertakings, i.e. magnifying the truth, goodness and beauty of human beings. These were all undertakings for accomplishing God's love.
As the academic host of this activity, Professor Daozi at Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University said the features of Chinese contemporary Christian art had been reflected through the theme of this exhibition - "situation and care". In the past, Chinese Christian art often had some features of "localization" such as the cross in lotus shape on a Nestorian gravestone of Tang Dynasty. These finds reflected that different cultures have blended in China. The past four Christian art exhibitions held by Amity Foundation all displayed these localizations and the fifth one had new features such as younger Christian artists, diversified artistic medium and forms, highly educated researchers, active female Christian artists and more returnees.
The theme of this art exhibition was "situation and care" and "situation" meant the current situation of Christianity in today's China. On one hand, there was some tension between believers and society; on the other hand, under this tension, Christian artists needed to think about how to become the salt and light of the earth, how to glorify God, benefit people and comfort souls with their works and how to take part in social, cultural and historic changes. Moreover, Daozi believed that care meant criticism and criticism meant care; the two were inseparable. Aside for singing hymns and worshipping in church, Christians' care should also reflect in the criticism and discovery of society, in the presentation of hardships and life as well as in the revelation of darkness and sins. This was exactly the responsibility, duty and care of Christian artists in this age.
Mr. Hao Qingsong, the designer of this exhibition said the exhibited works indicated that Chinese Christian art has progressed to a new stage, where it has been equipped with a firm religious base, clear themes, and high contemporarity and professionalism. He supposed that art has currently fallen into a state of ruin. However, with a clear orientation based on belief, Christian art has shined with revelations from God while facing real society. To some extent, today's Christian art has shown a clear way for contemporary art. He appealed that artists should be more confident in their works.
Thins exhibition lasted from Nov. 5th to Nov. 14th. Over 60 works created by over 40 domestic famous artists were exhibited and nearly 150 persons attended the opening ceremony, including leaders such as Mr. Ren Zhaolong, the Counselor of Amity Foundation and the Vice Deputy Director of the NPC of Jiangsu Province, the Vice Director of the Religious Bureau of Jiangsu Province, the staff of Amity Foundation, experts in the field of Christian art, as well as Chinese and foreign visitors who participated in the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Amity Foundation.