“The Rock Emerges as the Water Sinks”: Teaching and Research Exhibition for Studio 3 of CAFA Department of Sculpture


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On August 30, 2020, sponsored by the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Tourism Group, the exhibition was organized by the Department of Sculpture, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Jingdezhen Taoyi Cultural Development Co., Ltd., and the Taoxichuan Art Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. “The Rock Emerges as the Water Sinks—Teaching and Research Exhibition for Studio 3 of CAFA Department of Sculpture” was unveiled at the Taoxichuan Art Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The exhibition was chaired by Lyu Pinchang, the Deputy Dean of the School of Fine Arts, Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Director for the CAFA Department of Sculpture. Professor Yu Fan, Director for Studio 3, Department of Sculpture and teachers Liang Shuo and Zhang Yi held the position of curators.

Honored guests that attended the opening ceremony were Lyu Pinchang, Deputy Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Dean of the Department of Sculpture, Qiu Zhijie, Dean of the School of Experimental Art at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and Yu Fan, the Director for the Studio 3 of the Sculpture Department and the Chief Curator of this exhibition, Professor Zhan Wang who was the first Director for Studio 3, Huang Sheng, Deputy Dean for the School of Fine Arts at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, famous sculptor Sui Jianguo, former Dean of the Department of Sculpture and Wang Chunchen, Deputy Director of CAFA Art Museum, and renowned curator Lu Peng, Professor of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and Liu Zili, Chairman of Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Tourism Group, etc.

After years of development and adjustment, the Department of Sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts has now formed a teaching pattern of six tutored studios in four disciplines. This exhibition is the final session of the “CAFA Centennial Celebration” exhibition series presented by the Department of Sculpture. This series of exhibitions presents the distinctive teaching features of the six studios from the Department of Sculpture. The exhibition includes 13 series of works, composed of representative works by 12 young artists who graduated from Studio 3, and a group of on-site collective creations by current students of Studio 3. Among them, six senior students brought 28 boxes of materials that were collected from the Studio 3 to build a “mobile classroom experiment” in the passage of the exhibition hall over a week.

Professor Lyu Pinchang said in his speech: “Since the mid-1990s, the Central Academy of Fine Arts has actively explored the development of diversified disciplines and expanded the original single sculpture teaching model into an all-round multi-disciplinary outlook. It has become a new teaching system that can face both the world and society, and it has been continuously improved and developed within this system.”

Mr. Qiu Zhijie expressed that after being transferred to the Central Academy of Fine Arts, in every teaching inspection and every graduation exhibition, he realized how the teaching at the Department of Sculpture perfectly combines rigor and openness. This is due to the open minds of former heads of the Department of Sculpture, and as the most active and outstanding contemporary artists, they are not just internationally acclaimed but they judge instinctively.

Mr. Yu Fan mentioned that the title for this exhibition was put forward by several teachers after discussion. The exhibiting way this time was not very academic, in fact even slightly anti-academic. “The Rock Emerges as the Water Sinks” refers to the revealing of an artist's individual vitality, personal characteristics and personal expression. This expression should become a habit, not just like a very clear step within previous education, and finally your expression will become a step-by-step thing, rather than a natural expression. The most important thing for Studio 3 is to expose the individual “stone” and let the individual vitality burst out. No matter what skills you have, you have to express yourself and you have to have your own opinion.

Professor Huang Sheng thought that the exhibition has far-reaching significance for the expansion and innovation of teaching in the discipline of sculpture. The sculpture major of CAFA has also carried out research in this direction. It can be said that they are directly related to the exploration of Studio 3. He hoped that this exhibition can bring about more thinking and learning.

As the original intention of the reform on the teaching system, Mr. Sui Jianguo hoped that Studio 3 was able to uphold conceptual art teaching which will be like a catfish and bring vitality to the Department of Sculpture. The exploration of the teaching concept in Studio 3, including some differences in the teaching direction from other studios, has always been one of the tensions that keeps the Department of Sculpture active in teaching at CAFA.

Mr. Liu Zili expressed that CAFA Taoxichuan Art Museum is like a fire, changing the whole concept of Jingdezhen. It is a field, a very meaningful, artistic and conceptual source. There is such an amazing art museum in the ancient city of Jingdezhen, which is the common experience of visitors who come to Taoxichuan in Jingdezhen.

The CAFA Taoxichuan Art Museum has influenced young people in surrounding cities with almost religious feelings and these young people have also benefited a lot. Nowadays, many people pay attention to this Museum of CAFA. After the pandemic, they would like to know what other exhibitions are in the Museum. Among them are teachers, students, and young people; and they have been looking forward to getting a better education and improving their comprehension in Taoxichuan.

The spillover effect of the exhibition at the CAFA Taoxichuan Art Museum has far surpassed Taoxichuan itself, and it even goes far beyond the teaching concept of Studio 3. It is actually a borderless “classroom,” a studio without walls. With the participation of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Taoxichuan has become a place that can represent the future, a place full of vitality and creativity and an interesting place that can attract more young people to take root and develop here in the future.

Text (CN) by Zhang Xinxin and Zhang Yi, edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo courtesy of the artists and Organizers