“Then & Now: 2020 CAFA Online Graduation Season” was officially launched on https://art2020.cafa.edu.cn. At 5:20 pm on May 20, the postgraduate thesis presentations were unveiled. On June 15, the Graduation Exhibition of Undergraduates will be unveiled.
The “2020 CAFA Online Graduation Season” will present over 10,000 graduation works by 31 Ph.D candidates, 376 postgraduate students and 846 undergraduate students. The exhibition will be presented in 9 virtual galleries with a total area of 54000 square meters in the virtual art museum of CAFA. Over 20,000-30,000 works will be fully displayed in the form of web pages through the “hyperlink” of each student. More importantly, this is a “2020 Graduation Art Museum of CAFA” which will be fixed on the internet and will never go offline.
Let's step into the fantastic "Art Museum!"
—Written on the occasion of the launch of the extraordinary 2020 CAFA Graduation Season
By Gao Hong, Party Secretary of CAFA
The annual Graduation Season is here once again.
However, the Graduation Season is extraordinary this year.
Due to the pandemic, we cannot turn our academy into a large-scale art museum to present every student’s graduation work on the campus.
Due to the pandemic, we cannot hold a series of graduation events that will be remembered by every graduate for a lifetime.
Due to the pandemic, we cannot invite relatives and friends from the whole of society to our academy-based art museum, to view students’ graduation pieces and interact with each other face to face.
We respond to our country’s prevention and anti-pandemic requirements and prioritise the safety of the faculty and students. At the same time, our academic philosophy on the Graduation Season is unwavering. The Graduation Season is an extremely important part of our process of carefully cultivating excellent artistic talent and the significant brand of our educational work. It is also a festival celebrated by every graduate!
In the spirit of innovation and the pursuit of excellence, we have created this extraordinary Graduation Season in great detail.
Our graduate supervisors have carefully instructed graduation creations and graduation theses online, giving students academic guidance, spiritual encouragement, and psychological support. They have put forward even higher and stricter standards and requirements.
Our graduates have overcome numerous challenges, making an effort with graduation works and theses at home, and meticulously designing the extraordinary online presentation. By doing so, they all have developed new skills.
Our graduation design team and the production team that sincerely cooperate with us, have created the brand-new 2020 CAFA Online Graduation Exhibition, reflecting the characteristics and charm of CAFA, which will never end.
We are pleasantly surprised that every “space” and every beam of “light” in the “Art Museum” allows us to look at each work in more detail from the macro view to the micro view, from the panorama to every angle.
We hope that our classrooms, drawing rooms, and studios will be placed in this “Art Museum” to conscientiously conclude the gains and losses of our education and teaching, and nurture our future talent cultivation.
We hope that our students could be immersed in this “Art Museum,” in retrospect of what they have learned and illuminate their future in becoming excellent artists.
We also expect that everyone from society can step into the “Art Museum” to join us in caring for the growth of new art seedlings and creating a good atmosphere for their healthy growth.
This is a warm festival, an educational and teaching event, and an academic discussion about cultivating outstanding artists in this new era.
We have appreciated the new possibility brought by challenges!
We have experienced new hope from the latest graduates!
We will continue to practice the spirit of CAFA motto, namely, “Do One’s Utmost in the Subtle Detail and Apply Oneself to the Mass.”
Once again, we revisited the speech from President Xi Jinping’s reply to senior professors of CAFA on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of CAFA. “Educate the students with the heart of great love. Create masterpieces of the times with the art of grand beauty.”
Now, the 2020 CAFA Graduation Season is starting!
Please join us to step into this fantastic and unique “Art Museum.”
View of the VR Exhibition Hall
THEN & NOW
BIRTH IN SPRING & GROWTH IN SUMMER
—A Speech for the 2020 CAFA Online Graduation Season
By Fan Di’an, President of CAFA on 20 May, 2020
The spring and summer of 2020 are destined to become a particular memory for all. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has aroused sadness in mourning the loss of lives and brave songs that fight to prevent and control the virus, all of which reverberate throughout earth. Confronted with such a sudden catastrophe, it seems hard for art to narrate the complicated situation but artists ultimately have affection and faith. The Central Academy of Fine Art (abbr. CAFA) has comprehensively conducted online teaching. With a joint effort from all the teachers and students, we overcome the difficulties caused by the pandemic through sincere artistic feelings and firm artistic obligations. We hold fast to the teaching positions, among which the most precious are the perseverance and endeavor of all graduating students and their supervisors. With excellent thesis presentations and achievements, they jointly won a collective glory for CAFA and a self-fulfilling journey for themselves. All of the thesis presentations therefore have their own unique connotations and testify to the national fight against the pandemic in artistic ways.
Ever since the establishment of “CAFA Graduation Season” in 2015, CAFA has established a grand talent festival of art by turning the campus into a great art museum. A broad platform is established for the display of works from diversified disciplines and schools of CAFA, and it further becomes a bridge to disseminate the achievements in talent training and promotes the employment and entrepreneurship of graduating students. Although 2020 CAFA Graduation Season cannot be implemented on-site at the CAFA Art Museum and other venues, CAFA has decided to use the online exhibition to present the talent shows of graduating students and repay the concerns of society. The complete preparation process was full of expectation and creativity.
Despite the rapid changes that occurred to internet technologies, there are no established rules for online art exhibitions and visual art galleries. In order to provide a comfortable display and appreciative experience as perfectly as possible, the curatorial team of CAFA and many teachers from various departments and schools have devoted great effort to this, NetDragon Websoft undertook the overall development of this project, nearly 100 employees have been working day and night and their endeavors make the grand exhibitions of the online graduation season become unique and fascinating. The works of graduating students presented in the spacious galleries of CAFA Art Museum, can be appreciated in an immersive way and visitors can change the scenery along their path while observing the momentum and subtleties. Visitors can also open up layers of links to enter the microcosmos of thought as created by each artist. The three-dimensional enrichment and expansion of CAFA Online Graduation Season has exceeded the existing level and added the latest experience to the social communication of contemporary art.
The pandemic has separated us from each other, but it cannot block our communication. The graduation season is the blossom season of the academy. In this year, it particularly sends out a message for firmness of faith and the strength of life. From then to now, from spring to summer, time and space, that and this, all make us feel warm and full of hope:
Then, it was a wonderful time to study in the campus,
Now, it is an exciting moment to enter society.
Then, having the dream of the ivory tower,
Now, walking into the earthly reality.
Then, filled with students’ enthusiasm, they cast all restraints aside,
Now, they are flourishing and striking trends and fads.
Then, youth was brilliant by grinding,
Now, life is sublimated by struggles.
Then, they knew the world through art,
Now, they reflect the world by art.
Then, they saw creations from beauty,
Now, they produce beauty from creations.
Then, the students looked forward to the glory of their alma mater,
Now, CAFA feels delighted with their achievements.
View of VR Exhibition Hall
For any art college, the graduation season in 2020 has become particularly unique with the effect exerted by the pandemic. With wonderful thesis presentations, the exhibitions during graduation seasons used to attract the attention of many visitors inside or outside the art field. For the first time, 2020 CAFA Graduation Season has been conducted in virtual galleries of CAFA Art Museum on an unprecedented scale to provide a platform that displays the achievements of graduating students from CAFA. An “eye-catching exhibition never goes offline” intuitively features the advantages of virtual online exhibitions. According to the analysis data provided by the CAFA Network Center, during the first 24 hours after it’s launched, there were 2.13 million views and 530,000 unique visitors.
Around early March, the curatorial team, visual design team and technical team of this online graduation exhibition begun their planning. The most curious thing for the audience might be the realization and solution of technical problems behind it. The technical team is jointly undertaken by NetDragon Websoft Inc. and the engineer in charge of this project also revealed some production details to CAFA ART INFO. The tour engine technologies applied in this exhibition have been integrated from the technical accumulation of krpano, Three.js. Meanwhile the latest version of the HDRP high-precision rendering technology for the unity3D engine is also utilised to realize the restoration of the display effect in CAFA Art Museum. Although they are nonphysical galleries with no physical shooting, they highlight the virtual scenes using high-quality resources.
As the curatorial team mentioned, “exhibiting thesis presentations in CAFA Art Museum makes everyone feel warm with a sense of belonging, though they are presented in virtual galleries, they remain as a wonderful memory for graduates.” It is different from purely creating a virtual space, moreover it is necessary to make visitors feel the sense of “touring” in the virtual space. They can also feel the atmosphere and image of CAFA rather than any inhuman technologies. Emotion and thinking have also been integrated into the details of display with the endeavors of the curatorial and technical teams.
There are two main ways of viewing this online exhibition, namely with a mobile phone or computer. By clicking the link or scanning the QR code, you can enter the virtual venue. You can freely roam, jump, appreciate details, browse videos, play with models by clicking with the mouse or touching the screen of your cell phone. Various models and systems of computers or cell phones might cause different compatibility situations. Therefore, if you have difficulty in visiting it, you can try another device or refresh it.
After entering the virtual museum, visitors can choose any mode from “3D Virtual Graduation Exhibition” or “Online Graduation Exhibition”: if you choose the first one, you can virtually walk and visit the CAFA Art Museum by choosing the online galleries from 1 to 4 to gradually find presentations from various departments and schools; the “Online Graduation Exhibition” is more like an archive, through which you can intuitively understand the situation of thesis presentations from various departments and schools from graphic information.
More Ways to Play:
Search: Both viewing methods offer a chance to search and browse the work and thesis information by entering the name and student ID through the “search” function on the upper right corner.
Share: Each page supports the function of “share” by clicking the graphic button of “arrow” to share the work with others.
Like: Click the red heart at the bottom of the page, you can like the work and show your support.
For spectators, the exhibition can be viewed in all directions via the user terminal in a convenient, concise and even ubiquitous way, which undoubtedly will mean people can enjoy a “hands-on” experience. For graduates who participate in it, their graduation works will not be “withdrawn” within a certain period, beyond the limitations of time and space, it becomes a long-term commemoration in this special graduation season and gives everyone the courage to confront the future. More importantly, it reminds these quasi-artists and designers to adapt to the future epoch with rapid changes in technologies, innovation and exploration with persistent strength.
According to the curatorial team, “we intend to make it easy, convenient and simple to operate. Everyone can understand it after a short time, so that one can spend more time browsing the exhibition itself. Through this online exhibition, we hope it can introduce the thesis presentations from CAFA to the whole world.”
Although there might be a diversified experience and feedback and there remains more revisions to be made for this completely new online exhibition, 2020 CAFA Graduation Exhibition is indeed a brave experiment among art colleges in China and the whole world. In the future, more directions and possibilities will be gradually unfolded and changes will happen silently.
Image Source: 3D Virtual Graduation Exhibition Hall Screenshot
Interview conducted by CAFA ART INFO
Translated and edited by Sue and Emily/CAFA ART INFO