On the afternoon of April 28, Wu Weishan, member of the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and curator of the National Art Museum of China, was invited to the Beihang Grand Lecture to give an opening lecture for the first Beihang Art Festival. Cao Shumin, Party Secretary of Beihang University, and Huang Haijun, Vice President of Beihang University attended the event. The lecture was hosted by Huang Haijun. More than 700 teachers and students listened to the lecture simultaneously on the two campuses.
Wu Weishan delivered a keynote speech entitled "Making a Sculpture for the Times" to teachers and students of Beihang University, sharing the spirit of our nation, our time and the Chinese culture of the sculptures, as well as his exploration of sculpture art and the initial thought of making sculptures for the Times.
Starting from his series of sculptures of Chinese figures, Wu Weishan, shared his understanding of sculpture and culture. He illustrated the stories of China with examples of his famous works, and explained his devotion to making sculptures of the Times.
When it comes to the creation of the Chinese character series, Wu Weishan said that in the 1980s and 1990s, he was impressed by the social transition and diversified value orientation. However, nowadays young people seldom know about the ancient sages who made outstanding contributions to human progress and social development. Therefore, he began to create the sculptures of them, so as to establish an era monument to inspire newcomers.
Over the past 30 years, Wu Weishan has been devoting himself to this area, and has created more than 600 sculptures of historical and cultural figures. "By portraying the gentle, sensitive and resolute Chinese people, I have been searching for ways to express the tortuous and unyielding journey of a great nation."
In his sculpture creation, Wu Weishan takes the Chinese aesthetic spirit as the foundation and connects the tradition with the contemporary by remolding the profound Chinese excellent traditional culture and the beauty in daily life.
Wu Weishan is dedicated to promoting Chinese culture via the art of sculpture, and he found a new style of “freehand sculpture”. "Freehand method is the soul of traditional Chinese sculpture, which focuses on spiritual image modeling. It is different from the Western realistic sculpture in its unique aesthetic form, and it presents surging spiritual power."
"We must bear in mind our history rather than forgetting our founding aspiration. It is the century-long struggle of the Communist Party of China that has formed today's China." In the lecture, Wu shared and interacted with the audience to jointly explore the rich history, artistic spirit, cultural connotation and humanistic value of the nation contained in sculpture art.
After the lecture, Cao Shumin awarded Wu Weishan the honorary certificate of "Beihang Grand Lecture".
Wu Weishan is the correspondant de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts, vice president of the 9th Chinese Artists Association, famous contemporary sculptor, member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the curator of the National Art Museum of China. Because of his outstanding achievements and great influence, he has been awarded as an academician by Italy, Russia, Ukraine and other countries, and was awarded the gold medal of Russian National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Michelangelo Medal, and many other awards at home and aboard. His works have been exhibited in the Italian national museum, the United Nations Headquarters, and other countries and regions. His grand solo exhibition "Sculpting the Souls" was held in the National Museum of China in 2019, drawing the attention and praise of the world.
Reported by Wang Qing
Edited by Jia Aiping
Reviewed by Li Jianwei
Translated by Zheng Quan