“Inspiration as Response: Eugen Popa and Contemporary Chinese Painting Documentation Exhibition” Opens at the China Cultural Center in Bucharest, Romania

HANGZHOU, China, June 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — To celebrate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Romania, the “Inspiration as Response: Eugen Popa and Contemporary Chinese Painting Documentation Exhibition” opened at the China Cultural Center in Bucharest on May 24, 2024, at 3 PM, representing a significant chapter of cultural exchanges between the two nations. It was hosted by the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture, Broadcasting, and Tourism, Zhejiang Provincial Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and China Academy of Art (CAA) and organized by the Art Museum of CAA and the China Cultural Center in Bucharest, under the auspices of the Chinese Embassy in Romania, the Romanian Embassy in China, and the International Exchange and Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.

Around 100 guests attended the event, including Han Chunlin, Chinese Ambassador to Romania; Cosmin Hiristea, Romanian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; former Romanian Ambassador to China Viorel Isticioaia and his wife; Zhang Lili, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Romania; Xu Ningbo, Director of the China Cultural Center in Bucharest; Petru Lucaci, Chairman of the Visual Artists’ Union of Romania; Chen Leilei, President of the Association of Romanian Culture and Arts Promotion; Ioan Fedchin, Mayor of Săvârșin, Eugen Popa’s hometown; Eugen Popa’s niece, Oana Popa; and distinguished guests from Romanian politics, culture, art, education, media, Chinese organizations, and the overseas Chinese community.

The “Eugen Popa and Contemporary Chinese Painting” project was initiated by the CAA in 2019, as commissioned by the International Exchange and Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture, Broadcasting, and Tourism. The inaugural exhibition was held at the Art Museum of CAA on September 28, 2020, followed by a tour at the Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute on October 30, 2021.

Under a ChinaRomania cultural agreement, renowned Romanian artist Eugen Popa and his wife, Gina Hagiu, taught a Romanian oil painting training course at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now CAA) from 1960 to 1962, at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of China and under an assignment from the Romanian Ministry of Culture. Eugen Popa’s two-year journey of teaching and artistic creation in China significantly contributed to ChinaRomania cultural exchanges and the development of diverse facets of Chinese painting.

His artistic ideas and teaching methods nurtured many influential artists and educators, expanding the language and essence of contemporary Chinese painting and exerting a lasting impact, while inspiring present and future generations. During their stay in China, the Popas deeply engaged with traditional Chinese culture and art, which influenced their creations. Their works created during that period were brought back to Romania and well-received in numerous exhibitions. The “Romanian Oil Painting Training Course” remains a significant milestone in cultural exchanges between the two countries.

The exhibition consists of four sections: 1. Prologue: Featuring lecturing scenes and graduation photos from the Romanian experts’ oil painting course, showing the starting point of China-Roman artistic exchanges. 2. Pioneering Paths: Displaying the Popas’ artworks, highlighting their unique influence on the Chinese art scene and their integration and innovation of Chinese traditional culture. 3. Long-lasting Influence: Exhibiting students’ replicas of Popa’s works and their own creations under his guidance, demonstrating the profound impact of Popa’s teaching methodology on Chinese art education. 4. Inspiration as Response: Featuring interactive works between teachers and students, reflecting Popa’s contributions to the history of the CAA and the deep cultural ties between China and Romania.

The exhibition showcases 75 pieces (sets) of works, documents, and videos, focusing on the Popas’ paintings and works of their students, extending to representative contemporary Chinese paintings. The exhibition not only revisits an important history of cultural exchanges between China and Romania and presents the deep friendship between the two countries, but also reviews and demonstrates the development of Chinese contemporary painting in the latter half of the 20th century. It is a powerful testament to the achievements in cultural exchanges and mutual learning between the two nations.

The exhibition will last through June 24, 2024.

 

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