Part III – How to Implement Contemporary Art Education
Time: 10：30－13：20, 22 May, 2006
Venue: Yan’an University
Lu Jie: Today is the third segment of the Long March Yan’an Project’s largest project “The Yan’an Forum on Art Education”. We are grateful for the support of Yan’an University, to hold the third part of this meeting here is filled with meaning.
Lian Zhenmin: Yan’an University is located at the foot of Yangjialing along the banks of the Yanhe River. It was named by Mao Zedong himself. It was the first multi-disciplinary university setup the the Communist party. Mao once said, “Let 100 Flowers Bloom, and 100 schools contend”. Arts and literature must link with society. Art should serve the laborers. Our school is focused on how to develop talent.
Cai Guoqiang: We should teach students not to be afraid of failure. Because I want to develop good students. This is mainly for M.A. Fine Arts students, and not for all art education. What is mean is if we hope to develop such a class then we ourselves must not to be afraid of failure, and willingly let a group of students fail completely. To develop only according to one model, sooner or later you are going to fail. If at school you do not continuously challenge do not continuously struggle, once you are outside you will instantly be defeated. If they will fail, then they will fail, the earlier the better, the earlier they can be helped.
Lv Shengzhong: Art academies have continously emphasized the Lu Xun methodology. I am aware that art academies are the testing ground for artists, but once they leave, does not mean they will be artists. However, they must have ability to respond to society. They should be elite, but also respond to society.
Yang Jinsong: Experimental art educaiton and contemporary art education have many aspects and layers. As Cai Guo-Qiang stated, let’s not restrict it too much we should not formalize immediately and develop a new model.
Qiu Zhijie: Social surveys are a part of the curriculum in our comprehensive media department. It has always been an important component. There were 40 participants in this Tibet survey. We were actually working in the Tibetan district on the border of Sichuan and Qinghai. We primarily used field research, interviews and observations including how long people would stay and look at one painting. Based upon these observations, we developed a survey which we then distributed. The creation of these survey forms, lead to a new interpretation of realism. which is not completely “realistic,” but does not rule out this method.
Lu Jie: Professor Chen Danqing, former dean Tsinghua Academy of Fine Arts. He has a lot of experience and thoughts about art education. He is currently in Hong Kong and unable to attend, but we are lucky to arrange a phone conversation. Let me first interupt Qiu Zhijie and see if we can reach him. “- Hello, Chen Danqing? How are you? I am Lu Jie. I am at Yan’an. Do you have time to give a talk by phone? -Yes, I hear you. There is a lot of background noise. “
Zhang Peili: New media is not simply about technology, there is also a conceptual layer.
Personally, I think that it is difficult to say what is right and what is wrong with new media art education. In the past, we tried our best to have students avoid mistakes, but for new media education, we should have a more open attitude. Inspiration and creativity could be linked with these mistakes. This is a huge shift in approach.
Lu Jie: I hope that some Yan’an University students could ask questions.
A female student from Yan’an University: When idealism and the system come into direct conflict, what are we to do?
Qiu Zhijie: When in conflict, you should protect yourself. There is no need to be a martyr for art. In the heirachy of human needs, the first is existence. The second is enjoyment, and finally development. Only after we protect our existence, Chinese philosophy says we can first give in. After the conflict resides, we can stand up again. At the same time, never forget your idealism.
Lu Jie: The 11 Cave dwellings on row 5 above the university have been opened up by Yan’an University to act as exhibition space for the Long March Project. The Long March has been working in Yan’an for a long period now. The Long March has already been working in Yan’an for some time now. I hope that all participants and supporters of the Long March can provide proposals to the project for future collaboration. Thank you all!
The 3rd Part of Yan’an Forum is hold in Yan’an University
Over 300 teachers and students attended the forum
Group photo of delegates
Lv Shengzhong sang Folk songs in northern Shaanxi
Summary on Yan’an Forum of Art Education
Time: 23 May, 2006
Venue: Yan’an Kangda Hotel
Lu Jie: We are now at our last segment of the Yan’an Forum on Art Education.
Fan Di’an: Today, it seems that coming to Yan’an is very easy. I did some calculations, the time from take off to landing took 64 minutes. This is also the 64th anniversary of the Yan’an Forum on Art and Literature. One minute per year. I feel that to hold this forum here in Yan’an, is not just a direct following of history, rather, it is about finding common linkages between the discussion at that time and what we are facing today with contemporary art.
Xu Jiang: I have discussed three points: First is how to break free of internalization in order to reorganize traditional resources. Second is how to break free of the demands of our memories and regain the sources of our thinking. Third is how to break free of the boundaries of culture to effectively retrieve the resources of technology on an even broader platform. From the above three points, are we able to strengthen the critical attitude which we were discussing above and work together, to strenghten the critical attitude and experiences of local resources in the period of globalization, traditional art and new media art humanist concerns and pop culture, protecting cultural interest and utlizing the power of art.
Fei Dawei: Is art able to be independent? Can it lead society? Can it be self contained, or must it interfere with society? Is it art for art’s sake? Or art for life? Should art be conceptual or utilitarian? Is art the criticism of weapons or the weapon of criticism? Such paradoxes are global. They are not unique to China. But China is also swinging back and forth rather extremely in this paradox. We are trying to break away from the rigidity and homogeneity of art. For an extended period of time, there was a lack of diversity.
Li Gongming: Regarding the non-ideal condition of the ideal of art education, everyone has mentioned its movement towards practicalism and commericialism. Both the frequently mentioned administrative department and rigid system of standards need to be further discussed. I believe that we need to appeal to the entire field of art education as well as to society to pay attention to contemporary art education.
Lu Jie: Thank you all!
Delegates visiting and communicating