This is a special year when Covid-19 causes international unrest. As a result, the Watercolor Exhibition of Central and Eastern European Countries, originally planned to be held at Ningbo Museum of Art in early June this year, was cancelled. This is an annual art event to supplement the China-CEEP Expo held in Ningbo. Since 2014, we have held five CEEC art exhibitions, which have attracted domestic and global media exposure and become an important part of cultural communications under the structure of China-CEEC Expo.
Considering the spread of Covid-19, Ningbo Museum of Art decided to bring the exhibition online to ensure that this annual event could still come to public. After several months’ effort, Jin Zhenchen, international curator of NMA, invited 23 artists from 17 Central and Eastern Countries to participate in this event.
The participating artists are active in CEEC and international art circles, among whom a third have exhibited in China long ago. For instance, Atanas Matsoureff from Bulgaria, Eugenijus Nalevaika from Lithuania, Pavol Kral from Slovakia, Sasha Lopatich from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Jānis Spalviņš from Latvia have taken part in exhibitions in China from several times.
CEE countries are the first to establish diplomatic ties with China. Especially since 2012 when China and CEEC promoted to build China-CEEC cooperation mechanism, the relationship between China and CEE countries has deepened and expanded from official to civil cooperation, from political and economic areas to humanity fields including education and culture. The achievements of cooperation and exchanges obtained on an equal and mutually beneficial basis attract tremendous attention from the world.
The civilizations, cultures and arts from different countries give birth to multiple, diversified and abundant world civilizations, cultures and arts. In today’s globalization where differences and universality coexist, CEEC art, colorful and splendid, is like the paint on a palette, or a flower on a spring plain.
So do the watercolor paintings in CEE countries. While traditional watercolor expression techniques still prevail, aquarellists, impacted by modern schools in the Europe, have to make "revolutionary" attempts, including using bulk water-based color. In addition, cubism, structuralism and pop art provide various technique sources for watercolorists.
Only when we know both ourselves and our adversaries could we "have a broad mind".
According to a Chinese saying, stones from other mountains can be used to polish our own jade (meaning using criticism from others to correct one’s own mistakes). But they could also be admired and appreciated.
Therefore, Ningbo Museum of Art always stays true to its mission and advances ahead on the journey of building an international communication platform.