Hungary and China - a cultural cooperation

MMA signed an agreement on cultural cooperation with the Chinese National Academy of Arts (CNAA) on 11 April in the centre of MMA, the Vigadó (the document was signed by Tan Ping, the Vice-President of CNAA and by György Fekete, President of MMA), and one day before that a unique exhibition of Chinese painting and calligraphy opened in Vigadó Gallery entitled From the East... and on 11 April a half-day conference took place on Chinese art as well as the relationship of Chinese and Hungarian culture with the title Contacts.
After the opening speech of Marcell Jankovics, Vice-President of MMA, in which the Artist of the Nation talked about his admiration for Chinese characters and after the welcoming speech of Péter Hoppál, Minister of State for Culture, in which he stressed that the need for getting to know each other's cultures is growing, the first lecturer was Gergely Salát, historian, Sinologist, associate professor and head of department expounded on the presence of Chinese art in Hungary. He outlined the process during which Chinese art got into Hungary from the 18th century initially by means of the art collecting of aristocratic family, e.g. the Zichys and the Esterházys, then by the art collecting of the famous Hungarian merchant, Ferenc Hopp (1833-1919) and in the last decade thanks to the cooperation of the two countries and the biggest Hungarian museums.
Janisz Horváth, calligraphy teacher and graphic artist talked about Chinese brush work in a highly illustrative way. He emphasized that Chinese painting is in close relation with Chinese calligraphy, since both are composed of lines.
Niu Kecheng, director of the Fine Art Research Institute of CNAA talked about Chinese culture and art, elaborating on the special phenomenon that Chinese paintings and calligraphies were beyond space and time and showed this with the images of the so-called long scroll, which can be seen at the exhibition at Vigadó Gallery. He also said that East and West constantly look for each other like men and women.
Luo Pengpeng, the director of the Chinese Academy of Seal Cutting held a lecture on the art of seals. She pointed out that Chinese seal art is more than 3000 years old and that the UN declared it as part of the World Heritage. She also said that an excellent seal cutter had to be an excellent calligrapher and that Chinese seal cutting is a living and vivid tradition even among young people in China.
Liu Wanming, the director of the Chinese Academy of Painting and vice-dean of the doctoral school of CNAA expounded on the fact that the basis of Chinese painting was calligraphy and on the process of how characters became paintings. He also stressed that "what we depict is what lies in our hearts".
Han Xuezhong, the director of the Exhibition Centre of the Cultural Strategic Research Institute showed such modern Chinese paintings in which Chinese and European painting styles were mixed.
Finally Lin Chen, the scientific member of the Musical Research Institute of CNAA played on a special instrument called guquin and before that she talked about Chinese music, about her instrument and about the fact that the basis of Chines music was not beat as in European music, but breathing.
April 12, 2017