Exhibition “Zdenek Sklenar’s China” in Beijing
04.04.2009 / 03:46
An extensive exhibition of paintings and graphics of a Czech artist Zdenek Sklenar was organised in the National Museum of Art of China in Beijing. The exhibition formed a part of accompanying cultural programme of the Czech rotating presidency of the EU and celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Czech Republic and the People’s Republic of China
The exhibition took place from April 4th until April 22nd, 2009. A new unique edition of “Songs of Old China” (神州古诗) was published on the occasion of the exhibition.
The exhibition included more than 300 drawings and paintings by the Czech painter Zdeněk Sklenář (1910 – 1986), who was inspired by his three-month stay in China in 1955. During that time Zdeněk Sklenář was employed as the main graphic artist of a travelling exhibit of Czechoslovak culture.
The exhibition was prepared by the nephew of the painter, Zdeněk Sklenář jr., together with the director of the National Museum of Art of China Fan Di’an and co-curator of the exhibition Ivo Binder. The author of the architectonic design of the exhibition was Federico Diaz. The exhibited works of art were temporarily lent by 8 Czech public art collection houses (including the Czech National Gallery in Prague) and 10 significant private collection houses. It also included 25 paintings awarded with the golden medal during Biennale Internacionale d’Arte in Florence in 1971, legendary illustrations to books of Chinese literature, graphic sheets and a diary from China.
The opening ceremony was held on April 4th in the premises of the National Museum of Art in Beijing. Among the people present there were also vice-directors of the Museum Ma Shulin and Qian Linxiang, employees of the Czech Embassy and other diplomats, members of the Czech community in Beijing, Chinese Czech language students, artists, reporters, altogether more than 400 people.
A new book – a Czech-Chinese edition of “Songs of Old China” (Zpěvy staré Číny) with illustrations of the painter Zdeněk Sklenář – was also launched during the opening ceremony. After speeches of His Excellency V. Grepl, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, the director of the National Gallery Fan Di’an and Zdeněk Sklenář, the Nostitz Quartet performed several pieces of Czech classical music. After cutting the ribbon the exhibition officially started, together with a banquet. Afterwards some of guests left for the Czech Embassy to listen to an evening concert of the Nostitz quartet.
The exhibition, which symbolized a marriage of Czech and Chinese culture, and the following concert were a great success with the public. The number of visitors was high from the very beginning and in total it was visited by tens of thousands of people. The coverage of the exhibition was presented to the Czech audience by the Czech Television. A documentary about the exhibition should be released later too.
Exhibition sponsored by: