25-31 August - 1-8 September 2012
Feelings of Venice
Italian Contemporary Art
FYR Gallery art space, Art Bund 111, Liyang rd 111, (by Dongdaming rd), Shanghai (China)
(extract from the exhibition catalogue)
While Egypt was busy building its pyramids, the first townships
were springing up along the banks of China's Huang Hu river;
while the Babylonians were busy measuring the heavens, the
Chinese were developing a calendar which predicted future
eclipses. In that great era in the history of humanity when
Socrates was in Athens, Buddha was in India and Zaratosht
in Persia, Confucious and Lao Tsu where teaching their
philosophical concepts in China. While Rome was pushing its
borders westwards, the Han dynasty was conquering western
territories and opening up the Silk Trail which would serve as a
communications route with the Western World. It would not
only become a trade route but also an artery that would carry
men and ideas along a trail dotted with Buddhist monasteries
and votive monuments, known as Stupas, which bear witness
to China's great cultural and artistic heritage.
While the Silk Trail was reaching its zenith, the foundations
were being laid for what was to eventually be Venice, a unique
city teeming with the history, culture and cosmopolitan values
that would never allow it to go out of fashion.
Venice was starting to emerge while the Barbarians were
invading the Roman Empire. It became a reassuring reference
point for the Veneto people who joined together to form a
complete, distinct unit held together by Byzantine civilization
under the Exharchate of Ravenna. Collaboration between
its many centres, spread throughout its many islands, would
become the catalysts of the expansion of the Venetian Republic.
A combination of subsequent events, trade links and the travels
of Marco Polo led to the opening up of the Serene Republic
towards China, full of eager curiosity and respect for a people,
whose characteristics have always been a distinguishing feature.
Over time, new paths have reinforced the link between the two
cultures - intuition, colours and expression found in the art,
the culture and the affinity towards nature which have deeply
touched the soul of Mankind.
China's intense, lively cultural life was reflected in the economic
prosperity and international prestige that characterised
it's dealings with the West. It covered all artistic fields from
painting to sculpture, from music to poetry and literature.
Contact with other cultures were readily welcomed with
interest. China's exuberant cultural continued to prosper in a
period which was particularly fertile in the history of Chinese
art and during which the city of Shanghai was born.
Shanghai's proximity to the sea, it's wide, accessible port,
together with Western influence, have made it one of the focal
points for foreign trade: it is the modernest town in China,
with its massive skyscrapers and industrial areas, shops and
restaurants. It has, however maintained the charm of its old
city where life carries on in the same way it did one hundred
years ago. The architecture of the buildings, the pagodas, the
Temple of the Gods, the Museum with its modern exhibit
areas, which today house the works of Italian artists, together
with bronzes, sculptures of Bhudda, ceramics and porcelains,
Chinese calligraphy paintings, seals, jade objects, coins,
furniture and costumes of the ethnic minorities as well as
modern and contemporary art continue to give voice to the
past and present of a great city.
Venice also bears the signs of its contact with different cultures,
ages and countries. Venetian ships trading with the Orient and
with Istria, brought back all manner of things that contributed
to embellishing the city such as reliefs, lions, precious marbles,
columns etc. Which can still be seen today. Venice distinguishes
itself for the skill and industriousness of its artisans and craft
workers who made their mark on both art and architecture. An
example of this was given by the Arsenal workers – arsenalotti
– who were responsible for building and fitting out the Ventian
fleet and constructing some of the most important public
buildings in Venice, such as the Doge's Palace.
Venice carries the mark of the great masters of every age and
time: the Renaissance, the Baroque, the painters and artists of
the Venetian Romance and Neoclassical schools who worked
all over the Veneto region and whose fame spread across Italy
and Europe and whose work is well-known and admired all
over the world.
This artistic tradition continues today with Art and culture
exhibitions from all over the world where artists can
communicate by means of an international language which is
understood and appreciated by all, becoming testimonials of
With this exhibition, Venetian artists wish to present their
individuality and their creativeness by demonstrating that,
although the techniques materials and means of expression
may differ (paintings, sculptures, mosaics, jewellery, glass
and designer fashion) the refined elegance, colours light and
atmosphere which characterise the Venetian school have
remained unaltered over time. The ability to capture and put
together different materials is a distinguishing feature of many
of the creations: the style itself becomes an element of research,
fashion and expression of the individual's skills. The brilliance
and interior force and chromatic effects of the exhibits reflect
the artists' individuality but together they share a common
desire to make themselves known to new countries for which
there has always been reciprocal admiration and respect.
Two worlds which are divided by time and space, that can
however communicate and get to know each other through
the universal language of Art.
This all time first event in the pulsating heart of China houses
the work of contemporary artists who recount a story of colours
and shapes of the Veneto Region as it is today.
Paintings and sculptures together represent the very essence of
the Veneto, offspring of the Serene Republic.
This first step taken by the Veneto artists is also meant to be
an exchange invitation to China's artists. Its aim is to open up
a pathway for Art and communication which leads to both
knowledge and friendship.
TANTARTE, an association which has always been involved
in promoting multidisciplinary art events.