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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 creativity. 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.