The Largest Personal Exhibition of Wang Dongling’s Calligraphy Art in 60 Years Is Opened at ZJAM
pubdate: 2021/10/18   author: zjam  source: zjam  click:

On October 16, 2021, “Starting Anew—Wang Dongling’s Calligraphy Art in 60 Years” was grandly opened at ZJAM. This great exhibition was sponsored by the Propaganda Department of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee (PD-ZPC), the Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government, the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism (ZPDCT), Zhejiang Federation of Literary and Art Circles (ZFLAC), Chinese Calligraphers Association (CCA), and China Academy of Art (CAA). It was co-sponsored by the Propaganda Department of Hangzhou Municipal Committee, Hangzhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Zhejiang Calligraphers Association (ZCA), ZJAM, and Xiling Society of Seal Arts (XSSA). The organizers included the School of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Art of CAA and Lanting Calligraphy Association. Wang Dongling wrote 3m-square characters, coupled with multi-media comprehensive performance on site. The art and document collections recording his 60-year calligraphy art career were released simultaneously.

At the Opening Ceremony

Ding Zhongli, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress; Lv Zushan, former deputy secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee and governor of Zhejiang Province; Pan Yunhe, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering; Zhu Guoxian, member of the Standing Committee and director of the PD-ZPC; Wu Jing, vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and of the Zhejiang Provincial CPPCC; Lin Kaijun, former member of the Standing Committee of Zhejiang Provincial Committee and former political commissar of the Zhejiang Provincial Military Region; Yu Guoxing, former deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress (ZPPC); Wang Yongchang, former deputy director of the Standing Committee of the ZPPC and curator of the Zhejiang Provincial Museum of Culture and History (ZPMCH); Ye Ming, former chairman of the Hangzhou Municipal CPPCC; Cai Xiaochun, deputy secretary-general of the Zhejiang Provincial Government; Ge Xuebin, vice director of the PD-ZPC and director of Zhejiang Provincial Film Board; Wang Xiaofeng, executive deputy minister of the United Front Work Department of Zhejiang Provincial Committee; Xu Jiang, vice chairman of the Chinese Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC), chairman of the ZFLAC, and director of the Academic Committee of CAA; Chen Zhenlian, vice chairman of the CFLAC and vice president and secretary-general of XSSA; Chu Ziyu, secretary of the Party Group and director of the ZPDCT; Chen Yao, secretary of the Party Group of the ZFLAC; Qian Xiaofang, vice managing director of the Education, Technology, Culture and Health Committee of the ZPPC; Jiang Jun, secretary of the Party Committee and chairman of Zhejiang Cultural Industry Investment Group Co., Ltd.; Qi Xiaohu, member of the Standing Committee and director of the Propaganda Department of the Hangzhou Municipal Committee; Zhang Zhenfeng, member of the Standing Committee of the Hangzhou Municipal Committee and secretary of Yuhang District Committee; Tan Yueming, former secretary of the Party Group and director of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development; Jin Xingsheng, former secretary of the Party Group and director of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture; Weng Weijun, former deputy secretary of the Party Group and vice chairman of the Hangzhou CPPCC; Zhang Jianting, former deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Hangzhou Municipal People’s Congress; Gong Zhinan, executive deputy director of the Propaganda Department of Hangzhou Municipal Committee; Tong Fagen, deputy leader of the Eighth Inspection Team of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee; Dong Yongmin, second-level inspector of the General Office of the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress; Deng Wei, deputy editor-in-Chief of Zhejiang Daily Press Group and editor-in-Chief of Qianjiang Evening News; Jiang Yufeng,, full-time deputy curator of the ZPMCH; Ying Dawei, secretary of the Disciplinary Committee and member of the Party Committee of Zhejiang Conservatory of Music; Zhao Yanjun, vice chairman of the ZFLAC and chairman of the ZCS; and Cao Houling, deputy mayor of Suzhou, attended the opening ceremony or visited the exhibition.

At the Opening Ceremony

Curator Ying Jinfei, General Party Branch Secretary and Deputy Curator Du Qun, and Deputy Curator Qian Cheng of ZJAM; Jin Yibin, Sun Xudong, Liu Zheng, Fang Peixin, Shen Hao, Fu Qiaoling, Cao Xiaoyang, Xu Guoqiang, and Yu Xuhong, leaders of the CAA Party Committee; Mao Xuefei, Gao Fagen, and Hu Zhonghua, former leaders of CAA, as well as guests from the literature and art, design, business, and media circles, and representative teachers and students of CAA, attended the opening ceremony. Gao Shiming, president of CAA, expressed his gratitude to the leaders and guests and congratulated Mr. Wang Dongling while he was studying in Beijing.


Zhu Guoxian, Lv Zushan, Pan Yunhe, Wu Jing, Lin Kaijun, Yu Guoxing, Wang Yongchang, Ye Ming, Chu Ziyu, and Chen Yao jointly unveiled the curtain for the exhibition.

At the opening ceremony, Wang Dongling donated his works to ZJAM, and Ying Jinfei accepted the donations on behalf of ZJAM and issued a donation certificate to Wang Dongling, witnessed by Chu Ziyu and Jin Yibin.

Xu Jiang, vice chairman of the CFLAC and chairman of the ZFLAC, delivering a speech

Xu Jiang said that Wang Dongling’s calligraphy has deep roots and covers extensive themes. His calligraphy is a phenomenal creation in the contemporary art world. On the one hand, his cursive script is unique, with flowing lines and unfettered styles. On the other hand, he takes calligraphy as a ship that sails far and carries out various experiment in the field of contemporary art. “Starting Anew” is not only a comparison between 60 years of career and the new start at the moment, but also a display of self-confidence, consciousness, a return to the original self, awareness of maturity, and a call from destiny. Therefore, this exhibition is neither humble nor overbearing. It is powerful. “In this era when computer and digital writing prevails, people pay more attention to the inheritance of calligraphy and cherish calligraphy copying. On the one hand, we must preserve the spiritual roots of calligraphy and its traditions, develop our cultural quality, and keep our respect for and faith in the great calligraphy tradition; on the other hand, we take the responsibility for breaking through the possible dilemmas of calligraphy tradition, penetrating into the depths of contemporary society and humanities, recreating the creative nature of calligraphy in parallel with the Creator as we are faced with the new world we live in and new survival experience, and rebuilding a life experience beyond realities.”

Chen Zhenlian, vice chairman of the CFLAC and vice president and secretary-general of XSSA, delivering a speech

Chen Zhenlian said that Wang Dongling is an iconic figure who has been practicing calligraphy very persistently. “Calligraphy is good now, and it was better before, but what about the future? With modern information and the Internet society, especially in the context of the integration of East and West, what will be the fate of calligraphy in the future? Each of us has our own answer as we explore in this world. Mr. Wang Dongling gives his lifetime answer in this exhibition, ‘Starting Anew’.”

Jin Yibin, secretary of the CAA Party Committee, delivering a speech

Jin Yibin said that Mr. Wang Dongling is an “unprecedented” trekker in higher calligraphy education, a pioneer of contemporary calligraphy art who “dares to be the first”, and a “practical” messenger of Chinese calligraphy culture. His 60-year career in art coincided with the 60 years of vigorous development of Chinese higher calligraphy education represented by CAA. For several generations, calligraphy professionals from CAA have always regarded “perpetuate waning wisdom of ancient sages” as their mission and responsibility and worked hard to climb to new peaks of Chinese calligraphy talent training. They have become a banner of Chinese higher calligraphy education that develops rapidly in the new century. The generation of Wang Dongling is a well-deserved standard banner bearer. Chinese calligraphy is the organic combination of literature, characters and writing. It carries the genes of Chinese civilization, shapes the characteristics of Chinese aesthetics, and interprets the spirit of Chinese culture. Integrating calligraphy teaching into the professional teaching of various disciplines at CAA has become a consensus that is put into practice. Calligraphy has become an inexhaustible source for experiencing and deeply understanding the oriental connotation of visual art, an infinite power for traditional activation, and a solid foundation for innovation.

Zhu Qingsheng, professor of the Department of History of Peking University and editor-in-chief of the Contemporary Art Yearbook of China

Zhu Qingsheng said that it will not happen in the future that we give out what China has, but instead we will promote the overall civilization forward from where it stays in the world. In other words, we will open up paths to guide the relationship between people and the world through art, including to address the dilemma that we confront with in the new media era. We will also explore possibilities to solve common problems that mankind will encounter in the future, the future of the world, and the ideals of mankind. “Wang Dongling’s calligraphy is a continuation of these exploratory paths, and it is clearly exploratory and contributory.”

Zhao Yanjun, vice chairman of the ZFLAC and chairman of the ZCS, reading the congratulatory letter from CCA

CCA stated in the congratulatory letter that Professor Wang Dongling, who experiences and witnesses the revival of Chinese calligraphy in the new era, has made fruitful achievements in calligraphy education, theoretical research, and creative practice for decades. “Starting anew does not mean abandoning the root, but climbing new peaks on top of the established achievements. The more than one hundred works exhibited in this exhibition provide a comprehensive insight into Professor Wang Dongling’s diverse and inclusive artistic concepts and a visual presentation of his hard work to combine Chinese with Western art and his outstanding achievements in promoting the art of calligraphy and spreading the culture of calligraphy.”

Feng Yuan, deputy curator of the Central Museum of Literature and History and vice chairman of the CFLAC; Fan Di’an, chairman of CAA and president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts; Wu Weishan, member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC, director of the National Art Museum of China, and vice chairman of the Chinese Artists Association; Ma Fenghui, member of the Branch Party Group and secretary-general of CAA, sent their congratulatory letters respectively.

Gao Shiming, president of CAA, said that Mr. Wang Dongling’s calligraphy practice not only adds an important chapter of calligraphy to the collection of Chinese contemporary art in Western museums, but also opens up a new page in the global calligraphy history. “To go beyond the ‘debates about ancientness and modernism, between China and the West’, Chinese calligraphy need to observe the regular law while being flexible constant and understanding convention from abnormality in the world context and the reality of the times. It also needs to consolidate its basis and return basis to open a new road in the context of the Chinese civilization. Mr. Wang Dongling leaves from the original peaceful state of calligraphy and starts to have dialogues with great traditions, world civilization, contemporary art, and digital technology in which he opens up the contemporary vision and innovation space for Chinese calligraphy. No matter in the Chinese calligraphy world or in the global art landscape, his works are arguably extraordinary.”

Wang Wenli, granddaughter of Mr. Wang Dongling, delivering a thank-you speech

“Time flies, and I am growing, but I never feel that my grandpa is aging. Over the 16 years that I have witnessed, he has been so trendy, so pure, so gentle and elegant, and so full of passion.” Wang Wenli, granddaughter of Mr. Wang Dongling, shared her understanding of her grandpa’s 60-year calligraphy art at the opening ceremony. “From traditional calligraphic styles, disordered style, bamboo path to VR, my grandpa’s contributions to art are far more than black characters on white paper. He perfects combines traditional with avant-garde, Chinese styles with the Western styles, abstract with concrete, and art with life. Thanks to him, I know that calligraphy is not only a horizontal and vertical and meticulous art, but also multicultural innovation. Over the 60 years, his career path has been refreshed through constant integration with the times.”

At the opening ceremony, Wang Dongling created calligraphy on a piece of 3m-square paper, and this process was projected to the screen through dynamic image capture technology. After finishing writing, Wang Dongling said that he changed his plan to write “Return Basis to Open a New Road” into “Starting Anew”, the title of the exhibition, out of excitement. “‘Returning basis to open a new road’ is actually a predecessor to starting anew. I should start anew and work harder to improve my artistic quality and calligraphy art level. I will take practical actions as a means to thank the leaders, friends and colleagues who have always supported me.”

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