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This exhibition dedicated to modern Chinese Christian art is a pioneer project, one never before presented in this form to an international audience. The Austrian Society for the Research of China was able to identify in China a lively artistic scene producing Christian art, which is tolerated by the government. It is based in Nanjing, but there are other centres in China as well. This artistic development has, so far, not been noticed by the international community. From the middle of September to the end of October, the KHM will be the first museum in the Western world to show a comprehensive survey of contemporary Christian art in China in an exhibition held at the Palais Harrach.

The artists are either connected to the Protestant or the Catholic Church. They employ a wide variety of techniques, from watercolours/ink painting to oil painting to wood cuts, prints, calligraphy, paper cut-outs, weaving or batic work, as well as wood sculptures. The works shown in Vienna may be classed in the following way:

  1. traditional Chinese watercolours/ink paintings (Chinese iconography adapted to Christian iconography) and calligraphy
  2. Chinese folk art (transposed motifs and techniques of traditional Chinese New Years woodcuts, paper cut-outs and peasant painting)
  3. European styles
    a) influences of the SVD school of painting at the University of Beijing
    b) oil painting.

It was possible to obtain the support of the Catholic Bishop of Beijing, Fu Tieshan, and the Protestant Bishop of Nanking, Ding Guangxun. The Chinese Society for International Understanding has also offered to act as a fascilitator. Two Chinese artists will alternate their attendance at the exhibition. They will demonstrate the Chinese art of scalpel cuts, and traditional Chinese ink paining in a "living studio.


18 September 2000
to 31 October 2000

Palais Harrach, 2. Stock

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