Curated by Chen Lusheng, Deputy Director of the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Ai Jing’s “Dialogue” touring exhibition opened at the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana Museum at 6pm on June 5, 2015. The guests at the opening included Chen Lusheng, Don Alberto Rocca (Director of Ambrosiana Museum), Dr. Pier Francesco Fumagalli (Deputy Director of Ambrosiana Museum), Zhou Xiaoyan (President of Huaxia Group), Msg Franco Buzzi (Prefect of Ambrosiana Museum), Melissa Chiu (curator and author), and Ai Jing herself. Other esteemed guests included Michel Baudson (Honorary Director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Brussels), Ben Genocchio (Editor-in-Chief of artnet news), Marcia Levine of Levine Fine Arts, collectors Dominique & Sylvain Levy, Jérôme Neutres from French National Museum Committee, Italian curator Selva Barni, artist Anna Chromy and husband Wolfgang Stein, artists Huang Zhiyang and Wu Xiaohai, and Yin Ran (Editor of People’s Fine Arts Publishing). Many entrepreneurs from France, England, New York, Hong Kong and Mainland China also attended both the exhibition opening and the opening dinner.
Many guests shared what they had thought of Ai Jing’s exhibition. Dr. Melissa Chiu said, “I have known Ai Jing for a long time and know her work very well. However, this exhibition was quite refreshing because the works are more mature with a different style too. I think the most interesting aspect this time is that her work created a bridge connecting the artists in this museum and formed a dialogue, such as da Vinci, Jan Brueghel, and Micotti.” Michel Baudson, Honorary Director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Brussels, said, “Ai Jing has a unique understanding of paintings. With da Vinci’s Portrait of a Young Musician, Ai Jing never mentions the musician; instead, she focuses on the score in the musician’s hand. Ai Jing has the observation skills particular to an artist. She transformed the score into another artistic form. Her installation To da Vinci is another miracle because it pays tribute to da Vinci and other masters. Her painting series Walking in the Sun are exceptionally beautiful in the museum light and have a tasteful sensibility.” Dr. Pier Francesco Fumagalli, the Deputy Director of the Ambrosiana Museum, said, “Welcome to the best museum in Milan for the exhibition. Centuries ago Marco Polo went to China from Italy, and now a Chinese artist has come to Italy. This is yet another marvelous cultural dialogue between the two countries.” The exhibition curator Chen Lusheng said, “The Dialogues at the Ambrosiana Museum and its display amidst the museum collection provided a different sensorial experience. As what we have at the Louvre, the Versailles, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, when the new is added to the old, the dialogue formed brings the public a renewed aesthetics, and the value system of the museum gains a new perspective in the process.”
At the press conference, Chen Lusheng donated more than twenty important publications on behalf of the NAMOC to the Ambrosiana Museum; editor Yin Ran from People’s Fine Arts Publishing also donated numerous publications. Additionally, Chen Lusheng mentioned that the NAMOC has an Italian Gallery and he would welcome the Ambrosiana to organize an exhibition on da Vinci’s manuscripts at the NAMOC.
Ai Jing said that she did not plan to make a speech because her work itself is a language, speaking continuously. What made her excited is that a dialogue has begun with this exhibition.
“Dialogues”: AI Jing Touring Exhibition
Curator: Chen Lusheng
Dates: June 5 – September 5, 2015
About the exhibition:
The Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana Museum is a cultural institution comprised of four parts: the museum, the art gallery, the library, and the multimedia space. The Museum was founded by Carlo Borromeo (1538 – 1584), based on a library that was 400 years old. The library collection includes many works and manuscripts by masters from the Renaissance, among which the most well-known is the 1119 manuscripts by Leonardo da Vinci. The basement of the Museum used to be the heart of the ancient Milanese city, one of the most important cultural sites in history.
In this exhibition, Ai Jing presents works related to industrial, natural, and technological themes, which were as essential to the Renaissance age as they are to today. The works on view created a “dialogue” with the selected masterpieces at the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana Museum, emphasizing on the ability of art to surpass time and to connect the East and the West in a cultural and religious way.
The exhibition revolves around “three dialogues and ten works”, spread out at six different gallery spaces. Such presentation is common at historical museums in the West. The juxtaposition of contemporary and historical works creates a dialogue that travels between different ages.
“Dialogues” is the third stop of Ai Jing’s itinerant exhibition, presenting her multifaceted art to the ancient city Milan. This exhibition is part of Ai Jing’s itinerant exhibitions after her solo exhibitions at the National Art Museum of China in 2012 and the China Art Palace in Shanghai.