GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Chinese artists and twins Beibei Chen and Leilei Chen have won the Special Recognition Prize At this month's prestegious ArtPrize festival and contest with their ceramic artwork, Gas Masks.
Started in 2009, ArtPrize is an annual international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is thought by many to be the greatest international art competition in the world. The Chens' ceramic piece, Gas Masks, was displayed in the center of Grand Rapids' downtown in the Fountain Street Church, which awarded the prize to them. Their work has attracted much attention because it possesses a unique combination of artistic technique and conceptual relevance.
Beibei and Leilei feel honored to have received the prize. They said although there are many overseas students studying in the U.S., contemporary art exchanges between the U.S. and China need to be further deepened. Except for people in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other metropolises, most Americans have few and limited opportunities to see or interact with contemporary Chinese artwork, so their experience with Chinese art is limited to the examples of Chinese traditional art that they may have seen in museums, in movies or on TV. The Chens' inclusion in ArtPrize, and their award, is an opportunity to help the western world understand Chinese contemporary art.
Beibei and Leilei said that Gas Mask originated from their concerns about environmental problems. When they began to create the piece, Northern China was experiencing an extended period of bad air pollution. Masks like the ones in their piece, which protect against the toxins in the air, became a necessity for many Chinese citizens. It is at that time that they begin to make a large number of ceramic masks and begin to paint them with unique blue-and-white style that were inpired by Chinese culture. The beauty of Chinese traditional art distinctly contrasts with the ecological destruction of the real world. What they want to express is not only concern for the environment, but also that one of the keys to solving environmental problems lives within Chinese culture.
They believe that traditional Chinese philosophy, Confucian and Taoist thought, advocates the idea that "humans are an integral part of nature," and that there is a relationship between human beings, heaven, and Earth. They propose that all things on Earth are an organic whole.
This idea, that "man is an integral part of nature," doesn't imply a kind of mechanically equal relationship between human beings and nature. Instead, it presents human beings' subjective consciousness under the condition of fully respecting the natural law. Only in this way can we achieve a kind of integral thinking model. China's environmental problems come not only from the outside world, but also from the realm of the spirit. If the wisdom of Chinese traditional culture can give modern people a warning about living in harmony with nature and observing natural laws, this would be an important part of environmental governance. Humans' consumption should always be within the limits of renewable resources. Excessive consumption needs to be regulated and a circular economy should be promoted. This idea should be applied in all the aspects of people's lives, especial in industry.
The Chens hope that their work can arouse people's attention to Chinese culture. In the future, they will devote themselves to combining oriental aesthetics with the concept of western contemporary drawing. They will also commit themselves to creating more works by means of sculpture and drawing and further exploring the relationship between environment and culture.
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SOURCE Beijing Huifeng Vision Culture Company