Organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Saskatchewan (USask CI) and Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), 15 USask students, faculty and staff members joined in the “2019 Department of Art and Art History China Study Tour” from May 16 to May 30. This study tour is aiming to provide opportunities for the USask students and teachers to experience China’s traditional art and contemporary art and to facilitate communications and cooperation between the USask and Chinese universities. In China, the delegates visited two cities, Beijing and Wuhan.
In Beijing, the USask group visited the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Chinese National Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the 798 Art Zone, and the Cultural Experience Centre of the Confucius Institute Headquarters. The group also had some Chinese language classes and cultural classes such as paper cutting and tea ceremony. On May 23, the USask students and teachers visited BIT School of Design and Arts. Teachers from the School of Design and Arts briefly introduced the history of the school, courses offered by different departments, and some of the featured projects. The USask students expressed great interest in the projects such as Innovation Workshop for Traditional Craft Artists, and Poverty Alleviation Project collaborated by BIT School of Design and Arts, the local government, and the local communities. After the meeting, the group toured one of the graduate student’s studio. The USask group is very impressed by the BIT student’s meticulous painting. Many were very curious about the mineral color used by the student. At the end of the visit, the students and teachers from the USask and BIT exchanged contact information, hoping to further cooperation and collaboration.
Consucius Institute Headquarters Cultural Experience Centre
Meeting with BIT School of Design and Arts
The Temple of Heaven
In Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province, the Usask China Study Tour delegates visited Hubei Institute of Fine Arts (HIFA) . In recent years, the USask has hosted several visiting scholars and students from HIFA for exchange, collaborated projects, and exhibitions. The USask delegates were very excited to see their old friends in China. There, they visited many different studios and saw several exhibitions of graduation works, including sculpture, printmaking, Chinese painting, oil painting, watercolor painting, visual arts, and fashion design. At lunch time, the HIFA International Office invited the USask group to dine at the campus canteen with HIFA’s teachers and students. During the meal, they discussed what they saw in the exhibition and shared their ideas and life stories.
Apart from visiting HIFA, the USask group also visited the Yellow Crane Tower, the Yangtze River Bridge, Hubei Provincial Museum, HIFA Art Museum, and the United Art Museum. They also met with the local artists and had interesting conversation about their creation purpose and inspirations.
HIFA Art Gallery with Artist Wei Zhang (first left)
HIFA Sculpture Department Studio
Artist Ming Ke’s Studio
HIFA Exhibition of Student Graduation Works
On June 30th, the USask delegates completed their two-week China Study Tour. Everyone in the group enjoyed their stay in China. Many said that they fell in love with Chinese culture and Chinese food. This trip also inspired this artist group. They would like to host an exhibition at the USask Gordon Snelgrove Gallery to showcase their China experience.