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Outdoor Theme Sculpture

Lv Pinchang: Concentrating on the Heart, Molding the Soul and Casting the Faith —— On the Creation of the Large-scale Outdoor Theme Sculpture “Faith” in the History Exhibition Hall of the Communist Party of China

Concentrate on the soul and cast the faith
——On the creation of the outdoor large-scale theme sculpture “Faith” in the History Exhibition Hall of the Communist Party of China
Former Director of the Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts
Vice President of Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute
Lv Pinchang

In order to welcome the great historical moment of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, in 2018, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to establish the History Exhibition Hall of the Communist Party of China on the central axis of Beijing. , and explicitly asked the theme to revolve around the “Four Greats”. This is one of the rare times since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, one of the major historical themes creation tasks that have used the power of the whole country, and it is a once-in-a-century major cultural and artistic project.

Design scheme (3)

The Central Academy of Fine Arts accepted the task of creating sculptures with the theme of highlighting beliefs among the “Four Greats” to show the “Great Project”. Through study, we have clearly realized that the “Four Greats” are closely related, interconnected and interact with each other, and the new great project of party building plays a decisive role. As one of the “Four Greats” creative tasks, the “Great Project” has a clear theme and great significance. In this regard, the Central Academy of Fine Arts attaches great importance to the project. Party Secretary Gao Hong and Dean Fan Di’an serve as the general director of the project, and organize elite soldiers to fully invest. The sculpture team presented a solemn and sacred gift to the party’s centennial birthday with a large-scale sculpture “Faith”, which perfectly presented the theme requirements and was full of artistic expression.

The Central Academy of Fine Arts “Faith” plan submitted for review July 26, 2019

1. Thematic positioning and ideological connotation
Faced with such a major theme, such an important place, such a grand venue, and such an important time node, how should we act in the creation to grasp it properly?
The first is the positioning of the theme and the content of the performance. The creation of “Faith” has gone through a process of exploring, grinding in and trying different expressions. When the task was first received, the four major art academies (Central Academy of Fine Arts, China Academy of Art, Luxun Academy of Fine Arts and Tsinghua Academy of Fine Arts) each organized a number of elite teams to conceive and compose pictures, focusing on the core essence and environment of the Chinese Communist Party History Exhibition Hall. The conditions propose different themes, different forms, and different styles of expression. The original conception of the Central Academy of Fine Arts was to reflect the four historical periods of Chinese revolution and construction, namely the period of the new democratic revolution, the period of socialist construction, the period of reform and opening up, and the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The corner is based on the development of the sculpture design, which is expressed by the combination of wall and space, abstract relief and realistic figure round sculpture; Dozens of creative proposals and performance sketches. These design plans made a preliminary exploration for the Party Central Committee on thematic decision-making, and provided strong artistic conception support and reference.
At the end of 2018, the theme of sculpture creation was adjusted from “Four Periods” to “Four Greats”. The Central Academy of Fine Arts was awarded the creative task of the “Great Project”. “Great Project” is an abstract spiritual concept, but it is also a core concept with clear pertinence and direction. It covers and unifies the 100-year history of the Communist Party of China, and its core essence is “faith”. Faith is the lifeblood and soul of Communists, and adhering to lofty political beliefs is the essential requirement of a Marxist party and an important part of the party’s political construction. The Communist Party of China has always attached great importance to the building of the party’s political beliefs, and has always insisted on leading the new great project of party building with lofty political beliefs.
2. Dynamic selection and theme expression
How does the sculpture express the development process of the Communist Party through a specific image, and at the same time show the characteristics of the belief of the Communists? This is the task before every member of the creative team. The sculpture creation team of the Central Academy of Fine Arts has fully understood and understood the ideological connotation and core essence of the “great project” through earnest study and research on the history of the party, laying a foundation of ideological understanding for the successful completion of the creative task. At the suggestion and suggestion of Dean Fan Di’an, everyone believed that it was very appropriate to adopt the “swearing” action as a whole for the modeling dynamics of the sculpture figures, which could not only highlight the theme of “belief”, but also maintain the unity and rhythm of the expression.

Central Academy of Fine Arts “Faith” (partial) sculpture
1500cm x 450cm x 800cm 2021

After repeated thinking, we believe that the moment when a party member raises his right hand to swear an oath is sacred and noble. This action has a typical and shocking aesthetic power that reflects the spirituality and sanctity of the Communists. The creative conception and modeling narrative with the “swearing” plot as the core image and the “swearing” action as the basic image are almost never seen in all the sculpture works so far. For this reason, this conception and shape are innovative, and are the most appropriate visual expression for the great project of party building. We believe that this group sculpture, which uses iconic historical events, representative figures and achievements as background elements, not only shows the grand “oath” scene but also vividly depicts each individual image, can artistically express the ten years of the party, especially the ten years of the party. Since the 8th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese Communist Party has led the people of all ethnic groups in the country to realize the dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and to forge ahead towards the lofty goal of communism. With its distinctive theme and vivid art form, this pure white, solemn and elegant sculpture group will surely form a highly infectious aesthetic atmosphere on the site of the exhibition hall, making the audience standing in front of them can’t help but lift themselves up. right hand.

Parts of large clay sculptures such as Faith at the Central Academy of Fine Arts

3. Composition performance and space creation
The determination of the “swearing” action of the overall character image constitutes an important element to consider the overall sense of form of the sculpture, which also brings about the problems that the composition is easy to form rigid and the movement is too single and lacks a sense of movement. The act of taking an oath to join the party has normative requirements, especially in the swearing-in ceremony in peaceful times, which is more solemn and serious. Therefore, how to make the composition both solemn and unified, flexible and lively has always been the main aspect of our pursuit of modeling breakthroughs. After repeated scrutiny and research by the creative team, the composition strategy we adopted is that the characters and scenes before the founding of New China are more dynamic and dynamic, while the characters after the founding of New China, especially the new era of socialism, are repeated and superimposed by actions. Strengthen its sense of solemnity and solemnity. The final composition method is to arrange the figures from the new democratic revolution period to the new socialist era from south to north, from dynamic to static, and the figures on the front and back of the sculpture maintain their corresponding identities and eras. In order to pursue a sense of narration and movement, and emphasize the rich diversity of composition forms, without giving up and affecting the overall composition, we designed the August 1 Nanchang Uprising to join the party, the children selling newspapers, the wedding on the execution ground, There are 10 scenes including the May 4th student movement, the early party leaders, the army behind the enemy in the blue gauze tent, the Red Army’s Long March across the grass, the female party members in prison, the sound of the national liberation horn, the construction of mountains and roads, flood resistance and earthquake resistance. The design of these scenes is mainly to activate the overall atmosphere and spatial composition. The unified oath action is placed in different historical scenes, and the posture is gradually transformed from dynamic to solemn, which effectively handles the problems of consistency and variability, making the overall shape of the form both solemn and full of rhythm.
Central Academy of Fine Arts “Faith” (detail) sculpture  1500cm x 450cm x 800cm 2021
Through careful compositional processing, the sculptural group shape particularly emphasizes and highlights an overall sense of form that contains strong power and symbolic meaning. Its shape is low in the south and high in the north, and its shape resembles a reclining lion. From the dynamic of the characters to the shape of the rocks and the arrangement of the details, it emphasizes a forward rhythm, showing a majestic momentum of indomitable progress. Through the overall planning of the composition and the specific treatment of the shaping, the rocks and figures are integrated into one, and the people and the mountains are in harmony with each other, so that the entire sculpture forms a magnificent image of mountains and mountains, towering and straight, and united as a city, highlighting the solemnity and firmness of belief. It resonates with resonance, giving people a strong spiritual shock and visual impact.
4. Image building and formal language
“Faith” takes the “oath” as the core image, and concentrates on the images of communists from all historical periods, all walks of life, all ethnic groups and all strata. The selection and determination of the characters, identities, eras and scenes involved in the sculpture performance has always been carried out with the participation and joint research of experts and scholars from the Central Party History and Literature Research Institute. The 71 figures in the sculpture refer to and condense thousands of heroic and exemplary figures from the 100-year history of the Communist Party of China. Some of them have realistic prototypes, and some are a synthesis of representative figures from different eras, different identities, different ages, and different classes. These figures are representatives of the elite power of the Chinese Communist Party in various historical periods. “Faith” shows the 100-year historical process of the continuous growth and development of the Communist Party of China, and shows the heroic feelings and belief in victory that the Communist Party of China leads the people of all ethnic groups in the country to realize the great Chinese dream and pursue the lofty ideal of communism.

Parts of large clay sculptures such as Faith at the Central Academy of Fine Arts

Parts of large clay sculptures such as Faith at the Central Academy of Fine Arts

Image characterization is the focus of creation. On the premise of respecting historical facts, the artists did not stick to specific historical events and specific historical figures, but created an artistic image that embodies the party spirit of the Communist Party of China and the characteristics of party members with bold ideas and processing. In order to grasp the identities, personalities, era characteristics and spiritual outlook of the characters in different historical periods, and to avoid the similarity or repetition of many characters under the same action modeling, we have fully thought and discussed, and found a solution to this problem. method. The method we take is to give full play to the sculptor’s personality in shaping techniques and modeling language on the basis of combining realistic prototypes and maintaining a realistic style. In order to deepen the understanding of the prototype of party members and create a good creative atmosphere, a large number of pictures of heroes, model workers and outstanding Communist Party members of different periods were hung and placed on the walls around the studio, as well as a large number of pictures borrowed from China Film Group. Historical costumes and original props. We strive to find inspiration, to look for models, and to get some kind of “immersive” feeling.
In terms of form of expression, Faith mainly adopts the method of round carving, and comprehensively uses the artistic techniques of realism and symbolism. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Central Academy of Fine Arts has formed a deep-rooted tradition of realistic sculpture through the practice and accumulation of predecessors, and the creative team of Faith has inherited this fine tradition. In terms of image creation, everyone uses figurative and realistic techniques, and strives to achieve the delicacy and rigor of the characterization, which invisibly increases the workload and energy investment in the creation, and is a physical and mental test for every creator. During the 4-month-long scale-up work, every member of the creative team showed a high degree of political awareness and sense of responsibility. Everyone fought the severe cold, resisted the scorching heat, and prevented the epidemic, worked hard without complaint, and accomplished the glorious mission brilliantly.
Central Academy of Fine Arts “Faith” sculpture
1500cm x 450cm x 800cm 2021
5. Material selection and processing
As a pure and elegant noble stone, white marble has been used in my country for hundreds of years. Historically, white marble was often used in the construction of royal buildings. Today, we use it to express the century-old great history of the Communist Party of China, and to embody the idea of ​​the people being the masters of the country. The pure and holy white marble symbolizes the “purity and nobility” of the Chinese Communist Party. The choice of stone material highlights the aesthetic pursuit to be achieved by the entire project – Chinese-style “noble simplicity and quiet greatness”. After a month and a half of transportation, 700 cubic meters of precious stones were finally transported from the place of origin to the Quyang Stone Carving Processing Base in Hebei.
Stone processing is an important part of the creative process. In order to ensure the integrity and artistry of “Faith”, and to maximize its noble and holy connotation and grand appearance of form, the Central Academy of Fine Arts not only sent experts to follow and guide the whole process on the spot, but all the creative staff also invested a lot of time and energy. Discuss techniques and means of expression with the craftsmen at the scene, and personally finish each stone carving figure. The atmosphere at the scene was in full swing, which was a long-lost work state and struggle scene.
A-side of large clay sculptures such as “Faith” at the Central Academy of Fine Arts

The B-side of large clay sculptures such as “Faith” at the Central Academy of Fine Arts

6. New Responsibilities for the National Mission
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the artists of the Central Academy of Fine Arts have undertaken major national creative tasks in various historical periods, and created many great masterpieces worthy of the times, such as relief sculptures of the Monument to the People’s Heroes, sculptures with the theme of “Top Ten Architectures” in Beijing, and Mao Zedong. The chairman statue and outdoor group sculptures in the Chairman Memorial Hall, the Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese War Memorial Group Statue in Wanping City, the “Five Secretaries Statues” in Xibaipo and Yan’an Zaoyuan Revolutionary Memorial Hall, the August 1st Nanchang Uprising Memorial Hall, the Jinggangshan Revolutionary Museum and the Chinese People’s Republic of China Sculptures on display in important public cultural facilities such as the Revolutionary Military Museum.
Participating in the outdoor large-scale theme sculpture “Faith” in the History Exhibition Hall of the Communist Party of China gave us a deeper understanding of the meaning of thematic sculpture creation, and summed up our experience and experience in many aspects.
For the Central Academy of Fine Arts, cultivating and exercising a new generation of themed creative teams in the Department of Sculpture is the biggest gain. In the creative process of this major project, we really saw the outstanding performance of the new generation of sculptors who are united and collaborative, able to fight well. From small drafts, medium drafts, and other large-scale drafts to finished stone carvings, they are all devoted and full of creative enthusiasm, showing the ability to undertake and complete the task of undertaking and completing the task of artistic creation of major national themes. A high-level creative team that can be trusted with both ideological and professional qualities. This time, everyone has lived up to the party’s heavy trust and this era, and they dare to believe that they will be able to perform more national creative tasks in the future. (excerpt)

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