Director General of Culture Department of Zhejiang Province Jin Xingsheng
Mankind has a long fabrics-using history, for example, straws were used to make clothes and ropes were applied to keep a record of events. These were all fabrics-based skills acquired by ancient people. Fabrics are also an integral part in our daily lives. However, it was relatively late for fabric art to come into being as an independent art form. It was only till the 20th century did fabric art witness booming development as an independent artistic category under contemporary art. Weaving is indeed a modern but ancient art, incorporating the expressive function of both painting and sculpture and the morphological characteristics of both graphic design and three-dimensional design. Weaving contains the beauty of both visual effect and tactile sense, surprising us with brand-new aesthetic experience. As an art with greater openness and compatibility, modern fabric art now expands rapidly in other areas, in particularly towards public art and real life, demonstrating unlimited creativity and artistic expressive force.
There is an indissoluble bond between China and the fabric art, for example, the ancient Silk Road was a fine example of China promoting its silk art and indigenous culture to the rest of the world. The cultural essence is not only the spiritual home of human beings, but also the backbone that sustains the continuous growth of a nation. The ancient Silk Road succeeded in connecting people from countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, and played a significant role in facilitating exchange of ideas, cultural exchange, economic globalization and civilization diversity. Thanks to ancient Silk Road, people outside China came to understand China and China started projecting its influence to the rest of the world. Today’s “Belt and Road” initiative is a grand undertaking that is for the best interest of people along the “Belt and Road” countries, and has been receiving tremendous support from the international community. When implementing this initiative, we Chinese people should have cultural consciousness and confidence when strengthening cultural exchange and cooperation with people from other countries, and it is vital for us to build trust, facilitate cultural inheritance and innovation and enhance the level of regional cooperation and common development.
Zhejiang Province is one of the birthplaces for silk production in the world, and Hangzhou, its capital city, is named one of the six silk capitals in China, famous for its profound cultural heritage. In the past century, made-in-Hangzhou silk has become a distinct cultural brand of the city, a brand that is characterized by top-class quality and vigorous pursuit of excellence. By leveraging the rich cultural heritage of Hangzhou and the mature academic system available in China Academy of Art, Culture Department of Zhejiang Province, Publicity Department of the CPC Hangzhou Municipal Committee and China Academy of Art jointly host the 2nd Hangzhou 2016 Triennial of Fiber Art, an influential international exhibition event. In September this year, Hangzhou successfully hosted the remarkable G20 Summit; and the hosting of this international art event will certainly raise the international profile of Hangzhou and further facilitate cultural exchange between China and the rest parts of the world. This year’s exhibition theme is “Weaving & We”, and through weaving, a most common practice in our daily lives, many elements, including a specific region, industries and other social fields, are flawlessly connected. Many famous artists who remain active in the contemporary fabric art circle, as well as curators and scholars, are invited to carry out case studies on fabric art education, observe the evolution process of fabric art taking place in different regions, different period of time and under different historical background, so as to create a weaving-oriented art archives. The exhibition features art works from 60 world famous artists from 20 countries and regions in the world, and quite a number of these artists are from G20 participating countries. As an ancient but modern lifestyle and production mode, weaving is the perfect carrier to develop close friendship and build a heaven on earth.
The 2nd Hangzhou 2016 Triennial of Fiber Art, an event staged at the lakeside of the beautiful West Lake, is designed to study the fabric art from different perspectives, in terms of spatial structure and time dimension, and hold constructive weaving-specific dialogue about history, humanity, life, environment, Internet and technology. The event will definitely highlight Hangzhou’s cultural heritage and regional characteristics, keep a close eye on the world’s current events and facilitate cultural interaction and blending in a world where pluralistic cultures prevail. The exhibition will become an iconic event in the contemporary art circle, which will also give Hangzhou a privileged opportunity to display its unique charm and artistic appeal to the rest of the world.
Zhejiang Art Museum has made use of six exhibition halls of two floors to host this exhibition and their diligent preparatory efforts have been paid off. The display effect is very impressive, in particular large-sized art works are installed in an outdoor landscape environment, perfectly integrating with the natural beauty of lakes and mountains. This very exhibition succeeds in bringing fabric art closer to real life and ordinary people. The exhibition is also a brave attempt of Zhejiang Art Museum in enhancing the levels of openness, contemporariness and diversity, honoring the museum’s service motto to serve with its firm stance in Zhejiang but with a global perspective. I firmly believe that fabric art, as well as many other traditional art forms, will burst with vigorous vitality and add brilliance to Hangzhou’s present splendor.