Walking around, photographing, painting, learning Tai Chi, trying to chat with the locals and so on. In August 2019, Latvian artist Krišs Salmanis came to Chengdu from his hometown Riga and was attracted by this leisure and artistic city.
Salmanis’ exhibition “Everything Will Shine” in Chengdu. Picture source：A4 art museum
“people walk slowly, but eat fast.” This is his first impression of Chengdu. Salmanis carried out three months of artistic creation in Chengdu and created the video work “All Things Shining”. The whole work consists of a close-up of a character’s face and a soundtrack, and the music selects the song of “Jasmine” in Sichuan Opera. In his view, feeling the strong stimulation of human senses in Sichuan opera by himself and show it, so that the characteristics of him and Chengdu can be preserved completely.
Salmanis participated in the “A4 International Artist in Residence Program” as part of the international exchange of A4 Art Museum. Since the project was launched in 2011, artists, curators and designers from many countries and regions come here every year to communicate, such as Oliver Herring、丸山纯子、SHIMURAbros、片岡纯也&岩竹理惠、Israel Hadney. They all have deep feelings about Chengdu, and expressed Chengdu in their own unique artistic language.
“when we first set up this project, we wanted to have a continuous exchange with international art.” Sun Li, founder of A4 Art Museum, said, “We also hope that through our efforts, we can let the world hear the voice of Chengdu and let Chengdu’s local artists gain international recognition.”
With the spread of city labels such as world famous cultural cities, world famous tourism cities and food cities, more and more foreign artists are attracted by Chengdu. They come to Chengdu, experience life, look for inspiration, and even stay in Chengdu.
indoor wall painting created by Frank and local painter Luo ShipengFrank. Photo source: interviewee
Dutch artist and architect Frank Vollebregt. He first came to Chengdu in 2004 and returned to Chengdu again in 2010. Frank likes the sense of artistry and design in pursuit of detail. Before that, he and local painter Luo Shipeng created a large indoor wall painting for a restaurant: “Everyone Feels Different About It. This Is the Meaning of Art.”
Frank also gives children lessons on creativity and design. “I like living in Chengdu, and I also like to explore and learn with children. I enjoy the process very much and I feel younger.” In the future, he will also pay attention to the exploration and study of Tianfu culture and integrate the elements of Tianfu culture into his art.
Art comes from life, and as an important part of world art, the local art based on Chengdu life is also going to the world.
On November 6th, “Super Fusion – Chengdu Biennale 2021”opened in Chengdu. Zhou Chunya, He Duoling, Anish Kapoor, Tony Craig and so on…The exhibition brings together 272 artists from all over the world, and more than 500 works (group). At present, the number of visitors to the exhibition has exceeded 400000, and even if a reservation is required, 5, 000 to 6, 000 visitors still enter gallery every day. Lv Peng, an art historian and participant in the event, and director of the academic committee of the 2021 Chengdu Biennale, said that the Chengdu Biennale could be held during the special period of the COVID-19 epidemic, reflecting the vitality of Chengdu art.
How to make the international style deeply embedded in the DNA of Chengdu life? He believes that in addition to holding more international art exhibitions and art activities, Chengdu will also broaden the depth and breadth of international art exchanges through rich activities. Foreign artists and experts will often be invited to stay in Chengdu and carry out academic lectures and public education.
Chengdu, an ancient historical and cultural city with a history of more than 4500 years of civilization and more than 2300 years of construction, a city with unique cultures such as Jinsha site, Baodun site, Yufucheng site, a city with beautiful scenery and pleasant climate, a city with the reputation of “land of abundance”, is going to the world with a more inclusive and open attitude.“Half Is Life, Half Is Art”, will become the unique style of Chengdu and be famous all over the world.