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China is close


by Vittorio Rossi, ph. Wang YuTian e Qiang Di


An exhibition by Shen Qibin celebrates the birth of the Italian-Chinese Foundation.
The European Art Collection Foundation, born last year in Shangai with a capital of 300 million euros from Chinese investors to which other 200 million euros will be added by next year, inaugurated its western premises in Florence. “In the first five years, we will purchase works of art of great value but unknown because they are owned by private collectors”, explains Luigi Bellini, the grandson, bearing the same name, of the founder of the International Biennale of Antiques and general secretary of this Foundation. A programme of exhibitions will make these works known all over the world especially in the premises of the Himalayas Museum in Shangai, opened last year with an exhibition of Renaissance art Miracle: the Belllini family and the Reinassance. Four hundred works including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, majolica. In order to celebrate the event, a personal exhibition by Shen Qibin, the most important contemporary Chinese artist and himself general secretary of the Orient Foundation, has been organized in the Gallery of the Luigi Bellini private museum at Lungarno Soderini in Florence. The vernissage of the exhibition on the first day of the Chinese new year was a fascinating interlacing between art and high society, economy and culture, ancient cultures and contemporary visions which have brought Florence and the Luigi Bellini Museum to international fame. The title “ &-“ is a precise reference to the Buddhist sense of the times of life, to the concepts of good and evil, both to be accepted and faced. This is how the exhibition must be interpreted. If Christianity has influenced western art, the same can be said for Buddhism in the east. The artist, taking Renaissance or Baroque works, reinterprets and manipulates copies of the originals impressing a very strong symbol of Chinese culture upon all of them, that is a rectangle made up of 9 holes which make up the perimeter and the centre. A symbolic value recalling western culture within the typical world of Chinese culture. “My dream,” Shen Qibin declared, “is to make Europe understood in China and China understood in Europe”. The exhibition is open until 16th April.