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China-Italy Contemporary Art Exhibition Bridging Art and Innovation | Insights

By XINYI LI|Nov 08,2023

Chongqing - The Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute launched the IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO (literally “The Centenary Trio”), a China-Italy Contemporary Art Exhibition. Available for viewing in Hall 9 until November 23, the exhibition presents a vast array of nearly 300 artistic works and historical items. Visitors can explore over 130 pieces, including oil paintings, posters, and magazines, and over 150 related items like books, catalogs, advertisements, postcards, and stamps. This collection offers a deep dive into the artistic innovation of the period.

The exhibition is thoughtfully curated into two main segments, encompassing five distinct units. The first segment features three units, namely “LEONARDO 1919 “, “RAFFAELLO 1920”, and “DANTE 1921”.The latter segment comprises two distinct units - “The Genesis of ‘Made in Italy’ - Urban Evolution, Vanguard Design, and Advertising” and “Prototypical Designs and Iconic Projects in Italian Poster Art.”

The Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute launched the IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO, a China-Italy Contemporary Art Exhibition, on October 25. (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)

He Guiyan, the Museum’s Director and the exhibition’s curator, delves into the intersection of Italian artistry and manufacturing alongside Chongqing’s developing landscape in these sectors.

The segment of “The Genesis of ‘Made in Italy’ - Urban Evolution, Vanguard Design, and Advertising” (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)

In the era of globalization, art exhibitions have become pivotal in fostering cultural and artistic exchanges across borders. Hot on the heels of the “Dimensions of Civilization” showcase, the Art Museum of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute presents IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO, an exhibition of equal prestige. This significant cultural event resulted from a collaboration between the Consulate General of Italy in Chongqing, the Art Museum of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, the Design College of the same institute, and the Italian Cultural Institute of Beijing. It spotlights seminal visual design works from the first half of the 20th century, which have profoundly influenced the trajectory of modern design.

Curated paintings featured in the exhibition (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)

“Allow me to elucidate the rationale behind curating this exhibition and the rich wellspring of inspiration it taps into,” said He Guiyan. 

At its core, this exhibit delves into the relationship between design innovation and a nation’s progress. Italy’s preeminence in design and fashion is globally acknowledged, underpinned by a venerable tradition of artistic and design excellence. It was at the dawn of the 20th century that modern Italian design took root, inciting transformative reforms across visual design and igniting a renaissance of modern stylistic movements spanning graphic design, industrial form, urban planning, and everyday consumer product design. This era of creative ferment was particularly pronounced around 1920, a period marked by Italy’s intensified efforts to elevate its industrial output. This nexus of creative surge and manufacturing fortification spurred the expansive growth of industrial design.

The exhibition showcases an array of vintage posters (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)

Chongqing stands as a pivotal manufacturing stronghold within China. In alignment with the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan, Chongqing is committed to pioneering intelligent and high-end manufacturing, catalyzing a holistic advancement of its industrial capabilities. The year 2022 saw Chongqing embark on an ambitious plan to transform itself into the “Design Capital,” underscoring an unprecedented focus on leveraging design as a lever for economic growth, both nationally and regionally. In this strategic context, the exemplars of modern Italian design, especially the triumphs of its industrial aesthetic, are poised to offer valuable insights and frameworks to enrich Chongqing’s manufacturing and industrial design landscapes.

The exhibition showcases the selection of postcards. (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)

Furthermore, the exhibition explores the wellsprings that fuel modern design’s imagination. The essence and allure of the IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO art exhibit lie in its introspection into how the timeless masterpieces of Renaissance virtuosos influenced the pioneers of early 20th-century design. 

The collections presented here illustrate that the “Made in Italy” ethos is deeply rooted in the legacies of luminary figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael Sanzio, and Dante Alighieri. These masters’ masterpieces do not merely serve as a muse for contemporary design; their profound artistic philosophies and humanistic values were instrumental in providing Italy with a reservoir of intellectual capital. This cultural treasury was crucial for the renaissance of national identity and for fulfilling the era’s defining endeavors. This exhibit imparts a significant lesson on the stewardship of tradition - its preservation, inheritance, and the infusion of innovation that keeps it relevant and vibrant in the modern epoch.

Curated literary and periodical collections exhibited (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)

China’s storied past and resplendent civilization have fostered a wealth of artistic genius and mastery. This exhibition endeavors to uncover a path akin to the Italian experience - one that honors tradition while endowing it with a renewed aesthetic and cultural vitality. This showcase reveals the symbiotic relationship between modern art and design in Italy, illustrating how both, firmly rooted in a shared heritage, inform and enrich each other, thereby advancing the evolution of visual communication design.

Curated literary and periodical collections exhibited (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)

Indeed, the interplay of exchange fosters integration, and integration heralds progress. In an era that celebrates cultural diversity against the backdrop of globalization, cultural exchanges, and mutual learning are ever more valuable. The IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO art exhibition transcends a mere display of artistic prowess, aspiring to establish a dynamic platform for Italian and Chinese dialogue in the realms of art and design.

Curated literary and periodical collections exhibited (Photo/The Art Exhibition of IL TRITTICO DEL CENTENARIO)


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