Arts and Culture
Chen Danqing is the product of both Chinese and Western education. He was fed by Soviet socialist realism and influenced by Millet, Corot and Courbet. A graduate of the Beijing Institute of Fine Arts, Chen Danqing attracted the attention of art critics with his "Tibetan series" (1977, 1980-1982). These works marked in 1980s the change of Chinese oil painting trend which began to give up the school of the former Soviet Union and reconnected with the West.
Having moved to the United States in 1982 to study at the Art Students League of New York, Chen is an expert on the history of European art. In 2000, Chen moved back to Beijing and has taught there for three years at the Fine Arts Institute of Qinghua University. In 2004, dissatisfied with the Chinese education system, Chen resigned from his university position. Since his return to China and until today, Chen has been openly speaking on various subjects ranging from Lu Xun to national education, from the reform of traditional painting to urban development.
Chen, who knows how to handle both pen and brush, has become a public intellectual and cultural phenomenon in China through his lectures, post casts and publications. Our paper attempts to answer the following questions: What are key messages Chen Danqing is trying to deliver via his various speeches? What does the Chen Danqing phenomenon mean in cultural exchanges between China and the West?