A show displaying 151 pieces of murals copied from ancient caves across China, offering visitors a glimpse into the development of China’s ancient murals along the Silk Road, opened in Beijing on May 11.
The exhibition, titled Pearl Chains on the Silk Road, is held by the Gongbi Academy of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, which started a mural-copy project in 2016 to systematically study ancient murals in caves along the Silk Road in China.
In the past five years, the academy organized a team of 40, mostly young artists from museums and art schools across China, to copy murals in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Gansu, Shanxi and Hebei provinces.
Zhang Jian, director of the Gongbi academy said the composition of a mural and the use of colors in murals have had great influence on Chinese art history. Copying murals can make copiers to improve their understanding of Chinese art. More importantly, it helps to protect these art treasures because many murals are in bad condition.
The mural copies on show are all the same with their original ones in size. It’s a very hard work for artists to copy these murals, said Shan Hong, one of the curators.
“They often stay for a whole day in caves and often sit on their knees to paint because the caves are small,” added Shan.
The mural show at the Art and Document Museum of the Chinese National Academy of Arts will run through May 17.