Fan Di'an: Spreading the seeds of beauty

Updated: 2023-02-14


Fan Di'an is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), deputy director of the Calligraphy and Painting Workshop of the CPPCC National Committee, member of the Committee on Culture, Historical Data and Studies of the CPPCC National Committee, chairman of the China Artists Association, and president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). [Photo provided to]


Fan paints in the Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, Southwest China's Sichuan province, in 2022. [Photo provided to]


Fan creates a painting during a survey on ecological civilization construction in the Yellow River Basin held by the Calligraphy and Painting Workshop of the CPPCC National Committee in 2022. [Photo provide to]

Fan Di'an, chairman of the China Artists Association and president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), has served as a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) for 15 years. As a CPPCC member, Fan has performed his duty on how to create beauty, how to spread beauty and how to educate people with beauty.

Performing responsibilities with professional and excellent works

Fan served as the director of the arts expert committee during the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, instructing and designing the float for the ceremonial parade; organized the creations of the large sculpture on the square of the Museum of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Party history art creation project; organized the artistic creation themed on the 20th CPC National Congress; organized the series feature films "The Party history in the art classics"; and launched the team of the CAFA to design the logos and medals of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Throughout the years, Fan has performed his responsibilities as a member of the CPPCC by involving the creation of art and aesthetic education.

"After becoming a CPPCC member, I deeply felt that the CPPCC was a 'big classroom' where I learned a lot," Fan said, adding that the CPPCC's various conferences and surveys are good opportunities for obtaining knowledge and enhancing wisdom and skills.

"As CPPCC members are all experts from different fields," Fan said, adding that he has gained a lot from them in terms of knowledge and ideas. "I has a profound understanding of the work of the CPPCC and have been trying to play my role through my profession.”"

On Jan 12, Fan led famous oil painters all over the country to create art works in Jianou city, East China's Fujian province. The painters visited ancient towns and villages, recording the culture, history and the beautiful scenery of rural areas in their paintings.

It has become a feature of Fan's work that organized art workers to deeply experience local life and have close contact with the people. Fan has been to many rural areas throughout the years, including Shibadong village, Hani Terrace and Daliang Mountains. He has tried his best to create art works reflecting social development and the spiritual outlook of the people.

Creating, displaying and spreading beauty during surveys

Not long ago, "The Yellow River in the World - Major Exhibition of 100 Chinese Oil Painters" was held in North China's Shanxi province. Fan was the chief planner of the exhibition. The activity gathered more than 100 outstanding art works from over 100 famous artists, displaying the charm and vitality of the Yellow River, describing the spirit of the Chinese people and embodying the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

In the last two years, Fan has participated in many surveys on ecological civilization construction in the Yellow River Basin organized by the Calligraphy and Painting Workshop of the CPPCC National Committee. "I deeply feel that nowadays, the awareness of environmental and ecological protection is rooted in people's hearts. I have seen urban and rural construction along the two banks of the Yellow River, as well as the improvement of local people's lives. Every area of Yellow River Basin has a profound culture and history and unique natural landscape awaiting our art workers to explore and display," Fan said, adding that the changes along the Yellow River he has seen during these surveys inspired him to create a number of oil paintings.

Fan said he wished to further explore the charm of the Yellow River and initiated "The Yellow River in the World" creation activity for 100 oil painters.

In May 2021, on the occasion of the centenary of the founding of the CPC, Fan joined an inspection team of the CPPCC. During the inspection in Ruijin and Jinggangshan in East China's Jiangxi province, Zunyi and Qiannan Buyi and Miao autonomous prefecture of Southwest China's Guizhou province, Fan took note of the economic and social development in these old revolutionary base areas. "Nowadays, the old revolutionary base areas have been developed well, but the construction of various museums and art galleries still lags behind and many exhibited photos and paintings are very old."

After completing the inspection, Fan organized a group of outstanding teachers from the CAFA to create new pieces for local museums and exhibitions, using high-level art works to record and pass down the history of the old revolutionary base areas.

Over the past 15 years, Fan had participated in numerous surveys. Before each survey, he would search relevant information on the theme and purpose of the survey. During the survey, he carefully communicated with relevant people. After the survey, he summarized any problems and connected them with his field to further deepen the research results.

"The CPPCC's surveys touch all circles of society, beyond the limits of our own understanding," Fan said he believes that participating in the CPPCC's surveys is an important way to fulfill his duties as a CPPCC member,  as well as an opportunity to enhance his learning and thinking.

Focusing on 'grand art' and 'grand aesthetic education'

As a CPPCC member, Fan has put forward proposals focusing on art and aesthetic education to push forward the development of relevant industries.

The development of the times provides a brand-new expression of beauty, which requires more art works to embody beauty and manifest aesthetic pursuits.

Fan's standard is to first reflect major and cutting-edge problems, then to conduct an in-depth research focused on the theme to seek feasible ways to solve the problems.

Fan suggested strengthening the discipline construction of aesthetic education in the higher education system. He said he believes that new era art includes paintings, sculptures, architecture, public art and other "grand art". Aesthetic education is not limited to schools, but rather aims to improve the public aesthetic and promote cultural and ethical advancement through the spread of beauty, namely the "grand aesthetic education".

"As an art worker, we should integrate grand art with grand aesthetic education, ensuring the culture of beauty enters people's hearts," Fan said that enhancing art to energize rural vitalization is a proposal formed on this basis.

The rural beauty in rural revitalization strategy needs to be based on the protection of rural ecology and cultural traditions, and focus on the development of modern agriculture and modernization of rural life to make a systematic plan. Therefore, it is an urgent task to use artistic elements in rural construction.

Fan usually suggests for students to pay attention to local cultural traditions in their art forms, to display farmers' dreams and rural charm wherever possible, which is exactly what he proposed for the arts to energize rural revitalization and strengthen the protection of ancient villages, residences and bridges in rural areas. He suggested integrating grand art and grand aesthetic education to fuel rural vitalization. Art energizing rural vitalization has become a consensus of the art circle. So far, the CAFA and some other art universities have established rural vitalization research institutes, allowing art education to serve economic and social development.

Fan vowed that winning the outstanding performance award of CPPCC members for 2022 will encourage him to paint art works reflecting the beauty of China and manifesting the spirit of the times, and to spread beauty through aesthetic education to serve society and the people. 

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