“Back to the Origins” is a collection of three years of academic and creative research document of Cross Media Studio (CMS) of the contemporary art education reform experimental class of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in China’s hinterland.
Education is the connection and entrustment of human beings between generations. Its task is to continue the inheritance and transformation of civilization and prove that social value is perpetual in the vast expanse of time and space.
Chinese people know the values of life and life hidden in “Aspiration to Tao and Art,” and understand its roots’ order, agrees that the foundation of “aesthetics” is education itself, which uses “art” as the medium and instruction method.
Although the principle is simple, the path is ever-changing, and it can be seen from beginning to end, but it isn’t easy. Therefore, we need to encourage each other, not forget the original vision, and move towards the future together.
Chinese modern art education originated from the sudden modernization of the family and state and the subsequent social changes. And most of such art education is the result and “fruit” of Western modernization, including its external discipline framework and internal logic. Like all the problems faced by China’s modernization, how to fully integrate modernization into China, which has a deep historical background, has always been in a dilemma. It can neither be fully Westernized nor can it be traditionally cured. What is the most appropriate choice?
As far as contemporary Chinese art education is concerned, it cannot be a simple copy of the so-called ready-made international art education, nor can it be a closed-door approach that breaks away from the times. The answer lies in the reference of other civilization models in parallel space, in the reality of local social civilization in a relatively short time. We think the direction of art education reform is to return art to a place where it can be fully self-referenced. The new generation of young people can stay not only close to daily life but also be smart and ambitious, and survive in cruel reality and grow with the so-called “Tao.”
“Back to the Origins” is a kind of impulse and self-questioning, re-starting from the origins, based on the simplification of academics in the current human history transition. It seems to imply that the “original intention” in the term of “Chinese characteristics” is a vision, a principle, and far from the answer, it is a dynamic process.
– Tu Zeng