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Subway art exhibition a movable feast

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

10:19, June 27, 2013

People will be able to enjoy artworks provided by the Central Academy of Fine Arts while taking subway Line 4 in Beijing from this weekend. (China Daily)

Residents in the Chinese capital who are too busy to spend time enjoying the arts will be able to immerse themselves in an inspiring art exhibition while riding the subway.

From this weekend, Beijing subway Line 4 will decorate two of its carriages with paintings provided by the Central Academy of Fine Arts, as a traveling art gallery for city commuters.

"Fine works of art deserve better exposure, and the subway is undoubtedly a great medium," says Wang Huangsheng, director of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum.

Wang says the mobile art museum is expected to bridge the gap between artistic works and the public, and will draw more residents to art museums to view the original works.

According to Song Liang from the public education department of the CAFA Art Museum, the traveling museum consists of replicas of works on show in the CAFA Art Museum.

The first selection of art pieces to be displayed include works by Italian painter and sculptor Aligi Sassu, and oil paintings by well-known and pioneering Chinese artists.

It is the first long-term project to attempt to bring the public into closer contact with fine arts.

Song says the museum is also planning to set up video presentation equipment at seven subway platforms, to better introduce commuters into the world of fine arts.

Song says staff will help maintain the paintings while distributing cards and brochures to passing commuters explaining the works on show.

"We simply want more of the public to know about fine works of art and be inspired to go to an art museum one day," says Song.

According to Hou Wei from Artistes en Herbe, an organization dedicated to promoting artistic works among children, China lags far behind other countries in terms of engagement with the arts, with less art museums and different art spaces on offer.

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