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Reinvigorated CCTV gala brings hope for art scene

(Global Times)

10:35, July 16, 2013

The organizers of China Central Television's (CCTV) 2014 Spring Festival Gala have invited renowned film director Feng Xiaogang to take on the role of general director. Zhao Benshan, a well-known comedian, will be deputy director and Zhang Guoli, both an actor and director, will be the artistic consultant.

This appointment has caused a sensation among the Chinese public. Will this event represent a milestone in China's artistic world?

We would like to see this as a dramatic leap forward into the market for China's art policies. As long as artists who work "inside the system" can accept this change, their distance from the market will become less pronounced.

China's art world has become much more commercialized. Feng, Zhao and Zhang represent those who have managed to succeed and stand above severe market competition. CCTV's Spring Festival gala features the characteristics of both the market and the orthodox artistry. It is China's largest art platform.

What does it mean for art to be embracing the market? China has been refining its understanding of this question. At the beginning, it only meant that art became more active and creative, but now the issue is more about the aim of art.

The market equals the people. If art can connect with the market, it will be the starting point of its success as well as better outcomes.

In China, where art performances have been used as a political tool to mobilize the public, officials often have firm control over artistic performances. This has helped China's revolution and construction of society. But the art industry has become livelier than ever under the market economy which has gradually become a dominating factor in artistic creations.

China's mainstream art platforms should get connected with the market as soon as possible and try to seek win-win cooperation.

This does not mean art should only pay attention to economic interests regardless of social benefits. The effect of the market should combine both.

The artistic paths of Feng, Zhao and Zhang are accompanied by the development of Chinese society. They are intimately familiar with what spiritual products China's mainstream masses need.

CCTV's Spring Festival gala used to be China's most important art creation. Many artworks staged on this platform have led art fashions on the Chinese mainland.

But in recent years, criticism of the gala has grown, and its management has hit various roadblocks in terms of delivering what the public wants.

The collaboration among Feng, Zhao and Zhang is a sign that creativity is returning to the gala.

It can be expected that people will continue to discuss the forthcoming 2014 gala. Viewer statistics might take a turn for the better. This change is likely to promote China's whole market for spiritual and artistic products.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:DuMingming、Ye Xin)

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