• Installation View
  • Installation View
  • Installation View
  • Installation View
  • Installation View
  • Bian Yuan, Wanlin Art Museum, Giclée print photograph on Acid free cotton paper, 80x56.5cmx25 pieces, 2015, detail
  • Zhang Daqian, Scholars Watching Mountains, Mounted for framing, ink and colour on paper, 45x90.5cm, 1977, detail
  • Huang Kunyuan, New Fire Sources, Oil on canvas, 214x175cm, 1976, detail
  • Mao Xuhui, Memory, Oil on canvas, 200x200cm, 2011, detail

Centennial Presents in Return: Exhibition of Alumni Donation from Chen Dongsheng and Li Yifei

2016.12.15 - 2017.01.19

Artist(s):Bian Yuan, Chen Panling, Chen Xi, Dong Qichang, Fang Lijun, Ge Pengren, He Duoling, Huang Kunyuan, Jiang Congyi, Jin Shangyi, Kang Youwei, Li Xiangqun, Li Yanxiu, Ling Jian, Liu Anping, Liu Wei, Lui Yazi, Ma Lu, Mao Xuhui, Meng Luding, Qi Baishi, Shang Yang, Shen Ling, Shu Zhan, Sui Jianguo, Tan Ping, Tang Zhigang, Wang Guangyi, Wang Huaxiang, Wang Shijie, Wang Yidong, Wang Zhaoming, Wen Guozhang,

Curator(s):Xu Yongjian, Tang Xin

Venue: Wanlin Art Museum, Wuhan University(Keji Rd., Wuhan University, No. 299 Bayi Rd., Wuchang Dist., Wuhan, Hubei)

In collaboration with Taikang Insurance Group and its art section Taikang Space, Wanlin Art Museum, Wuhan University, will present “Centennial Presents in Return: Exhibition of Alumni Donation from Chen Dongsheng and Li Yifei” on Dec. 15, 2016 and hold the opening ceremony on Dec. 21, 2016. It is the first large-scale alumni donation exhibition since the inauguration of the museum in 2015. The donated exhibits, with a total worth of RMB 40 million, all come from two distinguished alumni of Wuhan University, Mr. Chen Dongsheng and Mr. Li Yifei, donating 45 works and 22 works respectively. After Chen Dongsheng’s 0.12 billion worth of donation to build Wanlin Art Museum, it is another praiseworthy deed that aims to carry forward the heritage of the university by calling on more alumni to make contributions to the university and engage in public welfare undertakings. Mr. Chen and Mr. Li, with their generosity and love, also set an example for more alumni and people from all walks of life to follow, so that they will join in contributing their share to Wuhan University, further to the extended fields of art, culture and education for public good in our society.
Mr. Chen, founder of Taikang Insurance Group (former Taikang Life), once carved a Chinese character “始” (meaning start) on the boulder at the top of Luojia Mountain, encouraging himself that “the longest journey starts with a single step”, which motto accompanied him all the way in his career. In 2013, in honor of the 120th anniversary of the university, Mr. Chen donated to the university an art museum, first of its kind among Chinese universities. To celebrate the completion of the museum in 2015, Taikang Space, art section of Taikang Insurance Group, organized, on the basis of its collection and research in art over the past decade, the inaugural exhibition under the title of “Fusion: Chinese Modern and Contemporary Art since 1930s”. Mr. Li Yifei, president and founder of Guangzhou Huayi Group (1989), is always attached to the university and well aware of the importance of culture and art to college education and social development. With his determination to repay the alma mater and society as a whole, he has been making continued efforts to protect and promote the intangible cultural heritage in Guangdong, provide college students with financial assistance, and make contributions to the collection in the university art museum.
Like the boulder at the top of the Luojia Mountain, Wanlin Museum has become a unique landscape on the university campus. With the support of the university and all sectors of society, the museum set up a special team responsible for the organization of exhibitions, operation maintenance and promotion of interactivity. By November 2016, it has attracted a total of 388,000 visitors, becoming not only a fertile ground for the cultivation of humanism and aesthetic pursuit but also a role model for the construction of university museums, drawing more and more public attention and winning public recognition.
 “Centennial Presents in Return: Exhibition of Alumni Donation from Chen Dongsheng and Li Yifei” is curated jointly by Xu Yongjian, Director of Wanlin Art Museum and Tang Xin, Head of Art Collection of Taikang Insurance Group, Director of Taikang Space. As the grand finale of the year, it also marks the beginning of the large-scale permanent collection. Altogether 67 works donated by Chen and Li will be presented, spanning from Late Ming to the present, including great masters like Dong Qichang, Kang Youwei, Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi, etc., well-known contemporary artists like Jin Shangyi, Yang Feiyun, Zhang Xiaogang, etc., and personages like Wang Shijie and Zhu Kezhen, who are somehow related to Wuhan University. These works of art, having witnessed the vicissitude of the ages, lead the visitors back to relive the history and experience the change of time in the last century.
The exhibition will put on display hand-scrolls by Dong Qichang and Kang Youwei, letters by Liu Yazi and Wang Shijie, ink paintings by Qi Baishi and Zhang Daqian, realistic oil paintings by Jin Shangyi, Wang Yidong, Yang Feiyun, etc., contemporary paintings by Fang Lijun, Mao Xuhui, Wang Guangyi, Ye Yongqing, Zhang Xiaogang, etc. It is also worth mentioning that there are also works closely associated with Wuhan University, such as calligraphy of Zheng Banqiao’s poem “Fencing Bamboo” by Wang Shijie in 1935, first president of the university, then minister of education of the national government. The bamboo symbolizes a noble mind as well as the political ambition to save and revive the country by promoting education. “Crabs”, by Qi Baishi, and “Scholars Watching Mountains” by Zhang Daqian, were part of Zhao Yaodong’s collection, an alumnus of the university in the 1940s.

These works of art, along with the message embodied, will pass on the university heritage from one generation of students to another. The donation from Mr. Chen and Mr. Li, the first large collection from alumni marks the beginning of systematic museum collection and highlights the awareness of public welfare and social responsibility on the part of Chinese entrepreneurs.

*Exhibition poster and press release:

Press release

Exhibition poster