On March 16, the calligraphy exhibition “Kunqu and Calligraphy” opened at the Suzhou Art Museum to celebrate 20 years since the Kunqu Opera was proclaimed by UNESCO one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and to honor the 500th anniversary of the birth of Ming Dynasty dramatist Liang Chengyu. The exhibition is organized by Suzhou Municipal Center of Public Culture, Suzhou Art Museum, Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater of Jiangsu, Suzhou Calligraphers Association, Kunshan Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Kunshan Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television & Tourism, and Kunshan Municipal People’s Government under the auspices of Jiangsu Calligraphers Association, Suzhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television & Tourism, and Propaganda Department of Kunshan Municipal Committee.
The exhibition features 183 calligraphy works by Huo Guoqiang, as well as “Painting of an Old Tree and an Empty Pavilion” by Gu Ying from the Yuan Dynasty, 20 rare antique books dating back to the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, and a calligraphy series “Yushan Distinguished Assembly — Couplets” by Huo Guoqiang that is on display for the 11th time as part of traveling exhibition (Suzhou). In 2019, the Suzhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles included this traveling exhibition in the collaborative project of artists and art galleries for attracting funding. The exhibition, together with the publication of the calligraphy catalog, has helped significantly to build the brand of Jiangnan Culture and to promote the traditional culture of Kunqu Opera and Calligraphy, and one of the three distinguished assemblies of Ancient China: the Yushan Distinguished Assembly of scholars, organized by Gu Ying of Bacheng town, Kunshan. Sun Xiaoyun, president of the Chinese Calligraphers Association, wrote an inscription for the exhibition and the calligraphy collection.
According to Huo Guoqiang, national-level artist, member of the Chinese Calligraphers Association, and creator of the exhibition, the Chinese Kunqu Opera and Calligraphy are parts of the world cultural heritage, and Bacheng town in Kunshan is known as the birthplace of Kunqu, the homeland of calligraphy, and the place where Yushan Distinguished Assembly, one of the three distinguished assemblies of scholars, has emerged. Born in Bacheng, Huo Guoqiang felt the urge to bring together two of his “neighbors” — Kunqu and calligraphy, to find the suitable medium to display, save and promote them, and to make his own contribution to the “Kunqu town”. That’s why more than 10 years ago, Huo Guoqiang set out to create a series of calligraphy on “Yushan Distinguished Assembly — Couplets”. Since 2009, the series has been exhibited in 10 venues, including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, USA, Shanghai Liu Haisu Art Museum, and Jiangsu Art Museum.
According to reports, the exhibition will continue until March 30.