Deputy Party Secretary and President, Central Academy of Fine Arts
Mr. FAN Di’an, Han Chinese, was born in September 1955 in Fujian Province. He began his career in 1973 and joined the Communist Party of China in April 1979. He holds an MA degree in History of Chinese Fine Arts in the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Mr. Fan now serves as president, professor and PhD supervisor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is also appointed as deputy president of China Artists Association, deputy president of China Literature and Art Critics Association, deputy director of Arts Education Council of Ministry of Education, member of Central Research Institute of Culture and History, and president of Beijing Artists Association. Mr. Fan is also a CPPCC member.
Mr. Fan has long been engaged in 20th century Chinese art research, criticism and curatorial practices of contemporary art, and art museology. He has published more than one million characters of art researches and critiques. He has curated over a hundred academic exhibitions reflecting the theme of the times and the achievements of Chinese art development, and has organized various academic seminars and international art exchange activities. Through cooperation with the world’s renowned art museums and art colleges, he is committed to promoting the exchanges of outstanding artistic achievements in different countries and enhancing the international influence of Chinese art. Mr. Fan’s oil paintings have been featured in various academic exhibitions.
Mr. Fan has edited and published Journal of 20th Century Chinese Art Literature-Art Volume, Ink Wash Features in Contemporary Art, World Art Education Series, Chinese Contemporary Art: 1979-1999, World Art History, Modern Chinese Painting, and CAFA Art Museum, etc.
|1969—1973||Student, Pucheng No. 1 Middle School of Fujian|
|1973—1977||Educated Youth, Yule Unit, Pucheng County, Fujian Province|
|1977—1980||Undergraduate, Oil Painting Major, Department of Fine Arts, Fujian Normal University|
|1980—1985||Teaching Staff, Department of Fine Arts, Fujian Normal University|
Postgraduate, Department of Fine Arts History, Central Academy of Fine Arts
|1988—1993||Teaching Staff, Department of Fine Arts History, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
|1988—1992||Secretary of the Youth League Committee and Deputy Director of the Student Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
|1992—1993||Visiting Scholar, University of Victoria, Canada|
|1993—1994||Director, Research Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
|1994—1998||Assistant to the President, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
|1998—2005||Member of the Party Committee and Deputy President, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
|2005—2014||Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Director, National Art Museum of China|
|2014—2015||Member of the Party Committee and President, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
|2015—2017||Standing Member of the Party Committee and President, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
|2017—||Deputy Party Secretary and President, Central Academy of Fine Arts|
Based on his knowledge in literature, history and philosophy, as well as of Chinese and foreign art history, Mr. Fan began to write art critiques from the 1980s. He is good at analyzing and expounding artists’ ideas and styles from the perspective of art history. He focuses on artists’ exploration and innovation in practice, and evaluates the social and cultural significances of important artistic phenomena and works. He also pays attention to artistic phenomena and works ontology with his own sensuous experience of artistic creation, and focuses on analyzing the connotation and language model of artistic creation. The relationship between the two in the context of social culture help find a cultural position for artists and their innovations, thereby interpreting the value of artistic creation in the era.
Some of his art critiques focus on artists of the older generation. He has made reviews of famous artists such as Xu Beihong, Wu Zuoren, Li Ruinian, Hua Tianyou, Pang Xunqin, Dong Xiwen, Wu Guanzhong, Zhao Wuji, Jin Shangyi, Zhu Dequn, Zhan Jianjun and Chen Jialing. He also focuses on pioneers in the reform and opening up, such as Xu Bing, Liu Xiaodong, Yu Hong, Xu Jiang, Xu Longsen, He Duoling, Liu Qinghe, Xin Dongwang, Chen Wenling, Wang Dongling, etc. Mr. Fan elaborates the concept and motivation, format and method with thorough analyses, so that artists’ distinct personality are reflected in the critiques and spread.
In the nine years as the director of the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Mr. Fan Di’an devoted himself to the construction of a public cultural service system. In order to improve public service and make the museum specialized, he carried out bold reforms in accordance with the standards of art museums, improved functions, and led the development of art museums around the country. Shortly after he took office, he proposed to build a “public-centric” museum. To meet social and cultural needs, he planned additional business of the museum and formulated new guidelines in curation, collection and research, public education, social communication and international exchange of the National Art Museum of China.
He proposed that the museum should be “based on academic research” and take the initiative to curate exhibitions instead of passively hosting exhibitions. For one thing, the museum should promote the research of current collections, launch a series of special exhibitions of collections. For another, it should pay attention to the development of contemporary art, organize and curate thematic contemporary art exhibitions of different forms.
He attached great importance to the collection of the museum, and pointed out that the museum should display “visible art history”. Aimed at enriching the 20th century Chinese art collections, he redoubled the efforts in increasing the collection. Under the “National Art Donation and Collection” project, the NAMOC attracted donations from artists of older generation and their relatives, expanded its regular collections, and added a large number of fine works to the treasury of national art.
He attached great importance to the public education of the museum and believed that “the NAMOC is a classroom for lifelong social art education”. He has established academic lectures, voluntary guides and other projects. He has also held activities such as “100,000 College Students Visiting the NAMOC” and “Painting at the NAMOC” to make the museum “closer” to the public. With his efforts, the NAMOC has attracted more visitors, gained greater social influence, and become a large classroom for social art education.
Initiated by Mr. Fan Di’an, the National Art Museum Committee of China was established in 2016. Mr. Fan serves as the director of the committee. His modesty and forward-looking academic ideas bring together his peers in the art gallery circle around the country. They discussed art museums in the “era of art museums”, with an ever-expanding annual conference. Under the requirements of the Ministry of Culture, the committee launched the “Exhibition Season of Selected Collections from Art Museums Nationwide”, which displayed a large number of collections to the public. At the same time, research on collections has also improved. Mr. Fan once said: “Public art museums have more advantages than private ones that faced hardship from the start. Therefore, public art museums should pay more attention to specialization and standardization. Compared with their world-famous counterpart, China’s art museums should be more professional and perform their social function.”
Mr. Fan Di’an is one of the senior curators of fine arts in China. When the profession and identity of “curator” just took root in China, he began the “on-the-spot” curatorial practice from the perspective of art criticism. In his curatorial career, he has always put Chinese culture first and promoted excellent art traditions. He also focuses on the theme of the exhibition and is committed to creating better curations. His curation reflected the main theme of Chinese art development while considering the artistic exploration of various styles.
His True Colors in Ink and Wash, Walking from Yan’an, Towards Western China, Contemporary Claborate-style Painting: Chinese Claborate-style Painting Exhibition, Reporting to the Motherland: New China Fine Arts in 60 Years, Resonance of Civilization and other large-scale curations have brought the collections of art museums and contemporary new works together, presenting both collections and the new trends in contemporary art.
In terms of international art exchanges, Mr. Fan has brought in excellent artistic works and help Chinese works “go global” through curation. He believes that Chinese art should be exhibited on major platforms through major channels, and show its vitality and image on major international exhibitions.
He also served as the curator of Living in Time (Contemporary Museum of Hamburg railway station, Berlin), Alors, la Chine? (Pompidou Centre, Paris), Transforming Marks of Ink: Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings (Kunsthalle im Lipsius-Bau, Dresden), A New Horizon: Contemporary Chinese Art (National Museum of Australia), Great Way Prevailing: Chinese Contemporary Public Art Exhibition (Kassel, Germany), The Orchid Pavilion: The Art of Writing in China (Royal Art Museum of Belgium), Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition (The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, US), and China 8 – Contemporary Art from China at Rhine & Ruhr (8 cities, 9 museums).
He was also curator of the Chinese Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, and the Shanghai Biennale, and the chief curator of the China-France Culture Year and the China-Italy Culture Year. In terms of the introduction of international projects, he participated in the curation of Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, Russian Art in 300 Years, Germany 8 and other exhibitions. In terms of international art exchanges, he believes that Chinese art should be “presented directly on world stage” and participate in academic forums and seminars, so as to let the world better understand the new image of Chinese contemporary art in reflecting the changes of the times and language exploration.
In September 2014, Mr. Fan Di’an was appointed president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and thus returned to his alma mater after nine years. Aiming at strengthening morality and cultivating talents, he consciously implements the president responsibility system under the leadership of the Party Committee, and spares no effort to promote discipline construction, talent cultivation, creative research, cultural communication and inheritance, social services and international exchanges of the academy. On the 100th anniversary of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, he was responsible for the curation of “Hundred Years of Glory” series featuring famous masters such as Xu Beihong, Dong Xiwen and Luo Gongliu, which reviewed and presented the outstanding tradition of the CAFA.
He has promoted the reforms of admission examination and teaching. He has been enhancing the development of disciplines: while focusing on consolidating the CAFA’s advanced disciplines, he has also explored and built emerging disciplines such as experimental art, art management, and art restoration. The CAFA has strengthened the cultivation of high-end talents by establishing a graduate school and carrying out “Graduation Season” events, and has also leveraged its teaching results to serve the society. When it comes to the international art exchange, the CAFA has hosted the 34th World Art History Conference, the International Art Education Conference, the Silk Road events, and the EAST (Education, Art, Science, and Technology) Season, expanding its international academic influence. Its fine arts and design disciplines have been included into the country’s first-class disciplines, marking that this century-old academy is embarking on a new journey.