Such a Bon Moment: Macron Was On Hand To Unveil The 17th Festival Croisements At Red Brick Art Museum

Such a Bon Moment: Macron Was On Hand To Unveil The 17th Festival Croisements At Red Brick Art Museum

On April 5, the opening ceremony of the 17th Festival Croisements was held at the Red Brick Art Gallery. The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, was on hand to unveil the event and visit “Bon Moment,” the opening exhibition. The famous Chinese actor, director, and vice chairman of the China Film Association, Huang Bo served as the publicity ambassador. Meanwhile, the gallery also presented the permanent exhibition “Arsenal” by artist Anselm Kiefer and “Angling,” Shen Yuan’s solo exhibition.

Rima Abdul Malak – the Minister of Culture (France), Catherine Pégard – the President of the Palace of Versailles, Jean-Jacques Annaud – the director of the film Wolf Totem, Gong Li – actress, Jean-Michel Jarre – the French electronic music pioneer, Shen Yuan, Wang Du and Yan Peiming – artists visiting France accompanied the Macron’s delegation. Besides, many other cultural and artistic figures from France and China also attended the event.

Macron in the opening remarks said that “The Red Brick Art Museum acts as a bridge between Chinese and French cultures. Since 2014, the gallery has always been the paradise of creation, the most innovative place in the capital. Here, the most significant artwork is the unique architecture combining traditional and modern features. Director Yan, you are not only a leading collector but also a positively-devoted humanist. You have been sharing your enthusiasm toward contemporary art for long, especially in the field of French artists. The Red Brick Art Museum creates a cultural link between China and France”.

In 2019, the museum exhibited the works of the winners of the French ‘Prix Marcel Duchamp’, showing us splendid French art; this year, the gallery exhibits the conversation between Chinese and French artists, embodying the spirit of Festival Croisements in a profound manner. Such communication is not easy for many artists, especially during the pandemic period, but it could also be inspiring for many of you. So Festival Croisements is an opportunity to further innovate the legacies in the long history rather than merely inheriting the past, which is the essence of the Festival. 2023, 2024… it will keep going on.

Regardless of the artistic field, I would like to express France has the will to not only revive exchanges but to create new projects in the fields of dance, literature, cinema, music, immersive digital creations, and among others. I believe that both the Chinese and French artists have their uniqueness. Every artist here, your past experience moves us and the people of two countries. We both yearn for beauty, truth, and kindness. Though our histories are different – ancient Greece are replete with us, and China’s long history has nourished Chinese culture – we share unique relationships and understandings of creation and freedom.”

The 17th Festival Croisements invites Huang Bo, an actor, director, and vice chairman of the China Film Association as the publicity ambassador. During the opening ceremony, he said, “If culture is the soul of a country or a nation, communication should be the bridge and bond between different cultures.” Then, Macron visited the opening exhibition “Bon Moment”, Shen Yuan’s solo exhibition “Angling,” and the permanent exhibition “Arsenal” and deeply communicated with the participating Chinese young artists.

“Bon Moment,” the title of the exhibition, is drawn from The Book of Fan Shengzhi, an agricultural text from the Western Han Dynasty: “The basic point of cultivation is to catch the Bon Moment…” The so-called “Bon Moment” is the proper endeavor in suitable spacetime. Containing the Chinese philosophical idea of the felicitous “favorable weather, material advantages, and public support,” it echoes Festival Croisements, which has reached its 17th edition – “When comes spring.” The artistic practice of the 13 artists approaches topics such as the earth, humans, animals, mythology, the unknown, loneliness, fatigue, death, and renewal, creating a transcendent landscape of the world for us. The participating artists are, namely, Mircea Cantor, Cao Fei, Clément Cogitore, Hao Liang, Camille Henrot, Huang Yongping, Jia Aili, Li Nu, Liang Yuanwei, Laure Prouvost, Tao Hui, Tatiana Trouvé, and Yan Bing.

This is the second time that the Red Brick Art Museum held the opening ceremony of Festival Croisements since the “Toi Qui Chemines, Il N’y A Pas De Chemin: Parcours Autour D’artistes Du Prix Marcel Duchamp” in 2019. In the past two years, the Red Brick Art Museum collaborated with Jeu de Paume to present the exhibition “Le Supermarché Des Images” (2021); and afterwards the exhibition “Video at Large – Intimacy” (2022) with City of Paris Museum of Modern Art. In 2017, the Red Brick Art Museum organized the “Haute Tension – Prix Marcel Duchamp” exhibition, enabling the Chinese audience to systematically understand the whole process of “Prix Marcel Duchamp” from its conception, birth, maturity, to winning an international reputation.

Yan Shijie, the director of the Red Brick Art Museum, explained: “After the thaw in spring, the earth’s aura begins to flow and the soil loosens for the first time. It is such a ‘Bon Moment’ that we welcomed President Macron and people from the French and Chinese culture and art world gathered to make the 17th edition of Festival Croisements. It is like a green cultural silk road, continuously promoting communication and interaction between Chinese and French cultures.

The future of mankind goes through thick and thin and shares weal and woe. At present, more than ever before, we need art to bridge our minds. It brings diverse and comprehensive expressions as well as sincere and empathetic listening that enable us in different colors and countries to exchange visions, share happiness and sadness, and be concerned with each other.

In 2019, I was honored to receive the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ from France, the country of art. This medal, filled with praise and love for art, records the endeavor of the Red Brick Art Museum to promote the communication of contemporary art between China and France. The visit of President Macron encourages us massively. As an international platform for cultural and art communications, we will forge ahead and keep understanding, expressing, and interpreting our space with an artistic vision to promote communications between the Eastern and Western civilizations.”

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