18 April 2000


18 April ~ 18 June 2000
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

We are pleased and proud to present "Celestial Mountains", an exhibition of photographs by resident Chinese landscape photographic artist, Wang WuSheng.

Wang WuSheng, is a prominent Chinese photographer, who has been pursuing his artistic work in Japan for the past 19 years since arriving here in 1981 and adopting the country as his second home. Using the famous Yellow Mountains (Huang Shan) of his native China as his motif, Wang has, since 1974, committed his thoughts and emotions to the mountains and waters of the natural world, portraying the spiritual landscape images he perceives through the medium of monochromatic photography. Wang's photographic landscape images provide a realistic documentary portrayal of their subject yet at the same time bear an ethereal quality. In producing his images, Wang has also managed to maintain the oriental artistic tradition while at the same time incorporating modern constructive elements such as a strong sense of rhythm and contrast, culminating in a distinctive aesthetic style.

Wang held his first one-man exhibition at the Seibu Art Museum in 1988, and thereafter held a series of one-man exhibitions throughout Japan to enthusiastic reception and high critical appraisal nationwide.

In 1994 and 1995, wishing to make the fruits of his artistic work in Japan known in his native country of China, Wang held one-man exhibitions at the China Art Museum, Beijing and the Shanghai Art Museum.These exhibitions were a resounding success with Wang receiving the utmost praise from the Chinese public, from distinguished notaries in many fields of Chinese society, and from the Chinese media.

Around the same time, the overwhelming transcendental beauty of Wang's work also caused a fresh sensation in the Western World, bringing with it requests by numerous art museums to exhibit his work. From May to August of 1998, Wang held a full scale one-man exhibition at the Vienna Museum of Fine Arts, a museum ranking alongside the Louvre and Prado museums as one of the three most important art institutions in Europe. In addition to being the first ever exhibition of work by a living artist at the Vienna Museum of Fine Arts, it was also the first ever sole exhibition of the work of an Asian artist to be held there. It was moreover the first time for an exhibition of photographic art to be held at this world-renown stately institution. In light of these three "firsts" alone, Wang's one-man Vienna exhibition was epoch making and will achieve a place in the annals of art history. The artistry and spirituality of the exhibition was well received by the 40,000 or so people from 38 countries who viewed it, and it was in all an outstanding success.

The purpose of this commemorative exhibition is to relate the import of that success in Wang's adopted second home of Japan and also to introduce the work of Wang WuSheng to as many people as possible. The works in this exhibition were newly created for the Vienna exhibition in 1998 and are on public display in Japan for the first time.In addition, a selection of panoramic scenes captured by Wang's camera, when he was inspired by the richness of European art and culture during his travels in Europe has also been included. Since arriving here in 1981, Wang WuSheng has had a long-held desire to tour Japan and take a series of photographs under the title "the Spirit and Charm of Japan".He achieved the first step towards this long cherished desire in September 1999, when he travelled to Wakayama Prefecture to photograph Japanese natural scenery as material for an NHK Satellite BS2 documentary about his life and work. Several of these photographs have been included in the current exhibition under the title of"The Beauty of Wakayama".

The JAPAN-CHINA ASSOCIATION with WANG WuSheng, was formed in April 1996, through the gracious acceptance of their appointments by the association's directors, comprising of distinguished people drawn mainly from the Japanese business community but from other fields as well.In addition to supporting Wang WuSheng's rare artistic talent and work, this Association aims to promote mutual understanding and cultural exchanges between Japan, China, and Asia and rest of the world, through the dissemination of the art of Wang WuSheng.

Our immediate mission is to assist Wang WuSheng in his work by introducing it as widely as possible internationally with a view to realizing a touring exhibition of Wang's work throughout the world's major art museums and galleries.

In bringing you "Celestial Mountains", we should sincerely like to thank our joint sponsors, patrons, the many who have lent their assistance in various ways, and, our member organizations and businesses for the magnificent support they have so kindly contributed toward making this exhibition possible.