On October 16, “Memory of China - Photography and Sketches by Chilean painter José Venturelli” opened at the National Art Museum of China. Chilean President Gabriel Boric, Minister of Culture and Tourism of China Hu Heping and Executive Director of Jose Venturelli Foundation Marva Venturelli attended and addressed the opening ceremony. Foreign Minister of Chile Alberto van Klaveren and other ministers, the parliamentary delegation, Ambassador to China Mauricio Hurtado, Chinese Ambassador to Chile Niu Qingbao, Director of the National Art Museum of China Wu Weishan and more than 100 guests from all walks of life attended the event.
Borici said in his speech that Chile was the first South American country to establish diplomatic ties with China, and the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries not only covered fields of diplomatic and economic, but involved culture, art and people’s feelings. This exhibition manifests the profound friendship and pragmatic cooperation, which will foster bilateral relations. Venturelli once said that his work is not only a painting, but also a discussion of human destiny. His visit to China in the 1950s laid the foundation for relations between the two countries. It is also his experience in China that makes his work so different. Only by understanding Venturelli’s relationship with China can we better understand his art and the themes of change, peace, development and friendship reflected in it. We look forward to holding similar exhibitions in Chile and bolstering exchanges and cooperation between artists of the two countries to enhance mutual understanding and friendship.
Hu Heping spoke highly of Venturelli’s extraordinary contributions to promoting China-Chile cultural exchanges, establishing diplomatic ties and developing friendship between the two countries. He said that with the title of “Memory of China” the exhibition brings together the works collected by the Jose Venturelli Foundation and the paintings of famous Chinese artists collected by the National Art Museum of China, which empower artists and friends of the two countries to exchange views across time and space, and provides a good opportunity for deepening China-Chile friendship and pooling joint efforts. In recent years, the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries, especially the Belt and Road cooperation, has been deepened and expanded to a larger extent. Cultural and tourism exchanges and cooperation have yielded fruitful results. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism is willing to join hands with Chile to jointly implement the global civilization initiative, deepen Cultural Silk Road Program, jointly pursue the biggest common ground for people-to-people exchanges, enlarge the circle of friends, and contribute to the development of China-Chile comprehensive strategic partnership and the building of a China-Latin America community with a shared future.
Marva said that the exhibition coincides with the centenary of Venturelli’s birth, which fully reflects the mutual influence, appreciation and respect between him and the Chinese people. China had a profound influence on Venturelli, whose life and social transformations enriched his art and shaped his artistic and political ideas. As one of the most important artists in Latin America, Venturelli believes that the role of culture goes far beyond artistic creation. It is believed that through further understanding of each other’s cultural traditions, Chile and China will establish lasting ties and strengthen exchanges and communication.
Jose Venturelli is a famous artist and friend of China in Latin America. In 1952, Venturelli was invited to visit China for the first time. In the same year, he co-founded the Chinese Cultural Association of Chile, the first friendship organization with China in Latin America, and made positive contributions to advance China-Chile diplomatic relations and China-Latin America friendship.
The exhibition is championed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, and co-sponsored by the China Association for Cultural Exchange with Foreign Countries, the National Art Museum of China, the Embassy of Chile in China and the Jose Venturelli Foundation. Through the three chapters of “Jose Venturelli and Chinese Literature and Art Circles”, “Venturelli and his Wife and Chinese Customs” and “Venturelli's Sketches during his time in China”, this exhibition tells stories of the friendship and cultural exchanges between China and Chile.