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Third Beijing International Art Biennale kicks off



Swimming Pool , ink painting by Liu Qinghe from China.

The timing couldn't have been better. The one-year delay in staging the Third Beijing International Art Biennale is adding color to the Beijing Olympics and showcasing the event to a world audience.

Themed Colors and Olympism, the international art gala is touted as the largest in China for 50 years.

The first Beijing Biennale in 2003 drew artists from 45 countries, it was up to 69 in 2005 and this time the number has leapt to 81.

"Colors are just like the beautiful rainbow connecting our dreams with reality, as well as art with the Olympics," says Feng Yuan, deputy chair of the China Federation of the Literary and Arts Circles, a key organizer of the event.


He believes the paintings and sculptures at the Biennale will enrich the atmosphere of the Games, while the Olympics in turn inspires artists with concepts of harmony and progress.

The theme of the biennale has been well received by artists around the world, according to Tao Qin, secretary-general of the organizing committee. She says 3,000 artists from around the world have submitted more than 10,000 works for the event.

A panel of judges consisting of both Chinese and foreign curators, art critics and senior artists, have chosen 747 works by 701 artists from 81 countries and regions for the final appearance at the National Art Museum of China and Exhibition Hall of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in downtown Beijing.

This year's Biennale also offers five special exhibitions: from Britain, Mexico, Mongolia and Norway, plus one of contemporary world prints.

Many of the exhibits depict Olympic subjects, portraying athletes or sports scenes.

Visitors attracted by Head, a work of mixed media, by Mexican artist Javier Marin.

For instance, Zheng Bo from Beijing portrays Titan-style wrestling in his oil work; Lhagvasuren Gomb-Ichin from Mongolia depicts a polo match in an Expressionist manner; Wallace Chen from Macao uses his poetic sculpture Crossing the Century to depict hurdlers, symbolizing China's unprecedented social change.

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