The organizers were the Union of Artists and the Union of Chinese Calligraphers. It is the first country’s such a grand exhibition on its fight against COVID-19. The exposition consists of three sections. It includes 177 works created by both professionals and amateur artists.
- For the first section, “Artists in battle,” the Union of Artists selected 96 works from more than 75 thousand paintings, drawings, posters, and graphic works submitted for an open competition. The National Museum said on its WeChat account that the initiative was sponsored by the All-China Literary and Art Workers’ Association and was approved by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
- The Calligraphers in Battle section features 40 works of calligraphy and carved Chinese seals, created by renowned masters commissioned by the National Museum and the Union of Calligraphers.
- And the section “Masses in battle” included 41 works from among those submitted for the competition by amateur artists through municipal and regional art unions, including a painting by Jiao Yan of a female police officer taking off her mask and a recovering patient painted by 11-year-old Li Xinyan.
The exhibition is dominated by works depicting scenes in hospitals in the city of Wuhan, which began the spread of the coronavirus, forcing the authorities to impose a nationwide quarantine. Propaganda posters sit alongside heroic paintings and socialist-realist statues of health workers dressed in protective gear and draped with Chinese flags. Several works depict the pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan. He rose to fame during the SARS outbreak in 2003 and played a key role in the fight against COVID-19.
More professional exhibits include:
- a sculpture of a saluting paramedic by Wu Weishan, director of the National Museum of Art of China;
- a triptych depicting an emaciated paramedic by the head of the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts Pan Maokun;
- a view of the famous Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan by Fan Di`an, the President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Beijing Artists’ Union.