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 »  Home  »  People  »  Ante Glibota's speech at the Symposium on Art organized in the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna 2020
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Ante Glibota's speech at the Symposium on Art organized in the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna 2020
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  01/26/2020 | People , History , Education , Culture And Arts | Unrated
Speech about relations between Chinese and European arts, between two essential civilizations

Mr. Ante Glibota delivering his lecture at the Imperial Palace Hofburg in Vienna, Austria, in January 20th, 2020




Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I am delighted with this happy initiative coming from our friend Prof. Zhang Xiaolong, Vice President of National Academy of Art of China from Beijing, who is also an excellent artist and thinker, to organize in the heart of Central Europe, in Vienna, which was and always remains one of the essential centers of the great artistic, scientific and philosopher's adventure of European civilization, this meeting between historians, artists and thinkers to briefly exchange ideas and reflections on the art and thought of these two major civilizations that are the millennial Chinese civilization and ours, European. This meeting will also I hope stimulate future collaborations, possible exhibitions, dialogues, meetings... allowing to highlight an artistic and intellectual creativity, to also sometimes appease the harshness of inappropriate remarks, useless confrontations, among others, which divide us, while the era calls us to concordance, to collaboration, to fruitful encounters in the name of human creativity. History has given us very subtle and evocative examples from both sides, and certainly we should not ignore them.

Talking with you today about relations in the artistic field and the state of mind of relations between Chinese and European arts, between two essential civilizations, inevitably brings me back to a great European scientist, mathematician, moralist, who also marked by its presence the Asian continent and the eternal China, I want to speak about the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, known under the Chinese name of Li Madou, and which remains until our days an intellectual symbol of the meeting between the Western world and China. When he died in 1610 in Beijing, he had lived in China for 28 years, arriving in Macao in 1582. Considering his long missionary stays in China, we know that at the time of his death, according to the Vatican archives, 2000 Chinese had become Christians, including about 300 in Beijing, and mainly among the literate elites of the time. As Matteo Ricci was not the only missionary at that time, we can conclude that his conversion methods were less dedicated to the Christian faith, than to the dissemination of knowledge, moral thought, science, mathematics, astronomy, geography, philosophy, with a respectful and tolerant open-mindedness, conducive to a fertile atmosphere of creativity and spirit.

Ricci, as a luminous scientist, admired China, its civilization, its ethical-political wisdom of Confucian thought based on reason and natural morality. Thus, two of his works "Treatise on Friendship" and the translation of "Elements of Euclid" were incorporated by Chinese Emperor Qianlong in the famous "Collection completed with four treasure", an official publication among the most important books published in China. He left a trace, a sign that has become a model, writings, books, transmitting his great knowledge, going beyond the question of evangelization, being a messenger of openness, still providing today a light reading key for to approach the customs, science and arts of contemporary China, and obviously the essential differences which could become the basis of an obvious complementarity and allow the construction of bridges, and not of useless walls. But one of the essential features of Ricci was his optimism, his Renaissance humanism, his infinite hope in the human spirit, and which testify many centuries later that we never forget men of wit, and that they are readily claimed as sources of inspiration which nourish the paths of fruitful civilizational concordances.

I will now to evoke, to bring to mind, about Chinese and French artist Zao Wou-Ki, who was also a close friend. Leaving China in 1948, he moved to Paris and then traveled across Europe, to Spain, Italy, Holland, England, appropriating the frameworks where Velasquez, El Greco, Rubens, Giotto, Piero de la Francesca, Vermeer, Turner... lived and created, and discovering his own models in Cezanne and Paul Klee works. The first will inspire him by the structuring of the landscape in the modulation of light, and he will find comfort in the second whose journey he has well known on the road to the East and Orient. By drawing inspiration from these two experiences at the same time, then emphasizing the structure of the signs and the juxtaposition of their traces, Zao Wu-Ki creates a feeling of lightness in his nervous graphics sign. But he retained in his expression a strong or furtive gesture by using his deep knowledge of calligraphy which is expressed in a diversity of styles, letting color enjoy its vibratory effect, supporting the quality and balance of the space, centering the canvas, creating a convulsive effervescence of balance in his work, thus affirming his artistic originality and independence.

Of course, his experience was well felt in Western creativity and many artists have visibly taken a look at his pictorial work such as Henri Michaux, Hans Hartung, Pierre Soulage, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jean Degotex, Joan Mitchell, Sam Francis... to name a few - some of the most important western artists. His work carries within itself an authentic and spiritual vision which also gives us the feeling that it took this imperative, that Zao Wu-Ki expatriated, to measure and carry out this authentic experience, this work close to its sources, which metamorphosis in his distant experience, revealing the own mysteries of the origin.

He will return to his native country, in Hangzhou, for short period, to help the students of the Academy of Fine Arts, where he had taught before his departure from China, to clear the path of the harmful influence of Russian academism which permeated Chinese art after the 1948 Revolution, to free themselves from the grip of social-realism by opening their eyes, thus allowing them to reconnect with the pictorial tradition of millennial China, while infusing them with the modernism of the contemporary world. Thus Zao Wu-Ki sought to reconcile his ancestral Chinese heritage and his deep sensitivity towards Western culture, by creating a total work, and in which can find the two civilizations in serenity and stripping.

Another great Chinese artist, Zang Xiaogang, who has become a major figure in present days on the planetary art scene, will tell me while I was preparing a work on his book, that his first trip to Europe had so upset him that he will remain a year and a half without touch neither brush nor canvas, following the visual shock that had given him the discovery of the abundant artistic creativity. His travels in European countries change his approach to creativity, his perception of art. Zhang Xiaogang discovers works and artists of which he had only a bookish knowledge and his visits to the big European museums and galleries are as many visual shocks, like as many hammers blows on the head.

After taking a break, he began a new cycle of paintings that definitely turned their backs on expressionism and opted instead for a hyperrealist style, directing his work towards a surrealistic expression whose dream and memory would become the primary center of interest. From now on, the artist shows less and less curiosity for research related to social or cultural problems, but focuses his creative investigations on the soul, the deep self through his sensitivity and memory and of which his work to come will bear traces.

His stay in Europe will develop his interest in the works of Rene Magritte, as well as for the German artist Hans Richter whose experience with the photo certainly played an important role in the photographic experiences of the Chinese artist, and his photos TV screens enhanced by extracts from his diary where imagery is brought about by the image itself. Even if his personal aesthetic is strongly linked to a modern expression, Zhang Xiaogang confirms that despite everything, his favorite artist remains El Greco, artist of another time but who was modernist before the moderns, "a cultivated and invulnerable artist" like the said Fernando Arrabal so well. Zhang Xiaogang's attachment to the Master of Toledo can therefore be better understood when we know that both share a fierce conception of personality of independence of spirit.As well as the discovery by European and American artists of the artistic richness of China, Japan... fed and inspired Georges Mathieu, Henri Michaux, Pierre Soulage, Gerard Schneider, Hans Hartung, Jackson Pollock, among others.

I know positively that the first five European artists mentioned, with whom I was close, either studied or became aware of the famous treaty Manual of Painting of Shitao (1642-1707), or Zhu Ruoji, which also bears the name of Bitter Pumpkin Monk, and which represents the one of the highest and most complete expressions of Chinese aesthetic thought. These texts which by their originality and the depth of their thought had an influence on the universalized pictorial theory, as well on the level of the spiritual experience as on the plan of the practice of painting. The unitive spirit of Shitao makes it possible to account for all the aspects of the activity of the painter and on various levels, philosophical, ethical, plastic and technical experience.

The comings and goings, the cohabitation between these two civilizations trace today as yesterday a natural route or as Shitao expresses it "My way is that of the Unit which embraces the Universal". All these ideas testify that we live in a complex situation, on the civilizational, creative, social, artistic, scientific level, we live in a spectral world.

Now it is precisely a Viennese, Karl Kraus, who taught us, who are imbued with the spirit of science and art, to send us deep and reflective message that "Science is spectral analysis. Art is synthesis of light ". Let’s try, at least, not to forget it these days despite the small and big differences in which our respective civilizations are immersed.

Paris, January 19th, 2020.

Croatian artist Boris Ivandić (2nd from the right) receiving high recognition from dr. Heinz Fischer, former president of Austria.

The awarded artists and members of the jury: Boris Ivandić in the middle, Ante Glibota sixth from the right.


Beč, austrijska prijestoljnica je bila tjekom minulog tjedna mjestom značajnih umjetničkih okupljanja i događanja u kojima su učestvovali i dvojica Hrvata, Ante Glibota, dopredsjednik Europske akademije znanosti umjetnosti i književnosti iz Pariza (AESAL) i značajni hrvatski slikar Boris Ivandić, sa stalnom adresom u Berlinu.

U imperijalnom dvorcu Hofbourg, u kojem su stolovali Austro-ugarski carevi od 1220. godine i poslje drugog svjetskog rata, koji je oficijelna residencija Predsjednika Austrijske države, održan je međunarodni znanstveni skup , simpozijum o "The cross-cultural perspective in art", na kojem je uvodno izlaganje u prvom panelu pod naslovom "L'€™Europe et Chine dans l'esprit de Lumiere" - govorio povjesničar umjetnosti i arhitekture Ante Glibota. Govoreći o kulturološkim isprepletenosti, izložio je svoje teze na primjerima i osobnostima dviju fundamentalnih civilizacija, evropske i kineske civilizacije, potkrepljujući je i na mađusobnim utjecajima i kulturološkim reflekcijama, na primjerima misionara, jezuite, matematičara i znanstvenika Matea Riccia i njegov ogromni utjecaj na razvoj znanosti u Kini, potom utjecaj kineskog umjetnika, filozofa i teoreticara slikarstva Shintao na modernistička gibanja u Europi poslje drugog svjetskog rata, koji je bio pomnno praćen u literalno umjetničkim krugovima Europe i Amerike, poslje prevođenja njegovog traktata o slikarstvu na europske jezike. Ali isto tako prisustvo od 1948 u Parizu, kineskog umjetnika Zao Wu-Kija, koji je svojim izuzetnim talentom i originalnošću ekspresije imao važan utjecaj na najznačajniju plejadu i predstavnike evropskih umjetnika i poglavito, onih koji su njegovali izražaj apstraktnog ekspresionizma koje je ovaj značajni francusko-kineski umjetnik inspiriro, poslje drugog svjetskog rata . Sa druge strane govorio je Glibota i o šokovima koji su doživljavali najvažniji predstavnici kineske i japanske kreativne scene otkrivajući fertilnost i snagu europske umjetničke kreativnosti, koja je znala proizvesti ponekad paralalizirajući efefekt na određeni broj suvremenih azijatskih umjetnika, koji su otkrivali evropsku umjetnost u orginalima čuvanih u prestižnim muzejima i galerijama Italije, Francuske, Nizozemske, Njemačke, Austrije, Rusije,...

Boris Ivandić je zasigurno jedan od najvažnijih živućih hrvatskih umjetnika, sa prebivalištem u Berlinu, slikar izuzetnog talenta i snage, ali i profesor na berlinskoj slikarskoj Akademiji, je dobio u Beču znakovitu i prestižnu "€œVienna International Medal of Art" (Distinguished Artist Award) za slikarstvo, a također i veliki engleski sculptor Tony Cragg, za sculpturu. Nagrade za životno djela su dobili talijanski umjetnik Ruggero Savinio, kineski umjetnik Jin Shangyi, i austrijski slikar Arik Brauer.

Ova znakovita priznanja i nagrade je uručio na zasebnoj i sjajnoj ceremoniji svim dobitnicima donedavni Predsjednik Austrije i bivši ministar znanosti republike Austrije dr. Heinz Fischer, uz nazočnost svečanostima i aktuelnog austrijskog kancelara, potom ministra kulture Mag. Thomas Drozda i brojne predstavnike javnog života Austrije, grada Beča, diplomata i veleposlanika Italije, Engleske, Kine,... zemalja čiji su umjetnici primili nagrade, ali naravno bez hrvatskog veleposlanika, koji je uredno pozvano na ovu svečanost i ball u imperijalnoj palači, kojem su nazočili 1200 uzvanika sa različitih kontinenata i predstavnici kulturnog i političkog života austrijskog glavnog grada i republike Austrije na čelu sa njenim kancelarom.

Međunarodni žiri, kojima su supresjedavali Ante Glibota, dopredsjednik Europske Akademije (AESAL) i Prof. Zhang Xiaoling, dopredsjednik Nacionalne Umjetničke Akademije Kine, uz ugledne članove Prof. Tiziana D'Achille, predsjednica Umjetničke Akademije likovnih umjetnosti iz Rima, Prof. Bernhard Gwigger Rektor Sveučilišta Mozarteum iz Salzburga, Cao Yinqiang, direktor Centralne Umjetničke likovne Akademije iz Pekinga, Dr. Beata Reifescheid, direktorica Ludwig Museuma iz Koblenza te Prof. Niels Muus, Dekan Bečke Opere i glazbene Akademije i Direktor bečke Centralne Akademije dramskih umjetnosti.

U obrazloženju žirija za Borisa Ivandića se kaže da je "ovaj hrvatski umjetnik, rođen u Osijeku, jedan stvarni planetarni umjetnik-putnik, koji je studirao povjest umjetnosti i filozofiju na sveučilištima u Zagrebu i likovne umjetnosti na Akademiji u Ljubljani. Potom živeći i radeći u Parizu, gdje je doživio svoje prve umjetničke afirmacije izlažući u Parizu, Chicagu, Tokiju, Kini i Indiji, i tako dobio vidljive potvrde svojih kreativnih ideja. Svojim putovanjama u Indiju i Kinu, produbio je istinski i svoj prilaz umjetničkom činu, otkrivajući i revandicirajući spiritualnu dimenziju u svojim radovima, koju je sustavno njegovao u svom likovnom izričaju. Ali potpuniju afirmaciju doživljava u Berlinu, gdje njegov rad doživljava i ulazi u realitet jedne duboke meditativne i intelektualne dimenzije. Na prvi pogled njegovi radovi mogu izazvati čuđenje, ali tek uz pomne observaciju, otkrijemo da je njegov rad u svojim realitetima jedan stvarni slojeviti labirint, u kojem ne vidimo ni izlaza ni ulaza. Superpozicija formi koje čine ovaj Ivandićev rad enigmatičnim, koji su strukturirani u bogatstvima i kolorističkoj raspodiji višeslojnih svjetova, koji egzistiraju u suživotu i perfektnoj ravnoteži, u kojoj otkrivamo stvarna bogatstva, inventivnog i imaginarnog svijeta, sa svim kompleksnostimao i paralelizmu njegovih formi. Vidljivo, ispred nas je umjetnik, homo ludens, slobodno se izražavajući, bez kompleksa, igrajući se kroz fabulozne i zanosne forme iz njegovog umjetničkog i intelektualnog ambijenta ne birajući mjesta svjedočantvima i slučajnostima kako na zidovima uličnih instalacija, grafitima u gradskih peysaga, kolažima u narativnim crtežima i formama u njegovom ateljeu ili pak u rijetkim knjigama koje Ivandić konfekcionira sa vidljivim poetsko likovnim zanosom. Njegova djela odaju istovremeno originalne ekspresivne formes i vrlo jaki osjećaj humora, ležernosti, lepršavosti, odajući nam neponovljiva i originalna umjetnička iskustva, djela u čijim sučeljenjima osjećamo njihovu vibrativnu snagu, originalnost i snagu jedinstvene umjetnicčke stvaralačke energije, koje izviru iz Ivandićevog umjetički zrelog i originalnog gesta i zanosa, postojnosti jednog ozbiljnog, nadahnutog slikarskog opusa!".

Nije na odmet spomenuti da je Boris Ivandić bio jedan od prvih ranjenih Hrvata u Domovinskom ratu, nakon svirepih napada JNA u Osijeku 1991 godine.

U 2008. godini on je predstavljao Hrvatsku na spektakularnoj Olimpijsku izložbi organizirane od Međunarodnog Olympijskog komiteta i Adidasa u Muzeju moderne umjetnosti u Pekingu za vrijem Olimpijskih igara u Pekingu, pod naslom Umjetnost i sport, ali i prije i poslje, predstavljenu u 7 najznačajnijih kineskih Muzeja, u izložbi čiji je autor bio Ante Glibota, koja je okupila kreativnu i likovnu elitu sa svih kontinenata.

Ante Glibota je posvetio istom umjetniku značajnu monografiju koju je publicirala izdavačka kuća Delight Edition u Hong Kongu i Parizu u 2008. godini.

Boro Ivandić je ilustrirao također i dao likovni predložak za dvije knjige poema Ante Glibote objavljenih 2006 i 2007. godine u Parizu između inih drugih umjetničkih ostvarenja i izložbi na različitim kontinentima.

In the Main Hall of the Imperial Palace Hofburg in Vienna, capital of Austria, just prior to the beginning of the ceremony.
In the center, Mr. Ante Glibota, and Mr. Boris Ivandić on his left.

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