Unification News for December 2004

The Art Festival for World Peace 2004

By Benny H.V. Andersson

The second Art Festival for World Peace was held at Liuhai Su Art Museum in Shanghai, Nov. 11-17, 2004. One hundred eighty artists from 16 countries participated (11 from USA); among them were Jan Parker, Shigeyoshi Watanabe (Wabe), Benny H.V. Andersson, Cynthia Toffey, and Dennis Holcomb. Also, Julia Moon, from Universal Ballet, participated in the opening ceremony at the museum.

The first Art Festival for World Peace was held at the Seoul Art Center in 2000.

The 2004 event was organized and sponsored by Bijutsu Sekai, founded by Rev. Moon in 1984 in Japan. This also marks the 20-year anniversary for Bijutsu Sekai which has organized numerous exhibits in Asia, most notably the Art Fair for Asian Peace, the Korean Art Fair, and a New World of Art. In spite of political difficulties, Bijutsu Sekai has also been able to include and invite artists from North Korea and China.

This festival was part of the 6th China Shanghai International Art Festival which held shows at several art museums and exhibition halls in the city during the month of November. Shanghai Biennale could be seen at the Shanghai Art Museum. The Shanghai Art Association, a professional academic community of artists in Shanghai with 1251 artists-members, also supported the Art Festival for World Peace.

Under the theme "World Peace," this exhibition showcased artists with many different styles and from different cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, one can feel that each artist carries the fire of creativity in his/her soul and a burning desire to share their art, and their thoughts regarding peace, harmony and beauty. This affords the viewer an opportunity to see tendencies and varieties of art developed in different parts of the world.

Another important aspect of this festival is that many artists came to the exhibition site and participated in a 3-day program, including the opening ceremony, a banquet, a 2-day tour to historical sites, and a visit to an art school. This helps to provide a platform for exchange among artists from different backgrounds, to learn and understand each otherís art, compare thoughts and progress together. It is not about unity in terms of artistic styles and aesthetic criteria; rather, one could call it a celebration of diversity in fine art, and that is one of the unique aspects of exhibition projects sponsored by Bijutsu Sekai. The world of fine art does not know any borders.

It was also agreed that the third Art Festival for World Peace would be held in Tokyo in 2008. 

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