5 November 2018, Shanghai, China – On his visit to the People’ s Republic of China, Czech president Miloš Zeman donated a picture called Eternal China by master Jaro Šulek to Chinese president Xi Jinping.
He was pleased with the gift and thanked kindly.
Events & Programs
THE MEMORIAL HALL OF THE VICTIMS IN NANJING MASSACRE BY JAPANESE INVADERS
One of the most important events in great China will be organized this spring.
It is the 80th anniversary of the attack on Chinese city NANKING (the former capital of China) by the Japanese army. During the capture of the town by Japanese soldiers, about 300 000 people lost their life, among whom there were also a lot of women and children. The event is known as the Massacre in Nanking. The management of the museum of modern art and the art commission of the city of Nanking have decided that on the occasion of this important commemoration there will be held a great exhibition of painting.
Further they decided that painting pictures for this exhibition will not be devolved on Chinese or Japanese artists, but artists who do not come from these two countries. After considering, they finally came to the decision that paintings will be painted by only one artist. The artist who received this honor from among American, English, German, French artists is the Slovak artist master Šulek. In his words: ”It is great honor for me and my little Slovakia that I was chosen and I can paint pictures on such an important event. This exhibition will be the next great light that illuminates and eventually destroys darkness and dark in our hearts.“
On the works of Jaroslav Šulek.
The motif of violence, and death in confrontation with life and peace belong among the most powerful themes in the history of fine art. Many significant painters, sculptors and graphic artists depicted these themes in their works during different historical epochs. Francisco Goya said: “look at the horrors of war” and the Czech Cubist painter Emil Filla added: “Every art is the function of people, of man, his love, his – only his understanding of the meaning of existence”.
The two basic poles of our being are characteristic of the paintings of Jaroslav Šulek. Especially the cycle War and Peace,(combined technique, 2017) bears strong testimony of the artists`s conviction that the artist himself must take a stand towards these challenges. His attitude to life was reflected in his artistic opinion.
Inspiration for the creation of these cycles was taken from the war crimes and massacre committed by the Imperial Japanese Army on the Chinese people of Nanking in 1937. (In the same year Nazi Germany bombed the Spanish town of Guernica. Pablo Picasso painted a work of art which bore shattering testimony to this event). Jaroslav Šulek reacts to the killing of large numbers of people and the inhumanity and brutality of the Japanese criminals.
The War Cycle collection relies on the synthesis of figural and colored elements of expression which synergetically dominate the entire picture. The figures are not formulated to concretize a specific figure or interpret a detailed description. It is not about the telling of a certain story by means of the figuresʼ relationships, but the sublimation of a tragical atmosphere in a historical event. The same applies to the use of colors in their semantic and symbolic values. For these reasons the artist uses more monochromatic colors, mainly white and black, with internally justified and adequate accentuation of orange and red as signals of explosion, blood etc. White and black are not only the expression of tragedy but also of the innocence of the people killed and absolute values.
The Peace Cycle represents the new and actual shape of people`s lives in this important Chinese city. Once again an important role is given to color, through which rejuvenated life resounds in the beautiful surroundings. Historic trauma is gradually humanized in the interest of life, creating an urgent human message for the present and future.
Jaroslav Šulek has been delving into the history of Chinese culture, mainly fine art, for many years, and not only into its iconographic character. The inspiring influence of Chinese art has been reflected in the history of European painting and graphics for many centuries. In the artistʼs works we can see one of the most important influences, which is calligraphy. The vivid importance of Chinese teachers on his paintings is also visible in other elements of his work, while at the same time the artists preserves his own expressive form. This creates proportional synthesis in the interest of the message the works carry over, which is the decisive factor in activating the basic elements of the moral renewal of the world. The dramatic battle between life and death manifests itself in the power of life and love.
Prof. PhDr. Ľudovít Petránsky, DrSc.