When it comes to taking the subway, New Yorkers and Chinese got another reason to bond last week, besides overcrowding. On Friday, April 11, students and faculty of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, one of the country’s premier educational institutions, gathered at the school for the opening reception for “Underground Images: School of Visual Arts Subway Posters, 1947 to the Present.” Spanning eight decades of design, illustration, photography, New
York City and SVA history, the exhibition comprises 58 posters created by SVA faculty members.
Artist and BFA Fine Arts faculty member Renyi Hu was on hand to deliver a multimedia presentation on the posters and SVA to the opening night crowd.
“Underground Images” in Beijing was organized by Amy Gendler, an associate professor of communication design at CAFA; Zheng Tao, international coordinator of CAFA School of Design; and Wang Min, chair of CAFA’s design department. As Tao explains it, the idea of hosting the exhibition at CAFA came from a student whose friend attends SVA. “I took a quick look [at the work],” Tao says, “and was immediately attracted.”
Tao’s favorite poster: To Help See Possibilities, Mirko Ilic‘s eyechart-inspired effort from 2009, which he calls “simple, elegant from some distance, and revealing amazingly interesting details . . . at a close look.”
“Underground Images” was curated by SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes. He has served as creative director for the posters since 2007, when he took on the role from his father, SVA Founder Silas H. Rhodes. The exhibition is on view at CAFA through May 3 and will be installed in Montenegro later this month.
Images: “Underground Images” at CAFA, Beijing; photos courtesy Zheng Tao. Mirko Ilić, To Help See Possibilities, 2009.