Nikos Alexiou Holy Monastery of Iviron, 2003


At the Beginning Was the Word. Concepts - Images - Script

National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) - Beijing


The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), in the framework of the Year of Cultural Exchanges between Greece and China started a collaboration with the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) with the aim of strengthening transnational relations and intercultural exchange in the field of art between the two countries. After the presentation of the exhibition CHINESE XIEYI: Masterpieces from the National Art Museum of China in Athens at EMST in autumn of 2017, part of the EMST Collection travels to Beijing. At the exhibition At the Beginning Was the Word. Concepts – Images – Script approximately 80 works of 40 Greek and international artists are presented at NAMOC from November 27, 2018 to January 17, 2019.

Two important civilizations, Greek and Chinese, contributed to several different levels for the formation of the western and eastern culture. Starting from that point, the exhibition examines the transition from the meaning to writing and the conceit within the speech and the image, with vehicle the international language of art, history, politics, and philosophy. The works of contemporary art are seen as a canal not only of the aesthetics and the artistic tradition but of the historic past as well, compliant by the optics of today.

Information about the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC):

The National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) is a national art museum of plastic arts dedicated to collection, research and exhibitions of modern and contemporary artistic works in China. Starting to be built in 1958, NAMOC, with its title board inscribed by Chairman Mao Zedong, was formally open to the public in 1963. NAMOC is a national cultural landmark after foundation of New China. The main building, roofed with yellow glazed tiles and surrounded by corridors and pavilions, features the styles of ancient Chinese attics and traditional architecture. The building, with 21 exhibition halls in its 5 stories, covers an area of more than 18,000 square meters. The museum boasts an exhibition area of 8,300 square meters. A modern collection storeroom founded in 1995 covers an area of 4,100 square meters.

The museum houses more than 100,000 pieces of various collections, most of which are representative works of different periods and great artworks of Chinese art masters from the end of the 19th century till today, constituting art development history since the beginning of modern China. Collections also include some ancient paintings and calligraphy works, foreign artistic works as well as plentiful folk art works. The museum collects works of many great artists such as Ren Bonian, Wu Changshuo, Huang Binhong, Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, Liu Haisu, Jiang Zhaohe, Situ Qiao, Li Keran, Wu Zuoren, Ye Qianyu, Dong Xiwen, Luo Gongliu and Wu Guanzhong. The museum also collects hundreds of foreign artistic works. German collectors Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ludwig donated 117 pieces of foreign works to NAMOC in 1999, including 4 oil paintings of Picasso.

Curated by Katerina Koskina (EMST Director)

Co-curated by Anna Mykoniati (EMST Curator)


Alexis Akrithakis
Nikos Alexiou
Stephen Antonakos
Katerina Apostolidou
John Baldessari
Pandelis Chandris
Stathis Chrisikopoulos
Savvas Christodoulidis
Bia Davou
Iran Do Espιrito Santo
Alexandros Georgiou
Phoebe Giannisi
Gary Hill
Maria Ikonomopoulou
Ilya Kabakov
Yael Kanarek
Yorgos Lazongas
Maria Loizidou

Mateo Lopez
Vlado Martek
Nina Papaconstantinou
Theodoros – sculptor
Rena Papaspyrou
Nausika Pastra
Jannis Psychopedis
Alexandros Psychoulis
Yorgos Sapountzis
Kyrillos Sarris
Angelos Skourtis
Anastasis Stratakis
Dilek Winchester
Pantelis Xagoraris
Georgios Xenos
Vana Xenou
Dimitris Xonoglou
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries
Vadim Zakharov


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