By Zhang Xiaoling
A grand exhibition displaying Han Dynasty (202 BC to AD 8) artifacts was staged in the Guimet Museum, France in July, 2014. A total of 153 sets of valuable exhibits from 27 Chinese museums were displayed, attracting large numbers of visitors.
Prior to it, another exhibition titled “Great Museums, Famous Masters and Outstanding Masterpieces: the Special Painting Exhibition for Commemorating 50th Anniversary of Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relationship” was held at the National Museum of China. It showcased 10 hallmark paintings from five major French museums, including the Louvre.
The above two art exhibitions were a miniature of the prospering development of the exchanges and mutual learning between China and the rest of the world over the past decade.
In recent years, the Chinese art world has fully demonstrated China’s artistic ideas through its active interaction with the rest of the world. China’s traditional art, presented with new technologies and ideas, has grown more inclusive and open.
At the 59th Venice Biennale, an international contemporary art exhibition that takes place biennially in Venice, Italy, a series of Chinese exhibits were displayed in the Chinese Pavilion with digital, virtual and artificial intelligence technologies, demonstrating the ingenious blend of oriental charm and frontier technologies, as well as Chinese artists’ consideration of the present and the future.
With the new models of exhibition, cultural relics, art works and intangible cultural heritage are forcefully driving cultural exchanges and mutual learning.
In 2018, 58 paintings collected by the Beijing Fine Art Academy were displayed at an exhibition titled “Elegance and Savour – Life, Wisdom and Art in Chinese Culture” in the Liechtenstein National Museum. They presented the Chinese people’s lifestyles, cultural traditions and aesthetics.
Today, more and more Chinese artworks have won applause from the international community. A batch of Chinese architects have claimed international architectural design prizes, and a number of China-designed products have won international designing awards.
Besides, China has also set up a number of awards in design, attracting many excellent foreign designers.
Chinese artists have taken an active part in cultural communication and cooperation programs under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), introducing Chinese art to the rest of the world and promoting cultural communication and people-to-people bonds between China and other countries.
In 2015, the Belt and Road International Art Project Exhibitions were kicked off by the China National Academy of Painting. The program was joined by over 100 artists from more than 30 countries and regions, who portrayed the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit with their paintbrushes.
Their paintings not only demonstrated the economic prosperity of Belt and Road countries achieved through exchanges but also showcased a constant blend of different cultures. They mirrored the positive role of the BRI in building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Besides, China has also held many other Belt and Road art exchange programs, which have significantly enriched the artistic creation of Belt and Road countries.
As China keeps deepening its cooperation with other Belt and Road countries in infrastructure and other sectors, art cooperation is also expanding.
For instance, China Railway Construction Corporation has hosted a fine art exhibition themed on the BRI to tell the stories of the enhanced connectivity among Belt and Road countries.
Apart from that, China has launched a large batch of cultural projects, such as the Silk Road International Arts Festival and the Maritime Silk Road International Arts Festival. The International Alliance of Museums of the Silk Road and the Silk Road International Alliance of Art Museums and Galleries have been set up, which have so far developed over 500 member organizations from China and the world.
The rich and colorful artworks and activities both reflect the essence of win-win cooperation and expand China’s cultural exchanges with the rest of the world, enhancing mutual understanding and friendly exchanges between people.