“Everywhere is Here” Large Outdoor Art Exhibition in France

[Source]    the University of Poitiers [Time]    2012-07-03 15:40:15 

Wonderful cultural exchange activities were held during the proceedings of China-France Year of Language. In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of famous theme park in France Futuroscope, the Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers worked with Futuroscope and Vienne parliament to roll out large outdoor exhibition on contemporary art - “Elsewhere is Here” on June 23, 2012. Roughly 20,000 spectators visited the exhibition on the opening day and it’s expected that over 2 million people will tour the exhibition.

Among 500 politicians and distinguished guests from the art circle invited to be here at the Opening Ceremony were Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Former French Prime Minister and Deputy Speaker of the French Senate, minister counselor Deng Li of Chinese Embassy in France, Claude Bertaud, Parliament Speaker of Vienne, France, and Denis Laming, architect of Futuroscope. Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin spoke highly of the event at the Opening Ceremony, indicating that “the outdoor exhibition is meaningful artistically to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Futuroscope. Because of Futuroscope and the Confucius Institute, it becomes ‘the Horn of Asia’. And in the future, it will be a premier place for cultural dialogue between newly emerging countries in Asia and European countries. At here, the distance between China and France is shortened; at here, we will witness constant dialogue between humanistic thought of Europe and Chinese cultural. This exhibition points to the collision and integration between the two cultures.”

Opening Ceremony of the Exhibition 1

Opening Ceremony of the Exhibition 2

Former French Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin Unveiling the Exhibition

Visitors were fond of the picture album of the Exhibition

Opening Ceremony of the Exhibition 3

Former French Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Pierre exchanging views with Chinese artist Zhang Xiuzhu

Former French Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Pierre visiting work of Chinese artist Bai Ming

Alain Mignot, Director-General of the Confucius Institute, noted that “the Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers is the first-ever Confucius Institute established in France, showing great significance.” He believed that compared to voluntary visiting museum by visitors, he hoped viewers can access to art more directly via outdoor exhibition.

Alain Mignot, Director-General of the Confucius Institute, was interviewed by Zhejiang Satellite TV

Eighty works painted by French contemporary artists Patrick Chappaert-Gaujal and Pierre Mathieu and Chinese contemporary artists Bai Ming and Zhang Xiuzhu were set up outdoor, each was magnified to the size of 10sqm and put on display at Futuroscope. Later, the works will be showcased in other countries.

Outdoor Exhibition Site

Outdoor Exhibition Site

Plane figure of the Exhibition

Park of Futuroscope

Chinese artist Bai Ming indicated at the press conference that “artists living ‘elsewhere’ come ‘here’ at the event and what is on display ‘here’ is something happening ‘elsewhere’. The theme ‘Elsewhere is Here’ eliminates the spatial concept, meaning that art dispels distance between people so that they can travel freely in the art world. Different artists produce works in different regions which are shown in the same place and as a result, different games and roles are shown here. Elsewhere and here is just a regional issue and a time concept. In fact, it’s also a cultural concept. ”

Bai Ming was interviewed by a Chinese reporter at the press conference

Another Chinese artist Zhang Xiuzhu noted that “China’s contemporary art is drawing nutrition from local culture and forming new style. The dominant role of the west in contemporary art is changing. The defining feature of this event is to form an equal cultural exchange shifting from superficial and image-based interpretation to spiritual exchanges. Cultural exchanges between China and the west must be based on an equal footing. Gratifyingly, the mighty position of the west in contemporary art is changed over time. This event definitely makes equal dialogue on art a reality. ”

Zhang Xiuzhu receiving interview at the press conference

The theme park of Futuroscope is located in the suburb of Poitiers, France, covering an area of more than 20 hectares and integrating the most advanced high-tech audiovisual equipment. Since it was open to the public in 1987, it has upgraded its audiovisual equipment and recreational facilities constantly, which contributes to ever-increasing reputation and receiving nearly 50 million tourist arrivals in total. Futuroscope is a theme park in France with the most advanced high-tech audiovisual equipment and entertainment facilities, welcoming over 2 million visitors each year. And its highest handling capacity stands at 20,000. The recreational facility Arthur 4D Cinematheque, which was created in 2010 and based on the animated film “Arthur and the Invisibles” produced by famous French director Luc Besson, represents the first-ever 4D cinematheque globally.

More than 20 domestic and overseas media organizations covered this event on the opening day of the Exhibition, including Xinhua News Agency, Phoenix TV, Zhejiang Online, European Times, Chinatown, the China Press, Sing Tao Daily and France Centre Presse, Nouvelle Republique and Finearts TV.

What merits our attention is that most of the fund available for this event comes from local government and pubic institutes, representing a commendable attempt of the CI to host large events and enrich sources of fund.

(Chen Mengwen)