Directors’ Forums of the 11th Confucius Institute Conference held
Confucius Institutes promote cultural exchange in both directions
A parallel session titled “Cultural Exchange in Both Directions” of Directors’ Forums of the 11th Confucius Institute Conference
On the afternoon of December 10, Directors’ Forums of the 11th Confucius Institute Conference kicked off in Kunming. At a parallel session on the topic of “Cultural Exchange in Both Directions”, directors of seven Confucius Institutes in six countries shared practices and experience in promoting Sino-foreign cultural exchange in both directions through Confucius Institutes.
Richard Trappel, Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Vienna, Austria, shared a project named Dialogue between Poetry and Music, a cultural exchange activity in which Vienna’s renowned 20th Century Chamber Music performed contemporary Chinese music.
Richard Trappel stated that poems and stories should not be confined to paper and this project intended to facilitate Chinese music to go abroad, contribute to the fusion of poetry with music and inquire into what amazing things would happen when the East met the West. He also made explicit the challenge confronting this project, which is that classic music was favorably received whereas modern and contemporary music casted only limited influence. Therefore, he proposed to improve the originality of cultural exchange by combining literature with music.
From November 3 to 15, Walking out of the Peony Pavilion: Art Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Women, co-hosted by such Chinese and Russian organizations as Saint Petersburg State University and Confucius Institute at Saint Petersburg State University, was held at the Marble Hall of the Russian Ethnographic Museum.
Yulia S. Mylnikova, Director of the Confucius Institute at Saint Petersburg State University, noted that this art exhibition displayed over 80 paintings by 11 Chinese female artists including Ba Huang, Cai Jin and Yan Ping, and attracted people from all walks of life, including various cultural groups, media outlets and overseas Chinese organizations. Yulia S. Mylnikova said that this art exhibition enabled Russian people to acquire more knowledge about China and the Chinese culture, thus further promoting a wider presence of the Chinese culture in Russia in the meanwhile.
Liao Shenzhan, Director of the Confucius Institute at China Institute, presented the key cultural project of the Confucius Institute at China Institute termed Art in a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd–6th Centuries. According to Liao, the exhibition examined the Chinese culture in Six Dynasties and its influence on foreign countries, probed into the relationship between political centers of the Northern and Southern Dynasties. Over a hundred ceramic works, sculptures, calligraphy works and paintings exhibited at this project were on display in America for the first time.
Liao claimed that it was impossible to launch a successful two-way exchange event without a competent curator. In addition, the event itself ought to be academic to a considerable extent, conduct extensive cooperation and acquire an in-depth understanding of local people.
At the parallel session, Luis Antonio Paulino, Director of the Confucius Institute at University of Estadual Paulista in Brazil, Natascha Gentz, Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh, Ma Xiaojie, Assistant Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA and Dr Jing Bartz, Senior Program Coordinator and Consultant of Confucius Institute Headquarters, also shared practices and experience of successful two-way exchange events.
by Luo Chunming
KUNMING, December 10 (Xinhuanet)