“Origin of Paper” Cultural Activity Held by Confucius Institute at University of Montpellier in France Stuns Montpellier Book Fair

[Source]    Confucius Institute at University of Montpellier [Time]    2017-06-13 09:07:09 

From May 19th to May 21st, local time, the Montpellier Book Fair, the largest annual literary exchange activity in southern France, was held as scheduled and the Confucius Institute at University of Montpellier participated in it for the first time.

To perfect its debut, the Confucius Institute at University of Montpellier held the "Origin of Paper" exhibition and a cultural activity of experiencing the traditional way of making paper by hand with the strong support of Chinese Handmade Paper Union and Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University. During the book fair, local people were attracted by the exhibition organized by the Confucius Institute and the activity to experience the handmade flower paper under the personal guidance of Pan Yuhua, the inheritor of papermaking in Shiqiao, Guizhou. Thousands of people took part in these activities and created over one hundred pieces of creative and imaginative handmade plant paper works.

Citizens visiting the exhibition stand of the Confucius Institute during the book fair

A father and his son working together to complete a papermaking handcraft

Drying papermaking handcrafts made by citizens in the sun

Philip Saurel, Mayor of Montpellier, and Gilles Gudin de Vallerin, the chief librarian of the library, also participated in the handmade paper workshop with great interest and created their own works. On the same day, Philip Saurel also posted the photo of attending the workshop on his personal Facebook to share them with the public. He expressed support and praise for the activities of the institute.

Philip Saurel experiencing the papermaking workshop

The Confucius Institute at University of Montpellier also offered exhibition and experience venues at the 411 Art Gallery, where there were display of contemporary arts made by teachers and students of Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University with handmade paper, and the printing and thread-binding book workshop of Shuang Ji Tu Printing as well as three lectures on the protection and recreation of handmade paper and other topics. The activity is aimed at tracing back to the origin of paper, showing and discussing the technology and culture remained since the invention of papermaking by China. The exhibition provided the local attendees with real personal experience and understanding by displaying pictures, papermaking material and more than forty kinds of existing paper in China and through other multimedia introduction such as videos. More than ten primary schools and secondary schools have sent over 600 students to visit the exhibition and experience traditional papermaking and printing.

Local schools organizing students to visit the "Origin of Paper" exhibition

Students carefully making out papermaking material and more than forty paper samples

Workshop for experiencing printing

During the activity, Yuan Bo, Associate Professor of Department of Visual Communication Design of Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University and Head of Chinese Handmade Paper Union, had cultural and artistic exchanges with the teachers and students from École supérieure des beaux-arts de Montpellier and artists of Montpellier Printmaking Association, reaching a tentative agreement on cooperation.

Just as the director of the neighboring exhibition stand—a local printing workshop said to the visitors passing by, "We should thank Chinese for their invention of papermaking and printing that pushed world civilization a big step forward.''

The Montpellier Book Fair has been held 32 times as of now. It is a very influential and highly popular large literary exchange activity in the Mediterranean region. The Confucius Institute‘s first participation in the fair has been paid so much attention that both the organizer and the public are looking forward to attend it again next year.


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