Beauty of Chinese art and craftsmanship goes global

"Arts Jiang Nan", a project to exhibit traditional Chinese arts overseas, was launched on Wednesday at DuoYunBooks in Guangfulin Cultural Relics Park. 
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Attendees appreciate a Kunqu Opera performance at the launch of “Arts Jiang Nan” in Guangfulin Cultural complex in Songjiang District yesterday. 

“Arts Jiang Nan,” a project to exhibit traditional Chinese arts overseas, was launched yesterday at DuoYunBooks in Guangfulin Cultural Relics complex.

It will be followed by a series of events, starting with an exhibition of traditional crafts in Singapore next week.

The project is organized by Shanghai government, Shanghai Federation of Literary and Art Circles and eastday.com, with support from Shanghai Daily.

More than 30 foreign guests attended the launch, including consuls and business representatives.

In the traditional Hui-style architecture of DuoYunBook, guests tasted traditional snacks and drank green tea, while watching Kunqu Opera, pingtan (storytelling from Jiangsu Province) and performances on the guqin (Chinese zither) and bamboo flute. They visited a small exhibition of woodblock watercolor printing and tried making prints themselves.

The “Handicraft in Jiang Nan” exhibition will run at the Singapore Chinese Arts Center from September 22 until October 14.

Rather than simply showing traditional crafts, the exhibition will help overseas visitors appreciate the Chinese lifestyle, according to Zhu Yiqing, deputy general manager of Duoyunxuan Group, organizer of the exhibition.

Most of the items to be displayed highlight the combination of traditional crafts and modern design, such as a portable set of “the scholar’s four jewels” (calligraphy brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper) with a copper seal on the case.

“As an enterprise, we hope our exhibitions overseas will not only help people learn about traditional Chinese arts, but also help us explore how products may be based on traditional crafts,” said Zhu.

“I believe that usefulness is the best way to get recognition and that using something is the best means of preservation.”

Apart from the exhibits, a number of craftsmen will show off their skills live at the exhibition.

Visitors may try making some of the crafts with their own hands.

The exhibition will visit Malaysia later this month.

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