Students' art exhibition offers fresh insights into Nantong culture
A student from Nanjing Normal University (left) presents tea art to guests in London, UK on July 17, 2017. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
An art exhibition with more than 100 artworks by primary school students from Nantong's Tongzhou district has opened in London to showcase the art and culture of Nantong, Jiangsu province.
The exhibition, held jointly by Tongzhou Education Bureau and Phoenix Publishing and Media Group, will last 10 days at House of Phoenix in London from Monday, and has gathered together a variety of different art pieces from all primary schools in Tongzhou.
From traditional calligraphy to paper cutting, water and ink painting, blue printed homespun works, the exhibition shows a new and fascinating picture of Nantong's rich culture and the life of local children.
"We have collected more than 1,000 pieces from the local primary schools, all done by our primary students," said Jiang Xiaofei, vice-chancellor of Shi Yan primary school in Nantong, "we brought about a hundred to London in the end, and each of them is full of Nantong style and Chinese style."
"All the works can convey our children's strong love toward life and their own understanding of art, and some of them are categorized as intangible cultural heritage like blue printed homespun, so I think it can not only show Nantong's development to the world, but also let our own children feel the beauty of art and make them more interested in Chinese traditional culture."
Chen Zhixiang, a teacher from Chinese embassy's Sunshine school, hosted the opening ceremony. He is the one who comes up with the idea of this exhibition when he brought Nantong's typical art education into his UK classes.
Chen said: "We hope to let more people, especially many Chinese in overseas companies, know more about the culture of our homeland and the life of our children."
Deputy director of Tongzhou Education Bureau, Hu Qinghua, said he believes the exhibition can epitomize the local art education, build up a bridge for the friendship between Chinese and British students and enhance the cultural exchange in both countries.
"Childish the artworks may seem," Hu added, "but they demonstrate the love toward the home country, the wish for world peace and the pursuit for a better life."
"It's so impressive! I'm thinking oh my goodness it's another world!" said Synnove Engeset, one of the visitors from Norway. "I have been to China quite a few times. I used to be an actress and I'm interested in art as well, but this is so interesting because it's a real thing and it's done by children!"
The ceremony ended with a show of tea art, performed by a student from Nanjing Normal University, where purple clay pots were presented to all the guests.
Shen Yingwen, executive director from Phoenix Publishing and Media Group and Xie Guiquan, chief of London Chinatown Chinese Association also attended the ceremony.
Zhang Yangfei in London contributed to this story.