With exotic Silk-Road themed music performed by musicians from the China National Traditional Orchestra, a grand art exhibition titled Silk Road: Artists’ Rendezvous kicked off on the afternoon of Aug 15 at the National Art Museum of China in downtown Beijing.
Attracting about 40 foreign diplomats and representatives from several international organizations, the exhibit presents over 190 works by artists from 112 countries in the Belt and Road Initiative. The exhibit also includes an interactive, immersive unit where visitors may click a mouse or use their fingers on a touch screen to alter digital versions of the artwork.
“This artistic and cultural feast for eyes and hearts alike is a vivid testimony to the great success of China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” said Wu Weishan, a curator of the exhibit and dean of the National Art Museum of China which co-organized the art show along with the China International Culture Association, the UNESCO Cluster Office in Beijing and the Silk Road International Alliance of Art Museums and Galleries.
According to Wu, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has invited influential artists from Europe, Africa, America, Oceania and Asia for field trips, residency programs and workshops across China over the last decade. Drawing inspiration from their China experiences, these artists have created a wide variety of works, including oil paintings, traditional Chinese ink paintings, sculptures and mixed media.
“The Silk Road was important over the centuries, it carried not only silk but also knowledge and cultures,” said Shahbaz Khan, director of UNESCO Beijing and Representative to China, at the opening ceremony.
The Silk Road is an invaluable world heritage to be celebrated for reminding the world of the importance of cultural diversity and cross-cultural communication, Khan said, adding “cultural and artistic creations, no matter their specific forms, are all conducive to innovation and sustainable development in a country”.
Khan suggested organizers bring the exhibit to countries in the Belt and Road Initiative using the UNESCO offices and the Chinese embassies there as venues.
The Beijing exhibit is free to the public and will run through Aug 25.