2017 The Belt and Road International Symposium on Cultural and Artistic Exchanges and Cooperation Held in Dunhuang
From October 10 to 14, 2017, the Belt and Road International Symposium on Cultural and Artistic Exchanges and Cooperation was solemnly held in Dunhuang City of Gansu Province. Mr. Lian Ji, who serves as the President of Chinese National Academy of Arts, the Director-General of China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center and the Director of China Research and Exchange Center of Chinese Traditional Culture, Mr. Rao Quan, who is the Diretor-General of the Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Culture of China, Mr. Lyu Pintian, who serves as the Dean of the Graduate School and the Executive Vice President of Chinese National Academy of Arts, Mr. Wang Xudong, who is the President of Dunhuang Academy China, Mr. Jia Taibin, who is the Mayor of People's Government of the City of Dunhuang and other nearly one hundred of experts, scholars and artists from 14 countries and regions attended the opening ceremony.
The symposium was hosted jointly by Chinese National Academy of Arts, Dunhuang Academy China and People's Government of the City of Dunhuang and organized by Cultural Development Strategy Research Center of Chinese National Academy of Arts and Dunhuang Culture Association. It aims to integrate the culture and art research forces of countries along the Belt and Road, construct the "Silk Road" academic platform with high specification and high level, and promote the deep cultural and artistic exchanges and cooperation among countries along the Belt and Road through exchange and dialogue.
Mr. Lian Ji, who serves as the President of Chinese National Academy of Arts, the Director-General of China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center and the Director of China Research and Exchange Center of Chinese Traditional Culture, made a speech on the opening ceremony, and the following initiatives were proposed in terms of the Belt and Road cultural and artistic exchanges and cooperation: (I) Strengthen the thought and culture exchange. Man who lacks thought cannot exist, and the country which has no thought will not be strong. Only when the thought is powerful, the country will be really strong. The globalization urges different nations, religions and countries to break the prejudices, join hands, learn lessons and find enlightenment from each other, cope together and contribute thought and wisdom to build the human destiny community. (II) Strengthen the art exchange. Art exchange is the important media for the countries along the Belt and Road to increase understanding and friendship and connect the popular mind. We need to encourage the countries along the Belt and Road to carry out extensive exchange and cooperation in music, dance, art, architecture, drama and other different artistic categories, promote the free mobility of artists of countries along the Belt and Road , strengthen joint creation, joint production and performance interaction, facilitate the fusion of artistic concept, the innovation of artistic language and the sharing of artistic achievements in the exchange and cooperation, truly activate the artistic creation enthusiasm and improve the art creation level of artists from different countries by art exchange, and nourish the connected popular feelings of countries along the Belt and Road by art exchange . (III) Strengthen the academic exchange. We need to encourage the countries along the Belt and Road to carry out academic exchange and cooperation in fields such as culture and art theory, culture and art history, culture and art philosophy, artistic creation, culture and art criticism and culture and art education, encourage the discussion and argument of different academic thoughts and the cross-disciplinary collision and cooperation, strengthen the joint research and the solution of major subjects and solid the academic foundation and ideological high-rise of the Silk Road jointly. (IV) Strengthen the achievement cooperation. We need to strengthen the exchange and cooperation of achievements reached by countries along the Silk Road in culture and art building and development, draw references from each other, discuss and propose the solutions of common problems and share the great creation and achievements of human civilization. (V) Expand the research of Dunhuang studies. The Belt and Road Initiative proposes new propositions and grants new mission for the research of Dunhuang studies. We needs to further expand the vision and pattern of the research of Dunhuang studies, open the research data and images of Dunhuang studies to the public, establish a model for emerging disciplines such as Dunhuang fine art, Dunhuang philosophy and Dunhuang culturology from microscopic and macroscopic, from caves to outside and from textual research to argumentation, and read, explain and research Dunhuang again under the historical background and vision of the Belt and Road people-to-people exchange. This is another deepening and expansion of the research of Dunhuang studies, and also provides forcible textual research and support for the cultural and artistic exchanges and cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Mr. Wang Xudong, President of Dunhuang Academy China, said in his speech that the opening ceremony of 2017 the Belt and Road International Symposium on Cultural and Artistic Exchanges and Cooperation held in Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang had a significant meaning, because Mogao Grottoes is an important achivement of international culture and art exchange on the Silk Roard. Caves, murals, Buddhist volumes and other works of Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang City represent the exchange between different countries, nations and races from BC 4 to 14. In 1987, Mogao Grottoes was listed in the world cultural heritage because it conformed to 6 standards of world cultural heritage. Since the establishment of the National Research Institute of Dunhuang Art in 1944, with the exploration, research, protection and promotion by researchers of several generations over 70 years, Dunhuang Academy China has developed into a comprehensive management and protection institution covering six grottoes. Going-global of culture and the inheritance and development of culture are the direction towards which the Dunhuang Academy China makes unremitting endeavors. Nowadays, with the constantly advancing of the Belt and Road Initiative, we strengthen the international exchanges and cooperation to further react with the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road, intensify the cooperation in humanities & social sciences and develop Dunhuang Academy China as an international exchange platform.
As the mayor of Dunhuang City, Mr. Jia Taibin, said in his speech, the Silk Road is a precious wealth that the history gives us, and it opens the great exchange era in the history of civilization of human being; the Belt and Road awakens the vitality and vigor of the ancient Silk Road, depicts the magnificent prospect of building the human destiny community jointly. Dunhuang, as the important transfer station of the ancient Silk Road, the convergence of four civilizations and three religions in the world and the fusion place of eastern and western cultures, is showing its powerful appeal and vigorous vitality on the way of building new corridor on Silk Road, new cooperation channel and new humanity links in spirits of "openness and inclusiveness, kindness and integrity, lofty and aestheticism". This is the historical undertaking of Dunhuang, as well as the honorable mission granted by the era to Dunhuang. The successful holding of the Belt and Road International Symposium on Cultural and Artistic Exchanges and Cooperation will inevitably play an important role in promoting exchange and dialogue between different cultures along the Belt and Road and facilitating the joint development of culture in different fields.
Mr. Rao Quan, Diretor-General of the Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Culture of China, indicated in his speech titled as New Perspective for Cultural Heritage Protection and Utilization that the Belt and Road Initiative not only provides new opportunities for countries along the Belt and Road to communicate the cultural heritage exchange, but also builds a new platform for pragmatic cooperation. At present, it is necessary to constantly deepen the cultural heritage exchanges and cooperation between countries and regions along the Belt and Road by combining exchange, spreading and trading and unifying mechanisms, platforms and project construction. It is suggested to focus from the following five aspects: first, deepening exchanges; second, promoting the heritage protection; third, facilitating the reasonable utilization of cultural heritage resources; fourth, vigorously developing the cultural tourism; fifth, exerting advantages, strengthening personnel training and improving the protection and utilization level of heritages.
Mater Xianbu read out the keynote speech paper titled as Buddhism Spirit Tracks on the Belt and Road and the Construction of World New Civilization of Great Monk Xuecheng, who is the Member of Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee amd President of Buddhist Association of China and Buddhist Academy of China. The paper reviewed the glorious tracks and excellent contributions on the ancient Silk Road of Buddhist members and indicated that the Buddhism needs to pick up its cultural mission and undertake the new historical responsibilities in today's construction of the Belt and Road. It is injecting the power of belief and granting the glory of culture to the Belt and Road, creating new culture, concepts and civilized images for the era by the deep, integrated and harmonious wisdom of the Buddhism, and developing the Belt and Road into the economic growth belt with vitality and the important starting point of the construction of new world civilization.
Mr. Lian Ji, who serves as the President of Chinese National Academy of Arts, the Director-General of China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center and the Director of China Research and Exchange Center of Chinese Traditional Culture, proposed to master three relationships in the keynote speech titled as Mastering Three Relationships for the Inheritance and Development of Chinese Excellent Traditional Culture, namely "the relationship between Marxism and Confucianism", "the relationship between China and the Western countries" and "the relationship between ancient and modern times". First, Chinese traditional culture focusing on the Confucianism is the soil and the Marxism is the seed, and we need to sow the seed of Marxism on the fertile soil of Chinese traditional culture. Second, it is necessary to handle the relationship between China and the Western countries, fully realize the advantages of traditional culture, open the country to the world and draw lessons from the common civilized achievements and cultural accumulation on the basis. Third, it is required to handle the relationship between ancient and modern times, which is the relationship between traditional culture and contemporary culture, inheritance and development, source and branch.
Mr. Li Xinfeng, who is the Vice Dean of Graduates School of Chinese National Academy of Arts, indicated in his keynote speech titled as The Spirit of 'Da-tong' in Traditional Chinese Culture and Ancient Silk Road that the concept and consciousness of "Tong (Connecting)" or "Da-tong (Generally Connecting)", which have a quite important position in the Chinese ancient ideology system, is the deep concept basis and inner spiritual basis that allows ancient China to become an open empire, as well as the concept basis implemented by the ancient Silk Road. Today, to carry forward the Silk Road spirit, we need to carefully dig and deeply explain the "Da-tong" concept, renew the vitality and vigor of the ancient wisdom and promote the creative practice of the Belt and Road at present.
Mr. Zhao Shengliang, the Vice President of Dunhuang Academy China, proposed to spare no efforts in carrying forward Dunhuang culture, cooperate with more academic institutions in the world and jointly research and protect the Dunhuang Grettoes and cultural heritage all over the world in his speech titled as Dunhuang Culture under the Vision of the Belt and Road. Under the new trend, the Academy shifts its eyes to the countries along the Belt and Road. In recent years, academic investigation groups were dispatched to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and other countries successively for academic investigation and trying to establish exchanges and cooperation with local academic institutions. This year, a Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed in Kyrgyzstan, and the protection technology owned by the Dunhuang Academy China will be used to protect the local cultural heritage with the local institutions. Dunhuang spirit is the spirit of fusion and cooperation. Today, this spirit will be carried forward to contribute for reviving the Silk Road.
Prof. Lee Chack-Fan, Director of Rao Zongyi Academic Museum of University of Hong Kong, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and Former Vice President of University of Hong Kong, reviewed the spreading of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam and their culture and art, and indicated that the Belt and Road focuses on the economic trade and drives the exchanges and spreading of religions, culture and art in his speech titled as The Spread of Religious Culture and Art of the Belt and Road.
Prof. Hou Yangfang, who is the Professor of Fudan University and the President of Fudan University-Gansu Research Institute for Silk Road Economic Belt Collaborative, reviewed the time, space, events and name origin of "Silk Road", illustrated and confirmed that the core of Silk Road Initiative is the Pamirs from the view of individual research and geopolitics, and presented the routes of ancient Silk Road recovered accurately based on many data and the field investigation results in his keynote speech titled as From the Ancient Silk Road to the Modern Belt and Road.
Prof. Fan Peng, who is the Executive Vice President of Gansu Provincial Party Committee School of the CPC, introduced the general process of Dunhuang philosophies from concept to study, explained the significance of developing Dunhuang culture from the ideology perspective, and preliminarily proposed that the principle of great prosperity and fusion is the basic connotation of Dunhuang philosophies in this keynote speech titled as Ideological Development of Dunhuang Culture: Brief Introduction to Dunhuang Philosophy. Studies on Dunhuang philosophies can help deeply develop Dunhuang cultural resources, build a human community of shared destiny, better serve relevant construction, thus boosting the Belt and Road construction at a cultural level.
Mr. Xu Tao, who is the Distinguished Researcher of Eurasian Social Development Institute of Development Research Center of the State Council, indicated that what the Silk Road brought to Central Asia far from the ocean is not only material wealth but also spiritual resources which are of vital importance to the development of nations in the region in his keynote speech titled as Practical Significance of Cultural Identity Promotion to "the Belt and Road" Construction: Take History and Reality of Civilization Development in Central Asia for Example. The most important part of the spiritual resources is relations with the world and cognition of the world. It is an inevitable ingredient and process for any nation in the world to complete its own cultural self-consciousness.
Prof. Liu Chuanming, who is the President of Academy of Culture and Arts of Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, proposed in his speech titled as New Exploration of Studies on the Silk Road--And the Meaning and Value of Dunhuang Art that examination of texts, image interpretation, cultural concerns and science & technology exploration of Dunhuang requires further studies on this individual case with different disciplines, and moreover greater attention should be paid to its hub role for two-way cultural communication and spread as well as in-depth relationship. Comprehensive, interdisciplinary, cross-regional and cross-cultural new perspectives and new thoughts are inevitable for development of Dunhuang studies.
As the representative of overseas guests, Dr. Todor Chobanov, who is the Deputy Mayor of Sofia, Bulgaria, put forward in his speech titled as From Past to Future – Preserving the Archaeological Heritage of Ancient Serdica that unearthing and preserving its heritage is a major issue for the Bulgarian society in the 21st century. The ancient heritage has become a key asset for the sustainable development of Bulgaria.
Mr. Yang Xiaoneng, who is the Professor of Stanford University and the Distinguished Professor of Shanghai Jiaotong University, sorted out the archaeological evidences of Japan's Shosoin and the Korean Xin'an shipwreck evidence, compared them with domestic Dunhuang murals and unearthed cultural relics, and observed the material cultural and artistic life of the royal family and the people in the eastern part of the Silk Road from eighth century to fourteenth century as well as the influence of the spread of Chinese culture and art on the culture of Japan and Korea in his speech titled as The Art and Culture of the Silk Road's Spreading Eastward.
Mr. Pavol Kral, who is the President of Slovak Union of Visual Arts and Slovak Coalition for Cultural Diversity and the Member of Slovak Government Board for Culture, made a keynote speech titled as Cooperation of Artists and Art Associations. By the example of activities of International Association of Art, he analyzed the situation of visual artists in 22 European countries and discussed the recognition of the public to art and artists and the cultural development strategy of Slovak.
During the three days discussion, the experts and scholars carried out deep discussion and extensive dialogue on various subjects such as "how to play the role of cultural heritage in public education and aesthetic education", "artistic exchanges, integration and cooperation on the Silk Road" and "the contemporary value and strategic meaning of Dunhuang culture under the background of civilization sharing and integration". The discussion forms of the symposium included keynote speech, group discussion and special workshop and the presented experts said they achieved a lot.
Mr. Lyu Pintian, Dean of the Graduate School and Executive Vice President of Chinese National Academy of Arts, speaked highly of the symposium on the closing ceremony, believing that this symposium had a significant meaning, and carried out a successful academic practice and built an abundant and stereoscopic activity platform of the Belt and Road cultural and artistic exchanges and cooperation through the thorough organization, plentiful content and vivid forms. As shown in the following three aspects, First, the grand exchange space combing the meeting place and the site made the academic research full of vitality and was beneficial for scholars to obtain enlightenment and thinking from multiple aspects. Second, the symposium continued the multi-level exchange methods of Quanzhou Conference that combined key-note speech, group discussion and special workshop, including not only the academic investigation in problems with universal meaning but also the discussion and exchange showing academic individuality, wisdom and thinking. Third, the symposium displayed the diversified academic perspective that intersected all times all over the world and disciplines and ensured an abundant and stereoscopic academic framework of the Belt and Road cultural and artistic exchanges and cooperation.
Dunhuang is a holy land of calligraphy, as well as the center of ancient culture. In the special exhibition of this symposium named Thrived Art on the Silk Road—Chinese Classic Model Calligraphy Imitation & Innovation Exhibition, the imitation and innovation works of 40 calligraphers were exhibited, expressing the understanding of calligraphers on those classics and reflecting the influence of traditional calligraphy on the creation of contemporary artists. In the special exhibition named Thrived Art on the Silk Road — Momentos: Yuan Gong Solo Exhibition, the artist depicted a set of large sculpture cluster immersed in the light beam of time with composite material installations. The inspiration of so called light beam of time comes from monk Le Zun. According to the record of tablets of Mogao Grottoes, in 366 AD, monk Le Zun roamed everywhere until he reached the Eastern foot of Mingsha Mountain. When the sun was setting in the west, monk Le Zun raised his head when he just saw thousands of golden light shooting from the other side of mountain top, which seemed like thousands of Buddhas appearing in the golden light. After prostrating himself in worship, he invited a craftsman to chisel the first grotto on the cliff. The artist, who deeply perceives that karma is unimaginable, not only keenly extracted the black, white and gray elements full of the sense of design to reshape the charisma of Dunhuang Grottoes in symbolic method of expression, but also took the in-depth perspective to design out the light beam of a thousand years tinged with the sense of time. The solo exhibition this time was exactly the comprehensive implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, with Dunhuang at present once again becoming the best symbol of important hub for integration and mutual learning of the Eastern and Western civilization.
To realize the connection of "Belt", "Road" and "Culture route", pass through the historical time and space and display the existing status of the expression of traditional culture, the hosts also provided a spectacular performance of intangible cultural heritage masterpieses during the symposium. No matter with instruments or drama and from the northern or southern China, the organizers stringed a classic tradition honored as the Silk Road performance art. This tradition is the "singing while playing a stringed instrument" with narritive as the principle axis. This tradition is passed on from the Confucian canons in pre-Qin period and adapts to Bianwen of Chanting-teaching; continues great songs and epic poem of western area and northern prairie. It sheds bitter tears when singing the sorrow, but shows happiness and joy when talking about pleasure. With the ups and downs of the world, knowing the times and the public, it is finally deemed as the music teaching ritual of "exchanging in accordance with the custom".
The presented guests visited the cultural heritage of Mogao Grettoes and the exhibition “Legendary Treasure of the Silk Road: Precious Collections from the National Museum of Afghanistan”, and watched the large-scale classicial dance drama performance “Along the Silk Road”.
Title: Momentos: Yuan Gong Solo Exhibition
Date: 11th Oct to 15th Nov, 2017
Venue: Dunhuang Cultural Center
Hosts: Chinese National Academy of Arts, Dunhuang Academy China
Organizers: Cultural Development Strategy Research Centre of Chinese National Academy of Arts, Dunhuang Culture Association
Description of the installations:
The installations in this exhibition are inspired by the story of monk Le Zun recorded in the inscriptions on a tablet of Mogao Grottoes (Record of Mogao Grottoes). They are intended to explore and extend the concept of “light” in the legend of Dunhuang. These installations appropriated some images from Dunhuang to visualize the sequence of time. The three groups of installations subtly show the inscriptions on the tablet of Mogao Grottoes. Implying the evolution of the calligraphic styles of Chinese characters during one thousand and six hundred years, these inscriptions incorporated in these installations can be seen as a response to the contemporary significance of the two art exhibitions of 2017 “the Belt and Road” International Symposium on Cultural and Artistic Exchanges and Cooperation.
Materials: Inkjet printed images of the sculptures in Mogao Grottoes; Chinese characters, PVC boards, electronic accessories.
Title: Record of Mogao Grottoes No.1 – No.8
《莫高窟记》作品图 Image of the art work, Record of Mogao Grottoes
《莫高窟记》作品局部图 Partial image of the artwork, Record of Mogao Grottoes
《莫高窟记》作品局部图 Partial image of the artwork, Record of Mogao Grottoes
Artist: Yuan Gong
Preface of the Exhibition
Thrived Art on the Silk Road – Momentos: Yuan Gong Solo Exhibition
For a thousand and five hundred years beginning from 366 AD until Qing Dynasty the chiseling of Dunhuang Grottoes has not stopped yet. Among them Mogao grottoes are chiseled early, preserved well and mostly lauded by people, now still preserving grottoes, murals and sculptures of ten dynasties such as the Sixteen Kingdoms, the Northern Wei Dynasty, the Western Wei Dynasty, the Northern Zhou Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, the Five Dynasties, Song Dynasty, the Western Xia Regime and Yuan Dynasty.
Knowing deeply the hardness in vicissitude of the treasure passing through time and its everlasting value of being always refreshed through history, in “Momentos: Yuan Gong Solo Exhibition”, the artist depicted a set of large sculpture cluster immersed in the light beam of time with composite material installations.
The inspiration of so called light beam of time comes from monk Le Zun. According to the record of tablets of Mogao Grottoes, in 366 AD, monk Le Zun roamed everywhere until he reached the Eastern foot of Mingsha Mountain. When the sun was setting in the west, monk Le Zun raised his head when he just saw thousands of golden light shooting from the other side of mountain top, which seemed like thousands of Buddhas appearing in the golden light. After prostrating himself in worship, he invited a craftsman to chisel the first grotto on the cliff. The artist who deeply perceives that karma is unimaginable, not only keenly extracted the black, white and gray elements full of the sense of design to reshape the charisma of Dunhuang Grottoes in symbolic method of expression, but also took the in-depth perspective to design out the light beam of a thousand years tinged with the sense of time, surpassing and recreating history in different points of time and space with astounding similarity.
Contemporary art creation is reluctant to be immersed at certain joint of time, but expecting the parallel running with time. Ancient art and modern art can both shuttle back and forth freely in time and space, becoming a new form of contemporary art. It is parallel with the age and meanwhile never detached from ancient art. The solo exhibition this time is exactly the comprehensive implementation of “the Belt and Road” initiative, with Dunhuang at present once again becoming the best symbol of important hub for integration and mutual learning of the Eastern and Western civilizations.
Enter the glorious tunnel of time and space to perceive the intelligence and benevolence never straying far away.....