Meeting Wuxi: China (Wuxi) Dark-Red Clay Art Exhibition Held in Moscow and Denmark

This year is the fifth year of the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. According to the 2018 “Meeting Wuxi” city publicity campaign’s “Going Out” series, as well as to further strengthen cultural exchanges with countries along the Belt and Road, the press office of Wuxi People’s Government held China (Wuxi) Dark-Red Clay Culture and Art Exhibition at both China Cultural Center in Moscow and Marriott Danish International Hotel, and achieved a complete success.

Russian local time, September 22. Under the framework of the 2018 SinoRussian Culture Festival and global celebration of “A Moonmoment to Remember” Art Festival 2018 promoted by China’s Ministry of Culture, “Elegance and Delicacy” – China (Wuxi) Dark-Red Clay Culture and Art Exchange was held at the China Cultural Center in Moscow.

Xia Guangyuan, deputy director of CCCM, said the ChinaRussia cultural and regional cooperation is an important part of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between the two countries and the year 2018-2019 is the “year of ChinaRussia local cooperation and exchange” jointly decided by the two countries’ head of state. The hosting of the exhibition is of great significance to enhance people’s understanding of Sino-Russian culture, generate their cultural exchange enthusiasm, and promote all-round pragmatic cooperation between Wuxi and Moscow.

Danish local time, September 25. At the reception hosted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Denmark on October 1, the China (Wuxi) DarkRed Clay Art Exhibition was invited and gained unanimous praise from guests around the world.

Madam Eva·Kjer·Hansen, minister for Nordic cooperation, equality and fisheries of the Kingdom of Denmark, attended the exhibition in the company of Ms. Deng Ying, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Denmark. During which they listened to Xiao Wei, vice dean of Wuxi Museum, giving an introduction about the manufacturing steps, forming methods, and molding classifications of darkred clay. Of all the showpieces, madam Hansen was especially fond of Wuxi clay figurines and gladly accepted two figurine pendants named Lucky and Happy. Meanwhile, she also tasted black tea from Doushan, Wuxi, and showed great interest.

Unique to China, darred clay teapots are handmade clay crafts budded in the Song, Yuan Dynasty and blossomed in the Ming, Qing Dynasty. Besides enhancing the color and aroma of tea, the teapot is also diverse in form, perfect in shape and highly collectable with scripts and paintings carved on them by scholars and literati. The exhibition selected 24 works from Wuxi Museum collection, great masters and modern design of national gifts to demonstrate the exquisite craftsmanship and long-standing culture of the teapot.

At the show, Xu Yue, a craftsman, showed the production techniques of darkred clay teapots while Zhou Xun, a tea specialist, performed a tea ceremony. Visitors can enjoy the performance while listening to the Erhu music The Moon Over a Fountain and savoring delicious moon cakes. Highlighting Wuxi feature, Chinese charm and embodying the profoundness of Chinese culture, the exhibition had drawn countless visitors from all ages of society and all walks of life since the first day.

An enthusiast of darkred clay even “tailed after” a master for an entire day, videotaped everything and asked for the finished clay model. Through seeing the demonstration, hearing the explanation and getting the final product, the fan claimed she had totally fell in love with this wonderful art form and that she will definitely visit China someday. Among all the items, the most representative is the Huishan clay figurine which has a history of 500 years. Its distinctive artistic modeling, various themes and bright colors deeply attracted madam Hansen. Upon seeing this, Ms. Deng Ying gave a pair of adorable figurines, indicating luckiness and happiness, to her as a national gift. To many foreigners, China is the birthplace of tea since tea was once China's main export commodities that enjoyed great popularity abroad. Thus, many visitors asked whether they could buy or get some tea for free. Even the small tea cups made people want to pocket them, and the ones who were lucky enough to do so, had a truly rewarding trip.

Gong Jiajia, cultural counselor of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Russia, together with Shang Botao, deputy director of Wuxi Publicity Department, and Xu Yue, member of the Xishan District Standing Committee and deputy of the district’s Publicity Department, etc. had a cordial discussion at the Embassy. They also expressed the expectation of Wuxi bringing more intangible cultural heritage such as Erhu, Huishan clay figurines and silk to Russia for cultural exchanges.

Madam Gong sent a letter to congratulate us on the success of the event as soon as the exhibition was over. Zhang Li, director of the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen, praised Wuxi as a wonderful place for it is the main cradleland of the development of China’s industry and commerce. And stated that, although not being a node city of the Belt and Road, Wuxi is an inalienable part to the Initiative. In order to make Wuxi an international city, we have to have a clear understanding of its role in the development of history; establish a brother city in Denmark; seek collaboration with CCCD as well as countries surrounding Denmark. Mr. Zhang also said, he hopes more cities and even exchange groups from across China could be invited to the China Cultural Center in the future.