Text by Wang Yugeng
Known as the earliest Chinese cultural institutionto open in the West, the ChineseCulture Center in Paris has becomea business card for Chinese culture inFrance and played a vital role in promoting Sino-French cultural exchange over the past decade. Notlong ago, Director Yin Fu sat down with China Pictorial(CP) to talk about both the center’s history andfuture.
CP: During his inspection tour of the center onJuly 4 this year, Chinese Minister of Culture Cai Wupraised it as the “largest and best overseas Chinese culturecenter” even though it was not the first. What doyou think about his comment?
Yin: It has been 10 years since the center was inauguratedin November 2002. Now, it consists of anold building and a new one, with total floor space of4,000 square meters. The new building is equippedwith a library, a reading room, a classroom, a conferenceroom, a gallery, and a multi-functional hall, whilethe old building houses an art exhibition hall, a salonfor external activities, and office space.
With the goal of spreading Chinese culture andpromoting Sino-French cultural exchange, the centerregularly organizes various cultural activities to meetFrench demand for Chinese culture, offering courseson Chinese language, culture, and art. Particularly,branded cultural events, including the France ChineseFilm Festival, Paris Chinese Opera Festival, and Exhibitionsof Renowned Contemporary Chinese Artists,attract large French audiences. The center has becomethe best venue for French people to maintain closecontact with Chinese culture and the best platform forSino-French cultural exchange and dialogue.
CP: Paris is considered by many to be the global“capital of the arts.” Since you took office, the centerhas organized a number of art exhibitions. How didFrench art circles respond to those exhibitions?
Yin: Over the past decade, the center organizedmany important art exhibitions, of which the mostimpressive and highly acclaimed include Burning Brilliance– Exhibition of Jingdezhen’s Ceramic Masterpiecesof the 12th-18th Century, Dunhuang 5th-15thCentury Buddhist Art Exhibition, Exhibition of 100-Year Chinese Fine Arts, and Between Shanghai andParis – Exhibition of Modern and ContemporaryShanghai Paintings.