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Stitching a Glob al Cultural Quilt


Text by Liang Sufang

What is the best method for China to display its culture and civilization to the rest of the world? How can Chinese culture move the world? These topics have drawn great attention from the Chinese public. With these questions in mind as well as curiosity about China International Cooperation Center’s (CICC) specific efforts and philosophy towards promoting cultural exchange, China Pictorial talked with CICC director Ke Zhihua.

China Pictorial : What role does CICC play in Sino-foreign cultural exchange?

Ke Zhihua : Part of our major goal is promoting international cultural exchange. The center is not an art organization, and our staff is not made up of artists. Our job is to create a platform for the exchange of Chinese and foreign cultures and to promote dialogue and mutual respect between civilizations. While we serve Chinese culture’s external dissemination, we also promote internal acceptance of excellent cultural resources from elsewhere.

CP : What specific work are you doing at the moment?

Ke : Now, we are focusing on a series of activities such as the “world art palace program,” which aims to place the work of excellent Chinese artists as well as other representative Chinese artwork into world renowned museums and galleries, the “partnership with world famous exhibitions program,” which helps exemplary Chinese art with inclusion in internationally celebrated exhibitions, the “Chinese cultural envoys program,” which sends outstanding Chinese artists abroad for cultural exchange, and the “thousands global artists program,” which invites foreign artists to experience Chinese culture first-hand while promoting interactive exchange and cooperation between Chinese and foreign artists.

CP : How have foreign art organizations responded to the exchange programs?

Ke : Generally speaking, our endeavors have been well received. For instance, we sent a 37-member Chinese delegation to the 2012 Louvre International Art Exhibition held at Carrousel Hall of the Louvre in Paris from December 13 to 16, 2012, and more than 10,000 spectators enjoyed displays from the delegation. Despite the cultural gap, the high quality Chinese art attracted global attention and was well received and highly appreciated. Such efforts could launch dialogue with the artists’ counterparts in other countries.

CP : Over the past two decades, the center has accomplished much in promoting exchange between Chinese cities and cities in other countries. How will you influence future Chinese urban culture construction?

Ke : We hope to help available cultural resources be better utilized to serve Chinese cities’ cultural construction and development, introduce the cities to high-quality domestic and foreign cultural products, and assist them forge their own distinct cultural identities.

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