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China & UK launch new cultural exchange program


02-11-2015 19:44 BJT

2015 is the first ever Year of Cultural Exchange between China and the UK, marking a high-point in relations. Throughout the year, the very best of UK culture will be showcased in China, and Chinese culture in the UK.

The Year of Cultural Exchange between China and the UK was formally announced when Premier Li Keqiang visited the UK in June 2014. It comprises two seasons of culture – a UK season in China from March until July, led by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy; and a Chinese season in the UK in the second half of the year, led by the Chinese Ministry of Culture.

"If we look at culture at its wider sense around cultural relations, then the people relationships, the opportunities there are for education and the core elements that fit into the culture relations there, whether it's learning about museum management, culture skills, looking at culture tourism, and ultimately enjoying the very best of other people's cultures... It's very important that we capture that richness and strong connections between our two countries," said Carma Elliot, the Cultural & Education Minister of British Embassy.

The theme for the UK season in China will be Next Generation. It will include a well selected series of contemporary and innovative works, with digital media at its heart, pushing creative boundaries, while actively engaging audiences through a variety of integrated platforms.

China & UK launch new cultural exchange program

China & UK launch new cultural exchange program

China & UK launch new cultural exchange program

China & UK launch new cultural exchange program

"Thomas Heatherwick, a designer and creative thinker that's well known in China already, following the extrordinary UK Pavilion created for Shanghai Expo... It's part of the focus, and it tells story of that studio, gives us a sense of the journey they've taken, but also an insight into UK creativity; but also it's about how arts, technology and public participation comes together. Probably the best project to examplify that is 'Speed of Light', project from Scottish company NVA," said Nick Marchant, the Arts Director of British Council.

The art wave will stretch beyond the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou. There will also be events held in other cities with strong artistic roots, such as Chongqing, Wuhan, Shenzhen and Chengdu.

"Some of the projects are especially commissioned for years down the track. For example, the Royal Shakespeare's company translation project won't be completed until 2023. So there are quite a few long term initiative. They're all about working with Chinese artists to develop exciting projects," Marchant said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese season in the UK will also see top Chinese artists, designers and leading brands participate in famous arts festivals and international exhibitions. This will be the first Chinese state-level cultural festival to be held in a Western European country.

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