Art lovers in New Zealand gathered at a China-themed book exhibition in Waipa, New Zealand on March 15.
As part of a series of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand, the book exhibition, which coincided with the A Better Eco-village International Youth Art Exhibition, featured 217 artworks collected from 40 cities in China.
There were also 15 paintings by New Zealand artists. All of the artwork was completed by children, said organizer Jackson Rao, chairman of the New Zealand Culture and Arts Foundation.
Dandi Wang, curator of the book exhibition and president of Prime Media New Zealand, said the exhibition featured more than 2,000 English-language books on subjects ranging from political theory to medical information to traditional Chinese cultural practices.
Dave Bromwich, former President of the New Zealand China Friendship Society, has visited China more than 50 times. He said these two exhibitions presented “a very, very good insight into Chinese culture.”
“The wisdom of China was expressed in the books there, and you can easily trace it from 2,000 years ago to the wisdom expressed in China today.”
Bromwich encouraged New Zealanders to pick up a book and start understanding it.
“Because it is becoming increasingly important that New Zealanders make an effort to understand China not from a Western perspective but from a Chinese perspective, and then we will really have mutual respect and understanding,” he added.
The exhibition also included a selection of children’s books and a selection of poems.
Xiao Yewen, Acting Chinese Consul General in Auckland, noted that China is a global publishing hub. He said, “China and New Zealand enjoy good momentum in literary exchanges and cooperation. Both national libraries have established efficient cooperation mechanisms in organizing exhibitions, digital library cooperation, protection of old books and resource sharing.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic ties, I believe there is nothing better than a well-organized book exhibition to further promote understanding and friendship between Chinese people and New Zealanders,” Xiao said.
Ye Su, Counselor Minister at the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, said he was deeply impressed by the works on display. The youth used their paintbrushes to depict the world through their eyes, providing a vision of a more beautiful, kinder and more sustainable future for the global village, Ye said.
“In this special way, they break down geographical and language barriers and build a new bridge of friendship between China and New Zealand, making them young ambassadors of the new era,” he said.
Ye said he believes the wide range of books at the exhibition would allow more New Zealanders to better understand China, which will help improve mutual understanding between the two countries.
Waipa County Council Mayor Jim Mylchreest said he believes the exhibits will serve as a cultural bridge between China and New Zealand.
“Celebrating 50 years of our relationship together is a milestone and something we need to work together to ensure we have mutual understanding, and with that understanding I think we will build a better relationship, and not just with China , but all over the world,” said the mayor.
Both exhibitions ran until Monday. The books will be donated to local libraries and schools, and the paintings to local children’s hospitals and children’s rehabilitation facilities.