He­bei shows off its unique arts and crafts

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By MAYA LIU in Van­cou­ver For China Daily

Some na­tional trea­sures can’t be weighed or val­ued. The United Na­tions calls it “in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage”.

An ex­hi­bi­tion of folk arts and crafts from China’s He­bei prov­ince was held at the Chan Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts at the Uni­ver­sity of Bri­tish Columbia on Mon­day, mark­ing the launch of 2015 He­bei Cul­tural Week in Canada.

Dozens of Chi­nese artists brought their skills and tal­ents — all des­ig­nated by UNESCO as ex­am­ples of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage — to Canada as part of the 2015-2016 China-Canada Year of Peo­ple-toPeo­ple and Cul­tural Ex­changes.

Arts and crafts items shown at the “Charm­ing He­bei” ex­hi­bi­tion in­cluded ex­am­ples of Yux­ian paper­cut­ting, Heng­shui In­ner Paint­ing, Ding Porce­lain En­grav­ing, clay sculp­ture, mar­ble photo-en­grav­ing and opera masks. Some of the artists demon­strated their skills live.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also dis­played more than 60 pho­to­graphs il­lus­trat­ing the his­tory, cul­ture, ur­ban and nat­u­ral land­scapes and re­cent devel­op­ment of He­bei Prov­ince.

“Peo­ple at­tend­ing the launch event re­sponded very well to the ex­hi­bi­tion, es­pe­cially to the artists’ demon­stra­tions,” Han Ning, cul­tural con­sul of the Con­sulate Gen­eral of China in Van­cou­ver, told China Daily.

“Chi­nese cul­ture is very pro­found and it con­tains a lot of unique cul­tures,” Han said. “He­bei’s cul­ture, also known as the Yanzhao, re­flects peo­ple’s lives in the re­gion. It’s rare to see so many well-rep­re­sented tra­di­tional art forms from He­bei in Canada. This is a great op­por­tu­nity.”

The event was or­ga­nized by China’s Min­istry of Cul­ture, China’s em­bassy and con­sulate gen­eral in Van­cou­ver, along with He­bei Pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Cul­ture and He­bei For­eign Cul­tural Ex­change As­so­ci­a­tion.

He­bei prov­ince in north­ern China is a re­gion with a rich cul­tural le­gacy. Its 33,000 im­mov­able relic sites, four UNESCO-des­ig­nated World Her­itage Sites, and count­less ex­am­ples of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage make He­bei a unique and im­por­tant part of Chi­nese cul­ture.

He­bei’s artists and crafts­men open a win­dow for Cana­di­ans to bet­ter un­der­stand China and co­op­er­ate fur­ther in the fields of art, trade and cul­ture.

“I didn’t know there were so many unique art forms from He­bei,” Yaxin Liu, a pho­tog­ra­pher at­tend­ing the event said, “es­pe­cially the mar­ble photo-en­grav­ing — I’ve never seen any­thing like that be­fore.”

The in­ter­na­tional award-win­ning He­bei Ac­ro­batic Troupe also started a month-long tour on April 5, tak­ing their per­for­mances to 16 cities across Canada, in­clud­ing Toronto, Ottawa, and Mon­treal.

The He­bei Cul­tural Week project started in 2003 and has vis­ited more than 10 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States, Ger­many, Italy, South Korea and Australia. The last He­bei Cul­tural Week in Canada was held in Septem­ber 2010, co­in­cid­ing with the 40th an­niver­sary of diplo­matic ties be­tween China and Canada.

“Through this kind of cul­tural ex­change event, we hope to see more com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­hance peo­ple’s un­der­stand­ing of China’s di­ver­sity of cul­tures,” said Han.

The He­bei show will move on to the Scarborough Town Cen­tre in Toronto on April 15.


Zhou Shuy­ing, a Chi­nese artist from He­bei prov­ince, China, demon­strates the mak­ing of Yux­ian pa­per-cut at the launch of He­bei Cul­tural Week in Canada at UBC Chen Cen­tre on April 13.

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