Xi calls on artists to re­new be­lief in China’s cul­ture

Pres­i­dent un­veils his four ex­pec­ta­tions for artists, writ­ers to guide re­vival of na­tion

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN JIE in Bei­jing chengjie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has called upon artists in the coun­try to consolidate the con­fi­dence in Chi­nese cul­ture, serve the peo­ple and cre­ate more in­spir­ing and clas­si­cal works to re­vive the na­tion.

Xi made the com­ments when ad­dress­ing the 10th na­tional con­gress of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Lit­er­a­ture and Art and the 9th na­tional con­gress of the Chi­nese Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion on Wed­nes­day.

The gath­er­ings, held ev­ery five years and end­ing on Satur­day, bring to­gether the coun­try’s in­flu­en­tial elite in lit­er­a­ture, art, mu­sic, the­ater, film and other arts.

Del­e­gates and ob­servers said the pres­i­dent’s speech of­fered wis­dom on guid­ing the development of arts and cul­ture.

Xi had four ex­pec­ta­tions of the artists. The first is “to consolidate the con­fi­dence in Chi­nese cul­ture and use art to in­spire peo­ple.”

The se­cond is to “serve and praise the peo­ple with pos­i­tive works”.

The third ex­pec­ta­tion is to “be more in­no­va­tive” and

Artists should learn to draw essence and power from Chi­nese cul­ture ... ” Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping

the last is to “hold the idea and in­spire so­ci­ety with high cul­ture.”

Com­ment­ing on the first ex­pec­ta­tion, Xi said: “To re­vive the na­tion, we must be con­fi­dent in our path, in our the­ory and in our sys­tem as well as our cul­ture. Artists should learn to draw essence and power from Chi­nese cul­ture to cre­ate clas­si­cal works to in­spire peo­ple.”

Dancer Wang Yabin, 32, said she was im­pressed by Xi’s com­ment about con­fi­dence in cul­ture.

“I was trained in tra­di­tional Chi­nese dance as well as clas­si­cal ballet. When I tour the

world, I find for­eign au­di­ences love my per­for­mance be­cause it com­bines both the West­ern tech­niques and Chi­nese fea­tures,” said Wang, who works with many lead­ing Euro­pean dance com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing the na­tional ballet of Bri­tain.

“It is my first time to lis­ten to Pres­i­dent Xi speak in per­son. I am deeply im­pressed by his pas­sion. It’s lucky for an in­de­pen­dent dancer like me to at­tend the meet­ing, which broad­ens my vi­sion of creation,” she said.

Re­gard­ing his se­cond ex­pec­ta­tion, Xi said: “It is the peo­ple who cre­ate his­tory. Artists should care about peo­ple’s lives, voices and emo­tion, and cre­ate works that in­spire the peo­ple and are ap­pre­ci­ated by the peo­ple.”

Folk singer Yun En­feng, 76, said: “I’ve been re­tired for many years. But after I heard Pres­i­dent Xi’s speech, I feel the mo­ti­va­tion to sing more songs for the peo­ple.

“I re­mem­ber I per­formed in a vil­lage a few years ago. When I sang the old folk song Red Blos­soms all over the Moun­tains, all the vil­lagers sang to­gether with me be­cause they love the song and the melody has been sung for dozens of years. An old man in his 80s even stood up to salute me.”

Re­gard­ing the third and fourth ex­pec­ta­tions, Xi said: “Art­works re­flect a na­tion’s soft power and cre­ativ­ity. China should not only pro­vide the world a development model but a va­ri­ety of great art­works.

“Artists have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to ed­u­cate peo­ple, in­spire peo­ple and pro­mote pos­i­tive val­ues.”

Yang Qingx­i­ang, a 36-year-old writer and pro­fes­sor at Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China, said, “Con­fi­dence in Chi­nese cul­ture is the soul and base among the four ‘con­fi­dences’,” re­fer­ring to Xi’s men­tion of con­fi­dence in the na­tion’s path, the­ory, sys­tem and cul­ture.

“It is the core value of cul­tural development. ... For a long time, Chi­nese cul­ture has been chal­lenged by West­ern cul­ture in our coun­try. The pres­i­dent’s speech gives us direc­tion. It’s the op­por­tu­nity and re­spon­si­bil­ity for artists and writ­ers, es­pe­cially the young gen­er­a­tion, to re­vive Chi­nese cul­ture and the na­tion.”

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