文化摆渡人——余熙

文化,是一个国家的精髓,从影响有影响的人开始,最大范围地传播中国文化,扩大中国的国际影响力,这就是我文化之旅的制高点。 ——余熙

Special Focus - - Society - 文|刘冬莉

In Novem­ber 2016, Mr. Ste­fan Sk­jal­dar­son, the Ice­landic am­bas­sador to China ar­rived in Wuhan and vis­ited the city mayor Wan Yong. When they met for the first time, Mr. Ste­fan Sk­jal­dar­son pre­sented Wan Yong a well-pre­pared gift— a book en­ti­tled A Date with the North­ern Lights writ­ten by Yu Xi, which spe­cially de­scribed Ice­landic cus­toms. Sur­pris­ingly, without prior con­sul­ta­tion Wan Yong gifted Mr. Ste­fan Sk­jal­dar­son with a book en­ti­tled Ex­plo­rations of Sis­ter Cities— also writ­ten by Yu Xi—in which one ar­ti­cle in­tro­duces the city Kó­pavogur in Ice­land.

Who is Yu Xi? How is his writ­ing prow­ess great enough that it

2016 年 11月,冰岛驻华大使司迪方造访武汉,并会见武汉市长万勇。初次见面,大使拿出精心准备的见面礼——一本来自武汉人余熙所著、专门讲述冰岛风情的《约会极地之缘》。让人惊讶的一幕出现了:在没有事先约定的情况下,万勇拿出的见面礼竟也是余熙的著作《余熙探友城》,其中,有一篇文章则是介绍冰岛的科波沃市。

余熙,他是谁,有什么本事,能让双方不约而同将他的著作作为双方外交的首选见面礼?

was his books that were cho­sen by both sides as gifts in a first diplo­matic en­counter? Ac­tu­ally, he works as a jour­nal­ist of Changjiang Daily, and is a two-time China News Award win­ner. In his of­fice lo­cated in the ninth floor of the news­pa­per build­ing, a world map hangs on the wall with dif­fer­ent kinds of news­pa­per clip­pings and books stored neatly in the bookshelf nearby, all of which has demon­strated Yu Xi’s achieve­ments as a cul­tural messenger in the past few decades.

As a writer, he has pub­lished 26 books in both Chi­nese and for­eign lan­guages. As a pain­ter and a pho­tog­ra­pher, he has held 37 per­sonal pho­to­graphic art ex­hi­bi­tions in China, Europe and Amer­ica, and his col­lec­tions of per­sonal pho­tog­ra­phy al­bums have been pub­lished. Fur­ther­more, he is an or­a­tor, who has de­liv­ered more than 100 speeches for a va­ri­ety of top­ics in more than 60 coun­tries all over the world. Ob­vi­ously, he is the re­mark­able cul­tural ex­change ac­tivist be­tween China and for­eign coun­tries, who has in­ter­viewed more than 50 for­eign lead­ers and over 100 for­eign am­bas­sadors to China.

He has done it all for a sim­ple rea­son: pro­mot­ing bi­lat­eral un­der­stand­ing be­tween the world and China. In Au­gust 1991, Yu Xi held an ex­hi­bi­tion in Switzer­land and over 100 paint­ings were snapped up in only a few days. With a great sense of de­light, Yu Xi felt the Swiss peo­ple’s love and cu­rios­ity about China and Chi­nese cul­ture. “Many peo­ple then asked me whether Chi­nese women still prac­tice foot bind­ing, or if my fa­ther’s gen­er­a­tion had still kept their braids?” Many for­eign­ers had rather dated and stereo­typ­i­cal im­pres­sions of China from the old Qing dy­nasty, which was both as­ton­ish­ing and dis­qui­et­ing, and so he was des­per­ate to broaden west­ern­ers’ knowl­edge of con­tem­po­rary China.

There­fore, Yu Xi made a pro­posal to Swiss Ro­tary Club to ar­range a spe­cial lec­ture for him to in­tro­duce China. The spon­sor ac­cepted with great plea­sure. Thus, Yu Xi de­liv­ered his first overseas lec­ture en­ti­tled China’s Con­tem­po­rary Cul­ture & Arts in Ol­ten, Switzer­land. Yu Xi’s speech about Chi­nese cul­ture and so­cial sta­tus seemed to open a win­dow for peo­ple to un­der­stand China, which was warmly wel­comed by lo­cal cit­i­zens.

Since then, Yu Xi vis­ited more than 60 coun­tries in a row, in­clud­ing France, Ger­many, the United States and Bul­garia. He in­tro­duced Chi­nese cul­ture to the world by giv­ing a voice to a va­ri­ety of Chi­nese im­agery like, paint­ing, cal­lig­ra­phy, pho­tog­ra­phy and lec­tures.

In 2005 Yu Xi vis­ited Ice­land at his own ex­pense, and was hon­ored to be a vis­i­tor to the pres­i­den­tial man­sion of Mr. Ola­fur Grims­son, the then- pres­i­dent of Ice­land. In their con­ver­sa­tions, he was sur­prised to know that there had never been a cul­tural ex­change event with any Chi­nese lit­er­ary and art

其实,他的职业,是武汉市《长江日报》的一名记者,曾两次获得中国新闻奖。

在他位于长江日报社9楼的办公室里,墙上挂着一幅世界地图;书柜里,整整齐齐地放着各种剪报夹、书籍。这一切,都沉甸甸地记录着余熙数十年来作为文化摆渡人的成果——

作为作家,他已公开出版中外文版著作26部;作为画家、摄影家,在欧美和国内举办个人美术摄影展览37场,出版个人美术摄影集多部;他还是演说家,在海内外60多个国家举办各种专题演讲100多场;当然,他最引人关注的身份是中外交流活动家,采访报道过50多位外国元首、首脑和100多位外国驻华大使……

他做的所有这些,都是为了一个简单的目的:让世界了解中国。而这一初衷,源于 1991 年。

那年8月,余熙在瑞士举办个人画展。短短几天时间,他的一百多幅画被抢购一空。这让他感到欣喜的同时,也看出了瑞士人民对了解中国文化的渴望。“当时我碰到不少人问,中国的女性是不是还在缠足,我的父辈是不是还扎着长辫子。”余熙说,在外国人的眼里,中国还停留在清朝,这让他十分震惊,更感到焦虑,他迫切地想让西方人了解真正的当代中国。

于是,余熙向画展邀请方瑞士扶轮社提出请求,请他们安排一场由他介绍中国的演讲会,对方欣然应允。就这样,在瑞士奥尔滕市,余熙主讲了人生首场海外文化交流演讲,《今日中国的文化艺术》。余熙口中的中国文化和社会现状,仿佛打开了一扇了解中国的窗户,受到当地群众的热烈欢迎。

此后几十年间,余熙先后去了法国、德国、美国、保加利亚等60余个国家,以书画、摄影、演讲等多种形式向世界

or­ga­ni­za­tions since China es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions with Ice­land more than 30 years ago. The pres­i­dent told him, the high ex­pense of in­ter­na­tional travel was the big­gest ob­sta­cle, to which Yu Xi re­torted per­sua­sively that hold­ing a Chi­nese cul­tural event in Ice­land would be of great ben­e­fit. He nar­rated lively sto­ries of Chi­nese cul­tural arts, in­clud­ing Bei­jing opera, ac­ro­bat­ics, Chi­nese folk mu­sic and ink-wash paint­ings, sat­u­rat­ing the el­e­gant Nordic study where they sat with the hues and col­ors of clas­si­cal Chi­nese cul­tural fare. The Pres­i­dent sat there fas­ci­nated and wholly ab­sorbed by the tales.

Af­ter four years of prepa­ra­tions, the

First Sino-Ice­landic Cul­tural Festival was suc­cess­fully held in Kó­pavogur, Ice­land on Septem­ber 29, 2009. Dur­ing the two months, nearly 100 Chi­nese artists showed the “magic” of Chi­nese cul­ture to the peo­ple of Ice­land with a Chi­nese “voice” that re­sounded through­out Ice­land.

To fur­ther un­der­stand­ing of China, Yu Xi de­voted him­self in am­pli­fy­ing the Chi­nese voice so that it can be heard world-wide and ex­pand­ing cul­tural ex­changes with other coun­tries in the fol­low­ing years. The dis­tin­guished politi­cians whose names have graced Yu Xi’s hon­ored list of in­ter­views in­clude for­mer Cuban leader Fidel Cas­tro, for­mer French Pres­i­dent Sarkozy, Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladamir Putin, South African Pres­i­dent Jacob Zuma, for­mer Aus­tralian Pres­i­dent John Howard, for­mer US Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, for­mer South Korean Pres­i­dent Kim Dae- jung, for­mer Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Chre­tien and for­mer Sin­ga­pore’s Prime Min­is­ter Goh Chok Tong.

Con­se­quently, some have praised him as “the peo­ple’s diplo­mat,” or “China’s Marco Polo.” For those honors, Yu Xi mod­estly replies that he is just do­ing what any good Chi­nese cit­i­zens should do. He prefers to con­sider him­self a messenger of Chi­nese and for­eign cul­ture, a cul­tural diplo­mat spread­ing univer­sal val­ues and the glory and grandeur of Chi­nese cul­ture to the world in a very hu­man­i­tar­ian way, while in­tro­duc­ing so­phis­ti­cated for­eign cul­ture to China.

人民展示中华文化,传递中国声音。

2005年,余熙自费访问冰岛,并有幸进入时任冰岛总统奥拉维尔·格里姆松先生的官邸做客。交谈时,余熙吃惊地得知,冰岛与中国建交30多年来,从未有任何中国文艺团体来冰举办过文化交流。总统说,高昂的国际旅费是“拦路虎”。余熙当即决定,以中国公民身份游说总统同意并支持在冰举办中国文化节,并以京剧、杂技、民乐、水墨画为素材,向总统演绎中国文化艺术的精彩故事。在那间具有典雅别致北欧风情的书房里,奥拉维尔 总统听得十分入迷……

经过四年的磋商和筹备,2009年9月 29日,“冰岛·中国文化节”终于成功在冰岛科波沃举行。在两个多月的时间里,近百位中国艺术家向冰岛人民展现了“神奇”的中国文化,让中国声音响彻冰岛。

为了让更多的人了解中国,余熙数十年如一日,始终坚持以一个普通公民的名义向世界传递中国的声音,倾心从事对外文化交流工作。古巴前领导人菲德尔·卡斯特罗、法国前总统萨科齐、俄罗斯总统普京、南非总统祖马、澳大利亚前总 理霍华德、美国前总统布什、韩国前总统金大中、加拿大前总理克雷蒂安、新加坡前总理吴作栋…这些政要,都曾是余熙采访席上的座上宾。

有人因此赞誉他为“民间外交家”、“中国的马可·波罗”,对于这些荣誉,余熙谦虚地表示,自己只是做了一个中国普通公民应该做的事,他更愿意把自己当成一个中外文化的摆渡人,将中国主流价值和璀璨文化,以富有人情味的方式传播给世界,再把外国先进的文化载回中国。

● On Oct. 28,2008, Mr.Yu Xi in­ter­viewed Mr.Pur­vanov (left), then pres­i­dent of Bul­garia, in Bei­jing.

2008年10月28日,余熙在北京采访时任保加利亚总统珀尔瓦诺夫(左)

● Yu Xi's pho­to­graphic work余熙摄影作品

● In Nov. 2013, Mr. Tom­mi­ichi Mu­rayama, the for­mer Prime Min­is­ter of Ja­pan, pre­sented his new book to Mr. Yu Xi. Photo by Zhou Jian­wen

2013 年 11月,日本前首相村山富市(右)向余熙赠书 周健文摄

● A wa­ter­color paint­ing by Yu Xi 余熙创作的水彩画

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