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Written by (作者): Red Peony Academy 红牡丹书画国际交流社
Photos by (图片来源): Jack Jiang 姜红升


 

The Grain Rain season has started in China, and this is when the national flower, the peony, is in full bloom. On April 9th, to mark the flower’s return, the Red Peony Chinese Painting & Calligraphy Academy invited over 40 expats, including foreign teachers and students from Ningbo University, UNNC, the Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University and the Nottingham Confucius Institute to enjoy the opening ceremony of the Red Peony International Exchange Studio in Miaoyuan Village, Kecheng District in Quzhou, part of a new “Cultural Great Wall” initiative in the region aimed towards familiarizing foreigners with Chinese culture.

Quzhou, located in western Zhejiang Province, has received many distinguished honors over the years, including being recognized as a State-Level Historic & Cultural City, a National Ecological Demonstration Area and a Top Tourism City, drawing people from all over the country to admire its green mountains and beautiful scenery. As the main urban district of Quzhou, Kecheng is home to many tourist attractions including the best preserved city wall south of the Yangtze River, the birthplace of the game of go and the Confucius Temple of the Southern Clan. The location of the event, Miaoyuan Village of Jihua Township, is also steeped with history as it’s the legendary home of the Goddess of Spring as well as a grand annual ceremony to honor her.

Kecheng is also the hometown of Red Peony Academy founder Jack Jiang. To honor one of their best sons, the city commissioned the new exchange studio, lovingly called “Red Peony Garden”, close to the green mountains and clear water the city of Quzhou is known for. The garden is filled with peonies and close to a beautiful bamboo forest, which will inspire future students who visit the studio.

As a gentle breeze filled the air with birdsongs and the fragrance of flowers, the guests got out their brushes and set to painting peonies on rice paper, turning the village into a lively art project and a natural classroom where they could learn not only the art of painting the peony, but channel the history of the location through the ancient art of Chinese painting.

“April is a time when peonies make the landscape more beautiful” Lishui Xu, Secretary of the Kecheng District CPC Committee, stated, noting that he hoped the event could further enhance foreigners’ cultural understanding of Chinese arts and culture in order “to create a ‘great wall of friendship’ shared with people around the world.”

The event was co-organized by the Beautiful China Committee and the Kecheng government. Expats from Ningbo, the surrounding province and China will have the opprtunity to visit the new Red Peony Studio in the future. To find out more about the studio, classes, and upcoming outings and events, you can contact Jack Jiang through Ningbo Focus or at artistjack@163.com for more information.

2017年4月9日,谷雨时节,细雨纷纷,也是牡丹盛开的季节,红牡丹书画国际交流社带领宁波大学、宁波诺丁汉大学、浙江大学宁波理工学院的外籍师生,在甬国际企业家,以及来自英国诺丁汉大学孔子学院的青少年乒乓球访华团,一行共40余人,来到了浙江省衢州市柯城区九华乡妙源村,举行“五洲绘两溪,国色绣长城”——国际友人共筑“中国文化长城”启动暨“红牡丹国际交流工作室”落成仪式。“红牡丹”中国画牡丹教学助理、澳大利亚女士Gillian(吉莉安)在开幕式上作为外宾代表致辞。

坐落于浙江西部的衢州,青山如黛,景色宜人,是国家级历史文化名城、国家级生态示范区、中国优秀旅游城市。而作为衢州主城区的柯城,山水秀美,人文底蕴深厚,拥有江南地区保存最完好的古城墙、围棋发源地、南宗孔庙等文化旅游胜地。此次活动的举办地——九华乡妙源村,更是人类非物质文化遗产代表名录“九华立春祭”发源地。相传,春神句芒就居住于此。在每年立春之际,当地都会举办隆重而古老的“立春祭”仪式,让传统的华夏农耕文明不断传承。

衢州市柯城区是宁波“红牡丹”创始人姜红升的故乡。当地政府在绿水青山间,为“红牡丹”搭建起一个大自然的工作室——“红牡丹园”。这里溪边泉水潺潺而下,林间竹影迎风摇曳,园内牡丹竞相绽放。人间最美的春色,就在春神故里。

春神故里百花艳,国色更添春意浓。姜红升将自己最擅长的国画“红牡丹”与“九华立春祭”相结合,以花为媒,通过这一场春天里与牡丹的“约会”,架起一座人类非遗通向世界的桥梁。

伴着细雨、微风、鸟鸣、花香,国际友人手执中国画笔,一描一染,一钩一折,在画卷上留下各种牡丹的印记,让这座安静的小村,成为了众人眼中避尘世喧嚣的秘境,也成为了国际友人了解中国传统文化的自然课堂。

“四月正是牡丹盛开的季节,满园牡丹争奇斗艳,风姿卓立。”衢州市柯城区委书记徐利水表示,希望通过此次活动,进一步加深国际友人对中国艺术与文化的认识和理解,在亲自体验中,画出各自心中的国色天香,“共同打造一条世界人民共享的‘友谊长城’。”

本次活动由美丽中国组委会主办、衢州市柯城区人民政府承办。今后,在甬外籍人士有机会在红牡丹书画国际交流社社长姜红升(Jack)的组织安排下,走进“红牡丹”林间工作室,享受衢州自然风光、古城风貌、当地美食以及人类非遗历史文化等。有意者可通过《宁波聚焦》或artistjack@163.com与Jack联系。

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