The Immortals of a City – Photo exhibition of urban sculptures of the “European Capital of Culture”

Paris would not be the same without the Eiffel Tower; we identify the Little Mermaid with the port city Copenhagen; and Manneken Pis inevitably reminds us of Brussels… Such famous landmarks are also known as urban sculptures; they are characteristic symbols of a city and an essential testimony of its cultural history.

Urban sculptures highlight a city’s unique identity, and can leave a strong impression on people’s perception of a place. Not only do they contribute to a city’s cultural landscape, but they also serve as a souvenir for future generations.

Every year since 1985, the European Union grants one European city the honourable title of “European Capital of Culture”. Over the years, more than 50 cities already received this title. From 1985 to 1999, 15 cities of 13 European countries have been granted the title of “European Capital of Culture”: Athens (Greece), Florence (Italy), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Paris (France), Glasgow (UK), Dublin (Ireland), Madrid (Spain), Antwerp (Belgium), Lisbon (Portugal), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Copenhagen (Denmark), Salonika (Greece), Stockholm (Sweden), and Weimar (Germany).

Chinese and Italian photographers were invited to travel around those 15 “European Capitals of Culture” and take pictures of their unique landmarks. They have chosen the urban sculpture as a means to gain a better understanding of the “European Capital of Culture”, since it is a remarkable artistic form popularized in European countries. This project serves as a window to enhance the dialogue between Europe and China, and develop exchanges between the cities. Through the arts of both photography and sculpture, the visitors are assured of an interesting experience.

Italian photographers Michele Stanzione, Alessandra Combatti, and Chinese photographers Zeng Yi and Zhou Yin Shuang were appointed as Special Envoy Team. They travelled around Europe during three months, and took more than ten thousands pictures of 10-15 representative sculptures. The photo exhibition showcases a selection of 50 photos, this exquisite and moving photographic work is not an objective record of the sculptures, but are the stunning reinventions based on lots of reading and reflection of historical documents.

The exhibition “The Immortals of a City” was exhibited in Beijing, Qingdao and Tianjin as well as in other places around China. Although many of the visitors had never been to Europe before, they were very appreciative of the historical, cultural and exotic nature of urban sculptures. Many visitors took pictures of the featured photographs to create a collection for themselves; many children and their parents also took part in painting workshops related to the featured urban sculptures.

Through the exhibition “The Immortals of a City”, we hope that you will get an extraordinary taste of the European cities and their lifestyle, as seen through the lens of Italian and Chinese photographers.

The Immortals of a City
Photo exhibition of urban sculptures of the “European Capital of Culture”
December 8th 2017 – January 3rd 2018
Open Monday to Friday according to the opening hours of the Center.
The Center is closed between December 24th 2017 and January 1st 2018.

The program is subject to change. Follow our Facebook page to stay tuned!

Organized by:
China Cultural Center in Brussels
Network of International Culturalink Entities
China Arts Festival in the EU

Supported by:
Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Belgium
Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, Press and Publication of Qingdao

Beijing Nice Arts and Culture Co., Ltd
China Shandong Eastern International Photographic Art Association