Opening of the exhibition of Chinese comics « Where the Dream Begins: Creating the World »

From the 5th to the 23rd of May, the China Cultural Center in Brussels is hosting an innovative exhibition: more than sixty drawings and paintings illustrating the origins of the civilisation according to the Chinese myths and the adventures of its mythical heroes are highlighted in Brussels under the title “Where the Dream Begins: Creating the World”. On this occasion, an official opening took place on the evening of Tuesday, May 4th, in the presence of four of the exhibiting artists, as well as representatives of the Shanghai Chinese Painting Academy. Earlier in the afternoon, Belgian experts on comics also had the chance to interact with the Chinese artists during a symposium.

On May 4th, in front of a crowd of over 150 people, the China Cultural Center inaugurated the exhibition “Where the Dream Begins: Creating the World”.

On this occasion, the China Cultural Center had the honour to welcome very distinguished guests. Among them: Mr. CHEN Dong, Minister Counsellor at the  Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Brussels; Mr. XIANG Shihai, Counsellor for Culture at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China; Mr. TAN Shu, Director of the China Cultural Center in Brussels;  Mr. TAN Jianjun, Vice-Director of the Shanghai Chinese Painting Academy; Mr. Ferry Van Vosselen, Honorable President of the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (Belgian Comics Museum); Mrs. Anne Eyberg, Director of the Hergé Museum; Mr. SONG Xinning, Director of the Confucius Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Mr. ZHOU Zhenping,  Director of the Confucius Institute at Université libre de Bruxelles; Mr. HAN Shuo, Mr. ZHANG Peicheng, Mr. XI Axing, Mr. DING Xiaofang, artists of the exhibition where also present.

“All the works of this exhibition are comics focused on the theme of “Creating the World – Literary and Artistic Works on Chinese Creation Myths”, an important cultural project of Shanghai”, presented Mr. TAN Jianjun during the opening ceremony. He added:“Combing through numerous works on the origin of the Chinese civilization, this project presents fascinating stories of heroes in a time of chaos, and helps readers admire the immortal spirits and vitality of our mythical ancestors. It is through a meaningful culture exchange that we chose Belgium, which is considered as the “Kingdom of Comics”. Thanks to this exhibition, we hope to help our Belgian and European friends to understand Chinese Myths and appreciate the beauty of Chinese fine arts. ”

In his speech, Mr. Ferry Van Vosselen complimented the high quality of the artwork presented and the diversity of the painting skills displayed. Compared to traditional Belgian Comics, these artistic styles are completely different. He then paid tribute to the rich legacy of Chinese traditional culture translated by the exhibition, and extended his thankfulness and congratulations to the Chinese artists for bringing these works of fine arts to Belgium. Finally, Mr. Van Vosselen invited the Chinese artists and all the guests to attend a Chinese comics exhibition that will take place at the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée in February next year.

While addressing the audience, Mr. XIANG Shihai pointed out that “ Belgium is considered as the “Kingdom of Comics”, and counts numerous well-known comics artists and artworks.” He added that “China also has a long history of Chinese comics. Especially Shanghai–  the cradle of modern and contemporary comics– where artists produce lots of good-quality artworks.” “Through this exhibition, the Chinese artists bring their artworks to Belgium and can connect with artists in Belgium. It is surely a meaningful cultural exchange between China and Belgium ”, Mr. XIANG Shihai concluded.

At the end of ceremony, Chinese artists also offered sets of comic books to Mrs. Anne Eyberg for the Hergé Museum, Mr. Ferry Van Vosselen for the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée, Mr. TAN for the China Cultural Center in Brussels and to the two Confucius Institutes of Brussels, ULB and VUB. These books represent a beautiful token of the cultural exchanges that keep growing between the two countries.

For this particular opening, the Chinese delegation was very enthusiastic about exchanging with Belgian artists during a symposium organized in the afternoon. Several topics such as the conception by the Chinese artists of mythical characters and the history of French-Belgian Comics were covered. The artists from China and comic experts from Belgium had a very lively and enlightening discussion on the differences and similarities between Chinese and Western comics.

The exhibition is open to the public until the 23rd of May, from Monday to Friday following the opening hours of the China Cultural Center.