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Review 5.18: Cross cultural art exposure at EU-China International Literary Festival excites participants

Cross cultural art exposure at EU-China International Literary Festival excites participants
By Bob Abor
The 4th edition of this year’s EU-China International Literary Festival had a bright start today at Qi Hao, Beijing, where participants were exposed to fascinating art paintings from Western and Chinese origins.
Director of Citic Museum, Mr. Zeng Zi Rong who was pleased to host the event welcomed guests and participants to the first session the day. He noted that the event is timely as they want to connect the bookshop, museum together and coffee shop so as to change the place in to a living room.
Svjetlan Junakovic, a famed Croatian painter played a short video about his fascinating art work entitled The Big Book of Animal Portraits to which enable audiences to understand his work better. While sharing his experiences, Svjetlan said children were very impressed to see animals in the form of human features. It was very fun for my students and this inspired me to put it in a book form. I had a lot of illustrations without a book. I had to find a solution for the text. In this book you find drawings and accompanying text,” he said.
The host, Mr. Zeng Zi Rong expressed impression with the Croatian fascinating art form. “The art work is wild and unique from the many animations that I have seen because it contains animals in human forms,” he said. He is optimistic that this unique art piece will inspire and influence many Chinese audiences to consider wild animals as having an influence in our surroundings. He noted that human beings were at one time the same as animals. “After seeing this art work from you I have a lot of thoughts how the world was several years ago. Everything we watch now is fictional,” Zeng added.
However, Mr. Zeng noted that the art work also reminds him of a popular film known as Planet of the Apes where the world was controlled by the apes and was fascinating. Mr. Svjetan clarified that put animals into human souls simply to make it more attractive to children and inspire them to visit the museum.
Mr. Zeng Zi Rong then shared his illustrations entitled The Enlightment of Chinese Art-also children’s art piece-with his Croatian counterpart and audiences at large for purposes of cross cultural learning.
Unlike European artwork, participants learnt that Chinese art works are wonderful as it uses large papers to convey full details and meaning and thus, makes it more appealing to children. They enjoy it like watching films even though there is no voice. For instance, one illustration in the book shows two boats sailing towards the bridge and is about collide with each other. And then you see passengers very nervous. At the same time, they drew similarities in the two different ancient art pieces helps us to understand contemporary art.
Chinese audiences enjoyed and appreciated the screening of his numerous spectacular paintings/illustrations
Participants also gained lots of experiences from the exciting Q&A and open discussions with the authors.
Katherine asked Mr. Svjetlan Junakovic whether there were any intentions when adopting those animals. He replied that he always tries to find the right animal to replace the human face/soul to convey the message. But in all texts, he tells audiences which ones is real/original.
Children are addicted to mobile phones, how can children be attracted to your book? Katherine asked. He noted this issue applies to adults as well, but books still tell stories in a more fashioned way. Besides, he has an art book shop and paper games where children and their parents engage together. This, he says, is unique from what cell phones offer. Katherine.
“We use cell phones all the time, why not children. So if we take our children to museums regularly then they will get used to it and art will become part of their culture,” Mr. Svjetlan added.
Mary Zhang, a writer of adult novel, asked how adult novels differ from children novels. Mr. Svjetlan noted that they differ in many aspects since they target different audiences, but is important that a writer focuses on where his/he talented.
Going forward, Mr. Zeng who is also a famous illustrator of children’s art in China, requested his counterpart to publish a Chinese version of his art piece so that it can be marketed in Citic Museum and other parts of China. Svjetan promised to do so. Mr. Zeng also inquired the possibility of revising Mr. Svjetlan to suit the Chinese audience.
The guest painter expressed praised the beautiful scenery of Beijing, the architecture and the people and their culture. He is already looking forward to visiting more museums in China. The host appreciated this counterpart and audiences their attention and active participation throughout the session in his closing remarks.