Shandong Special: Qunxing Awards for top art by amateurs
The Ministry of Culture granted the top prize for amateur artistic works, the Qunxing Award, to a total of 220 shows on Oct 25 during the 10th China Art Festival in Shandong province.
The works covering dance, music, drama and folk arts were selected from 884 performances created over the past three years by artists from all over the country.
A total of 353 shows were final candidates for the awards - including 109 musicals, 89 dances, 88 dramas and 67 folk artworks - staged for review during the 16-day art gala that closed on Oct 26 in Qingdao.
"The Qunxing Awards have been established for more than 20 years, and have driven a large number of artists to create quality works and promote development of mass culture and art in the nation," said Minister of Culture Cai Wu at the awards ceremony held in the coastal city Weihai on Oct 25.
Competition judge Xu Lijiao, vice-president of China Opera and Dance Theater, said "these works performed by amateur artists from all walks of life are full of vitality and creativity".
"Most of the works depict the daily life of ordinary people, so are easier to touch the audience's hearts," she said, adding that she believes the most impressive artwork is usually based on real life.
Xu said some of the performances are even adaptations of true stories of good deeds, which reflects grassroots culture and the spirit of the Qunxing Awards.
One example is the dance Haiying and Her Mothers presented by the Lucheng Cultural Center of Shanxi province. It is based on the true story of Zhao Haiying, a farmer in Shanxi, who has taken good care of 54 women without families at her home for the past 30 years.
The award-winning works also include various kinds of Chinese folk art forms such as ballad singing, story telling, comic dialog, clapper talk and cross talk, which won over audiences with their local features.
"China has numerous kinds of folk arts and each has its own local character," said Liu Lanfang, honorary president of China Folk Art Association. "I'm also glad to see that many performances in the competition have innovations to cater to younger audiences. That's pretty good."
A total of 110 mass culture and public service projects were also granted Qunxing Awards including exhibitions, lectures and art training, as well as cultural and art festivals.
The Shandong Culture Bureau along with the cities of Jinan, Qingdao, Tai'an, Yantai and Weihai were given Outstanding Organization Awards for their contribution to the art festival.
Held every two or three years since 1987, the China Art Festival has developed into the most comprehensive high-level art event in China. It presents the Qunxing Awards to the amateurs and the Wenhua Awards to professional artists.
Qunxing Award winner Xiaoman, a dance by the Shandong School of Performing Arts. Provided to China Daily
(China Daily 10/30/2013 page12)