Cultural exchange fosters better understanding
The people of Israel may have a better understanding of China and its eastern province of Shandong after the launch of the Nishan House bookstore and an exhibition of Rizhao farmers' paintings on Nov 22 at Tel Aviv University in Israel.
The bookstore is the first of its kind in Israel and the 30th overseas branch of Nishan House, a chain created by the Shandong Friendship Publishing House as an important project to carry forward fine traditional Chinese culture in support of the "going-out" strategy of Chinese culture generally.
Nishan, or Mount Ni, is regarded as the birthplace of Confucius.
Ji Xiangqi (left), vice governor of Shandong province and Raanan Rein, vice president of Tel Aviv University, unveil the plaque for the Nishan House bookstore at the university on Nov 22. [Photo/sdwht.gov.cn]
The Rizhao farmers' paintings depict different periods. Portraying folk customs and rural life in the Shandong countryside, they provide a full evaluation of Shandong folk art and its rural community to the exhibition's visitors in Israel.
Beginning in the late 1950s, farmers' paintings developed from simple illustrations for publicity purposes into a dynamic artistic genre in China, particularly in Huxian, Jinshan of Shanghai, and Rizhao in Shandong province.
"Usually we learn more about the modern Western art like oil paintings and rarely reach out to the oriental art. The Rizhao farmers' paintings depict the lives in Shandong rural community, all adopting rich palettes with strong artistic expression," said a student of Tel Aviv University, "For me this is a very fresh cultural experience and it gives me the idea to travel to China".
The exhibition of Rizhao farmers' paintings attracts lots of students and faculty members at Tel Aviv University on Nov 22 in Israel. [Photo/sdwht.gov.cn]
More than 80 representatives from the Shandong government, Shandong Friendship Publishing House and Tel Aviv University took part in the unveiling ceremony.Raanan Rein, vice president of Tel Aviv University, spoke highly of the settlement of Nishan House in the university. He said that the painting exhibition and books provided by the Nishan House bookstore provide more opportunities for the university's students and faculty members to learn about the excellent traditional Chinese and Shandong cultures.
He also expressed his hope that Shandong province and the university will carry out more cultural exchanges in future.
Wang Lei, director of the Shandong provincial department of culture, delivers a speech at the launch of the Nishan House bookstore and the exhibition of Rizhao farmers' paintings on Nov 22 at Tel Aviv University in Israel. [Photo/sdwht.gov.cn]
Wang Lei, director of the Shandong provincial department of culture, said that Nishan House is an important cooperative platform for cultural exchanges built by Shandong province, and will provide more books and conduct varied activities to enhance multi-tiered and multi-form cultural exchanges between the two peoples.
Tel Aviv University is a public research university in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Israel. With over 30,000 students, the university is the largest in the country.