A series of cultural events will take place throughout the year in Germany to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the country’s establishment of diplomatic relations with China.
With the theme of “Cooperation, Friendship and Joint Success”, the program will include events ranging from music, theater, dance and film to architecture, contemporary art, literature and cultural heritage.
“The program demonstrates the long friendship between China and Germany, and will build a new platform for further cooperation between the two countries,” said Xie Jinying, director of the Ministry of Culture’s Bureau for External Cultural Relations, at a news conference in Beijing on Feb 15.
The one-year cultural program, “China Today”, is the fruit of a joint declaration last year by Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Events will also be held in Beijing.
According to Xie, more than 80 events jointly organized by over 50 Chinese and German cultural institutions will cover 11 states and more than 30 cities in Germany.
Most of the events are in collaboration with Germany’s top cultural institutions, such as the National Museums in Berlin, and will be held on popular occasions including Hamburg Ballet Days, the Rheingau Music Festival and the International May Festival in Wiesbaden.
In July, National Ballet of China will bring its original work Crane Whisperer to Europe for the first time in Hamburg, and the China National Symphony Orchestra will perform Farewell My Concubine and the piano concerto Dream of the Red Chamber.
From July to January, the National Museums in Berlin will cooperate with Chinese cultural institutions such as the Palace Museum and the Shanghai Museum for five exhibitions.
One of the exhibitions, Faces of China: Chinese Portrait Painting of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911) will be the first in Europe to focus on Chinese portrait painting.
“We want to introduce the Western audience to some of the important portrait works outside of Europe,” said Lou Wei, deputy director of the Palace Museum. “For Chinese tourists (in Berlin), it will also be thought-provoking to study the contrast between Chinese and Western portrait art.”
Enrico Brandt, the cultural counselor of the German embassy in Beijing, introduced the German cultural events to be held in Beijing this year, focusing on art exhibitions, youth activities and soccer.
Clemens Treter, director of Goethe Institute in China, gave a speech in Chinese on the importance of cultural exchange activities, especially the translation of literature and poetry.