The ancient Silk Road was a key commercial link between East and West, but of course it became a vital cultural link as well. Today, it is serving as a source of inspiration for Chinese artists. A group of more than a hundred traveled as far west as Italy in their quest for creative alchemy, and their artistic treasures are now on display in Shanghai.
The exhibition features more than 50 oil, Chinese-ink, and watercolor paintings inspired by the landscape and people in corridor countries along the ancient Silk Road, including Kazakhstan, Turkey and Italy. One visitor said she was quite impressed.
The exhibition is part of a culture exchange event among corridor countries along the Silk Road. Beginning 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty, Chinese silk as well as many other goods, religions, and various technologies were exchanged along the Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2014, UNESCO designated a 5,000-kilometer-stretch of the Silk Road from Central China to Kyrgyzstan as a World Heritage Site.
Since 2010, over 100 Chinese artists have traveled more than 120,000 kilometers along the route to find inspiration for their works. Qiu Ruimin produced an oil painting on Maiden’s Tower, a landmark in Istanbul. He said he learned a lot through exchanging views with artists and residents in Turkey.
The exhibition has been held in six countries, including Turkey, Japan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and China.
As part of the upcoming Shanghai International Arts Festival, the exhibition runs until October 23rd at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. Admission is 30 yuan.