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Coastal city uses art to expand cultural influence

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily) | 2020-12-22

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Representatives attend the signing ceremony of key projects during the expo. CHINA DAILY

The 2020 China (Qingdao) Art Exposition, held recently in the coastal city in Shandong province, serves as a vital platform for Qingdao to expand its cultural influence and enhance exchanges with the world, experts said. It encompasses sectors such as art, fashion, education and the economy.

This year, the expo is conducted in an online and offline model. It covers exhibitions, forums and lectures throughout the year, creating an art expo that never ends.

A total of more than 5,000 special guests participated in the offline exhibitions.

The expo's online WeChat applet "China art expo" recorded more than 9 million clicks and its number of live broadcast views reached 109,042.

The offline booth brought cutting-edge art research and teaching products such as digital cultural relics, artificial intelligence interactive composition, and gait recognition.

Through novel interactive experiences, it showcased new ways to apply art to life in the future.

A total of 10 projects were signed onsite during the expo. The four film and television works and one original music label signed by the information office of Qingdao included the investment of 555 million yuan. Investment for projects attracted directly through the art expo exceeded 1 billion yuan.

Fan Di'an, chairman of the China Artists Association and dean of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, said at the fair last month that Qingdao has a unique historical culture and artistic temperament with a good natural environment and profound humanistic tradition.

"These advantageous resources require more artistic creativity and innovative achievements and the innovative creation of art can improve the reputation of the city," Fan said.

"These resources make it more fashionable. Under such conditions, more visual artworks, exhibitions and public activities are settled in this city, which can connect art and the construction of a fashionable city more closely."

Fan has high hopes for the development of Qingdao as an art city.

The Qingdao campus of the Central Academy of Fine Arts is located in the city's West Coast New Area, adjacent to the Xihai Art Bay.

Yu Feng, dean of the Central Conservatory of Music, said art has been integrated into people's lives and society. He believes that a culture facing modernization, the world and the future is particularly suitable for the city of Qingdao.

"Qingdao's beauty, youth, and vitality are rooted in the traditional culture of Qilu, but it is also a culture facing the ocean," Yu said. "Qingdao embodies a spirit of the times and fashion in every aspect."

The Central Conservatory of Music has established an international music center in Qingdao.

Yu said the project is under construction and the Central Conservatory of Music will build the Qingdao Violin Museum in the near future.

"Qingdao is the birthplace of China's first violin and Qingdao has also produced many violinists. It has hosted many violin competitions.

"The violin museum will be built as a violin production center featuring the violin production industry, and artificial intelligence will also be developed in the future."

Su Tong, founder of the China Creative Industry Alliance, said culture and art are becoming new coordinates for urban growth.

"Qingdao is the first city in modern Chinese history that has urban planning and has grown up in accordance with modern planning methods," Su said.

"It is also a city that has created a number of cultural and artistic firsts. There is a natural inner consistency with art and education, and the temperament formed by this natural inner consistency is impressive to this day."

He believes that the core of the future development of urban art is the development of talented people. How art and education can stimulate a city's talent-gathering power is an important means to enhance the vitality of a city.

"What Qingdao will look like in the future depends on the efforts of the people in the city today as well as our ideas, creativity, design and industrial investment," Su said. "It will make Qingdao a creative and cultural city."