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    Newsletter: Building a Bridge of Cultural Exchange Between East and West – Visit to Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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    Kansas City, USA, September 5

    Xinhua News Agency reporter Xu Jianmei Xu Jing

    According to the relevant introduction of the museum, the collection of Chinese cultural relics has two characteristics. First, the historical span is relatively complete, which runs through the five Thousands of years, and there are many masterpieces in the collections of various historical stages. Second, the cultural relics are relatively complete, including not only bronzes, sculptures, jade porcelain, calligraphy and paintings, but also furniture, fabrics, and even “small gadgets” such as gourds and cricket jars, which not only reflects the evolution of Chinese art, but also reflects the Chinese way of life. changes.

    This is an exhibit taken on August 11 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, USA. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Xu Jianmei

    During the reporter’s interview, the museum was holding the exhibition “Vibrant – Animals in Chinese Art”. In order to allow visitors to understand the exhibits more intuitively, the museum specially prepared a set of animal pictures for visitors. One side is an ink painting of animals, and the other side explains its symbolic meaning in Chinese culture. For example, the dragon symbolizes respect and the horse symbolizes strength. The tiger symbolizes protection, the heron symbolizes noble conduct, etc. Among them, the phoenix, which symbolizes prosperity, is the most popular among visitors. During the interview, the reporter saw that the picture of the phoenix has been taken away.

    Makar from the museum’s education department said that the museum has exhibited more than 600 cultural relics with dragon patterns from the east and the west. This fall, the museum will also hold a “Dragon Workshop” for elementary school students in grades three to five, allowing them to explore and compare the Eastern and Western dragons on display at the museum to understand their different cultural meanings. “The Oriental Dragon, a kind, wise and benevolent creature, exists in various forms in nature and is highly respected in oriental culture.” The museum wrote in the introduction to the “Dragon Workshop”.

    Tornut, manager of the volunteer department of the museum, said that American children are very knowledgeable about the difference between Chinese dragons and Western dragons Interested, Chinese dragons always seem to spark their imaginations.

    For Tornut, it is especially important to develop a global perspective in children. She said it doesn’t have as many Asian immigrants on the east and west coasts, and it’s not a major tourist destination. For residents of the American Midwest, being able to come into contact with such a wealth of Chinese cultural relics and understand the creativity of Chinese culture “gives them the opportunity to expand their horizons.”

    Over the years, this museum has served large areas in the central United States, offering workshops on bronze and other themes and Chinese painting courses around Chinese cultural relics etc., hold seminars or lectures on Chinese cultural relics from time to time. When designing guided tours for students, the museum will consult the school’s curriculum and syllabus, prepare courseware for teachers, and strive to connect the highlights of the collection of Chinese cultural relics with the school’s teaching content and the real life of American children.

    As Tornut said, in today’s world, people need a little more empathy and understanding for each other and other cultures, and she hopes “when students leave the museum, Appreciation and respect for Chinese culture and history.”

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