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Documentary frames international artists in China

By YANG FEIYUE| China Daily| Updated: November 29, 2023 L M S


Giacomo Bruni from Italy practices traditional painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province. CHINA DAILY

A documentary featuring international artists in China recently aired on Bilibili and several other online platforms.

Journey to China: Resonance of Art was a joint effort between the international department of People's Daily and film production company Figure.

It focused on the study, work, and lives of young international artists in China with the aim of presenting the significant role of cultural exchange and mutual learning in fostering artistic development from a unique perspective.

"For many people, the perception might still be focused on Chinese artists going abroad to study and create," says Cao Yanhong, the documentary's producer.

"After thorough research and understanding, we found numerous examples around us of foreign artists who have begun living and creating artworks in China, which is worth documenting," Cao adds.

Allan Denis Naymark is one of the three artists featured in the film. He is among many Western artists who have stayed in the capital of porcelain, Jingdezhen, East China's Jiangxi province, to pursue the art.

Influenced by his archaeologist father, Naymark developed a strong interest in ancient Chinese ceramics as a youth and started learning pottery at the age of 8.

He came to Jingdezhen to pursue ceramics art and has been there since 2015.

"It's nice that people from all over the world in the field of ceramic art gather here," Naymark says.

He is drawn to the rich history of ceramics, vibrant artistic atmosphere and well-established industry in Jingdezhen.

He says Jingdezhen has become a source of artistic inspiration for him.

"In the future, I want to establish a large studio to attract artists from all over the world here," he says.

Armenian violinist Astghik Poghosyan also featured in the documentary. Her childhood dream was realized when she got to study violin at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2009.

She longed to visit China as a child, influenced by Hua Mulan, a legendary heroine from the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-581).

"China is Mulan's hometown, and I felt I must go and see it," she says.

After graduation, she successfully applied for a work permit in Shanghai and joined the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra as an assistant to the conductor.

For the past 14 years, Poghosyan has been exposed to Chinese culture, learning crafts, playing music, enjoying cuisine, and experiencing the friendliness of the people.

She often gets together with her professors and students from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, either for holidays or someone's birthday.

"Shanghai indeed is a place where my dream started," she says.

Giacomo Bruni from Italy showed his affection for traditional Chinese painting in the documentary.

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