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French art historian: hope France holds exhibitions to boost Sino-French art exchanges

"There have been many interesting speeches and communications in these two days. I believe everyone agrees that dialogues are needed between civilizations and cultures." Philippe Cinquini, a professor at Shanghai International Studies University and researcher at Xu Beihong Art Research Institute, Renmin University of China, said in an interview with GDToday at the 2023 Beijing Culture Forum on September 15.

Cinquini's academic research focuses on French and European art history and its relationship with China during the 17th to 20th centuries, as well as specialized research on Sino-French relations in the 20th century.

He pointed out that one of the keys to the exchange between different civilizations is education, and France and China had forged a deep relationship through fine arts in the last century. Many Chinese artists went to France to study fine arts and advance Chinese art to gain a foothold in modernity with what they learned.

"This idea of modernity in art counts and is the mark of the 20th century. And we will continue to want to talk about it in China," he noted, "Because it is a subject that marks this deep friendship between France and China, between us civilizations, through arts, fine arts and history."

The 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China. In celebration of this occasion, Cinquini and his research team plan to hold an exhibition that will retrace the great history of artistic relations between Chinese and French artists in the 20th century.

Cinquini hopes that France will develop interesting exhibitions related to Sino-French relations in fields like art history. As an example, he mentioned a Chinese exhibition held at the Museum of Jeu de Paume in Paris and organized by Chinese painter Xu Beihong and French curator Andre Dezarrois. Famous French writer Paul Valéry wrote the preface to the exhibition's catalogue that "From now on, Chinese artists have two pasts, theirs and ours, namely the Chinese past and the past of the Europeans."

"So, I believe that we French should do the same, so that we can look back at our past, and better understand our culture and the past of Chinese art," he furthered.

Reporter: Monica, Holly

Video: Qin Shaolong

Editor: Olivia, Jerry

Sylvie (intern) also contributed to this story.

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