Speech by H.E. Mr. Hua Junduo, Ambassador of China to India at the Inauguration of 'Selected Chinese Prints of the 20th Century' Wednesday, September 29, 2004, at 6:00 P.M. At Lalit Kala Academi

Ms. Neena Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Culture,
Prof. R.B. Bhaskaran, Chairman of Lalit Kala Academi,
Dr. Sudhakar Sharma, Secretary of Lalit Kala Academi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

In celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese Embassy in India has the great pleasure in  jointly holding the Chinese prints exhibition 'Selected Chinese Prints of the 20th Century' with Lalit Kala Akademi. I wish to extend my warmest welcome to you all for attending this opening ceremony. In particular, I would like to express my heart-felt thanks to Ms. Neena Ranjan, Secretary of Information, Broadcasting and Culture, for his presence this evening. I would also like to thank Prof. R.B. Bhaskaran, Dr. Sudhakar Sharma and their colleagues for the efforts they have made to make the exhibition possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The woodblock prints of China enjoy a history of over 2000 years. It was popular in the Tang Dynasty dating back to 7th century A.D., fully developed in the Song and Yuan Dynasties about 1000 years ago, and reached its height in the Ming Dynasty in 15th century A.D.. However, it gradually declined in the Qing Dynasty when other printing techniques like lithography entered China. In the 20th Century, this time-honored art went into another flourishing era, showcasing intensive characteristics of the times. China's woodblock prints in the last century could be divided into four periods. Before 1931, it basically followed the tradition of ancient techniques and contents. The painter and carver worked separately. The year 1931 witnessed a turning point when Mr. Lu Xun, a famous Chinese writer, launched the New Print Movement. Print artists, who were both painters and carvers, began to sprout. From that time to the founding of the New China in 1949, the content of Chinese prints mainly focused on the liberation cause of the Chinese People and gradually evolved a style of its own. From 1950 to 1979, China's new print art came into its heyday with the creative theme on New China's development and more complicated techniques. Since 1980, the Reform and Opening-up Policy has injected more energy and vigor into China's print art. Frequent international exchanges have provided nutrition to its development. The print art of China has entered a most diverse period.
Selected Chinese Prints of the 20th Century showcases 100 art works carefully selected from thousands of print works produced over the past century. The scale of this collection is unparalleled in the history of Chinese prints. Today, I am very honored to present this exhibition to you, hoping that you would find it helpful in learning more about the print art of China as well as China itself.

Ambassador Hua Junduo (C) with Ms. Neena Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Culture of India (R) and Prof. R.B. Bhaskaran, Chairman of Lalit Kala Academi of India (L) at the exhibition

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and India have friendly relations for over two thousand years. The constant cultural exchanges have helped both great nations enrich and develop our own culture. China and India are both big countries in Asia. The good relationship between our two countries not only serves the interest of our two peoples, but also has great impact on the peace and stability in Asia and the world. I believe the cultural exchanges of this sort will continue to help our two great nations make positive contributions to our mutual understanding.

In this spirit, I wish this exhibition a great success!
Thank you!

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