On 11 July, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) had a special group of visitors. An exclusive show of China Design Now, co-hosted by Ambassador Fu Ying, V&A Director Mark Johns and Dean of Diplomatic Corps Ambassador Al-Duwaisan of Kuwait, was held for diplomatic corps at V&A. More than 70 dignitaries, including Ambassadors of Bolivia, Indonesia, Luxemburg andCuba and officials from British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Treasury graced the occasion.
Ambassador Fu Ying started by thanking V&A Museum for supporting the exclusive show for diplomats and congratulated on the success of the four-month-long exhibition in London.
Since the beginning of the year, she said, cultural exchanges between China and Britain had been very active, with China Design Now being one of the China Now series starting from February. The 800-strong activities under China Now covered cultural, commercial and education fields and were the largest cultural exchange program between the two countries. From 28 July to 10 August, China Central Ballet Troupe and Guangzhou Soldiers’ Acrobatics Group would come to Britain with such fascinating shows as the Swan Lake and Raise the Red Lanterns. Deepened cultural interaction will contribute to further growth of China-UK relations.
Fu Ying said, as we have witnessed, all of a sudden, China has turned from a target of unwarranted accusations following the riots in Lhasa on 14 March into one of heroes in the aftermath of tragic earthquake in Sichuan on 12 May. The world is looking at China in different angles and China is also taking a new look at the world. The two need to understand each other a lot more to narrow the gap in perceptions of the other side.
Ambassador Fu expressed her confidence that the exhibition would help the British public better understand achievements in design in contemporary China and the economic, social and cultural changes behind them. This would help the British society understand today’s China better.
Visitors showed a strong interest in contemporary Chinese culture and spoke highly of the artists’ efforts to merge traditional Chinese culture with the art of modern design. They agreed that the unique show provided them a fresh look at the dramatic changes going on in China today.