SANFORD — Delicate but powerful images by contemporary artists from the People’s Republic of China will be on display in a special exhibition Nov. 19 at the Ernest and Ruby McSwain Center.
Central Carolina Community College and its Confucius Classroom host this unique exhibition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. The public is invited and admission is free.
The Chinese Art Exhibition features 25 paintings and 25 works of calligraphy by faculty of the College of Fine Arts at Nanjing Normal University. Some of the artists will attend the exhibition and demonstrate calligraphy and painting from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
The exhibition is coming to Sanford because of the partnership the college has with the Confucius Institute at N.C. State University. The college’s Confucius Classroom was created under the auspices of the Institute. NCSU is the first university in the United States to develop this type of partnership with a community college and Central Carolina is the first community college in the U.S. to have a Classroom. Professor Shuya Che, instructor for the Confucius Classroom, came to the college from her position as associate professor of Chinese linguistics and literature at Nanjing Normal University.
Guanglin Dai, Confucius Institute program manager at NCSU arranged for the exhibition to come to the college.
“This exhibition’s coming to Central Carolina Community College definitely strengthens the tie between NCSU, the Institute, Nanjing Normal University, and the Confucius Classroom at CCCC,” she said. “We plan to have this kind of event every year with the college.”
The Chinese artists featured in the exhibition are professors Lu Yue-zi, Chang Han-ping, and Wang Ji-an. Lu is a member of the Chinese Artists Association. His works have been shown in several national shows in China.
Chang is a member of the Chinese Calligrapher Association and a published author of books on Chinese calligraphy. His works have been shown in international exhibitions. Wang is the dean of the Calligraphy Department at Nanjing Normal University. He is also the vice chairman of the Calligraphy Education Committee under the Chinese Ministry of Education. Museums and cultural institutions collect his works internationally.
“We are delighted to bring this exhibition of Chinese painting and calligraphy to our area,” said Dr. Bud Marchant, president of Central Carolina Community College. “The partnership between our college’s Confucius Classroom and NCSU’s Confucius Institute is a growing one. We anticipate providing more opportunities for students, residents, business, and industry in our area to enjoy the cultural and economic benefits that will grow out of it.”
The Institute and Classroom are outreach programs of Han Ban, the People’s Republic of China’s National Office of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, and Nanjing Normal University. The programs are named for Confucius, the 6th-century Chinese philosopher who held education and wisdom as fundamental principles of life. They promote the learning of Chinese culture, Mandarin Chinese language, and intercultural exchanges.
The art exhibition will be at NCSU on Nov. 18, during the university’s International Week. After the visit to Sanford, it will make other stops before returning to China.
The McSwain Center is located at 2420 Tramway Road, Sanford.