Art workshops in Greek museum brings Chinese culture closer to children

29 May 2017
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Two art workshops brought Greek children closer to the enchanting culture of China at the Museum Herakleidon in Athens on Sunday, in the context of celebrations for the China-Greece Cultural Exchanges and Cultural Industry Cooperation Year in 2017.

Dragon myths, landscape paintings and symbols from China inspired children to use their minds and imagination to explore the multifaceted cultural wealth of China.

Children were excited to listen to the tale of the four great dragons. For storyteller Vassilia Vaxevani, who curated the workshop of the storytelling, the theme of the dragon was something that intrigued her, according to Xinhua.

“Many children are afraid of the dragons, as in the European culture they are usually portrayed as fire breathing evil creatures. The Chinese dragon, though, is a spiritual and cultural symbol that represents prosperity and good luck,” she said.

After they heard the myth, children drew their own dragon and narrated their own story.

“My Golden Dragon has extraordinary powers and helps weak people,” Fanis, six years old, told Xinhua showing his drawing.

“All the children really enjoyed this activity. They all took part and used their imagination to create their own story. It was creative and they loved it,” Dimitris Savvidis, whose daughter attended the workshop, told Xinhua.

During the other session, children learnt about the meanings of balance and symmetry by using one of the most recognizable symbols in the Chinese philosophy, the principle of Yin and Yang.

“Children were very interested in learning Chinese symbols, landscape painting and calligraphy,” visual artist Eleni Papadaki who curated the art workshop told Xinhua.

For the celebrations of the China-Greece Cultural Exchanges and Cultural Industry Cooperation Year,the Museum Herakleidon prepared a series of art seminars for children, which run from February to May.

Through two and three-dimensional works, young artists from five to eight years old created a replica of the Great Wall of China with paper tapes, newspapers, and clay. It was initiated in the art of engraving and the Chinese landscape painting.

“Children were very interested in learning about the Chinese fine arts, especially the landscape painting. The techniques Chinese artists use are very different from what we are used to,” Papadaki said.

“With these workshops, the aim is to introduce Chinese history and culture to young children,” she stressed.

But what impressed her the most was that Greek children knew about the Chinese civilization and many of them were learning Chinese as a second language.

From September 2017 through January 2018, the Museum Herakleidon will present the exhibition “Ancient Chinese Science and Technology” of China Science and Technology Museum(CSTM).

Meanwhile, the CSTM in Beijing will host the exhibition “EUREKA — Science, Art and Technology of the Ancient Greeks”, organized by the Museum Herakleidon in collaboration with the Association for the Study of Ancient Greek Technology.

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