UN salutes China in art

Updated: 2015-04-21 14:58

By AMY HE in New York(China Daily USA)

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UN salutes China in art

Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Wang Min (center) makes a speech in celebration of the 2015 United Nations Chinese Language Day at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. Xu Yongji (third from left), education counselor for the Chinese Consulate General in New York, and Yang Xiaoyang (fourth from left), president of China National Academy of Panting, also attended the event. Han Meng / For China Daily.

The UN celebrated Chinese Language Day on Monday with an art exhibition featuring work by Chinese and Chinese-American artists.

The May In China: Silk Road United Nations Exhibition featured oil and watercolor paintings from artists across China and those living overseas, and is a "grand celebration of Chinese and American artists, demonstrating their care and promotion of China's cultural heritage", said Yang Xiaoyang, president of the China National Academy of Painting, one of the organizers of the exhibition, in a statement.

The UN celebrates Chinese Language Day annually to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that the day was created to promote equal use of all six official languages used by the organization.

"The Chinese language has already transformed into a kind of art. This is one of the most unique and beautiful languages in the world," said Ambassador Wang Min, deputy permanent representative of China to the United Nations.

"Chinese includes both rich philosophy and real core of Chinese cultures. Several millions and thousands of Chinese words are vital and energetic, which means each word has a unique meaning," he said. The language plays a great role in improving the cooperation and communication between China and the rest of the countries in the world, Wang added.

At the beginning of the establishment of the United Nations, Chinese was chosen as one of the official languages. China gained a permanent seat at the UN in 1971 and by 1973, Chinese was chosen as one of the working languages of the organization.

Established in 2010, Chinese Language Day is celebrated every year on April 20, a date chosen to pay tribute to Cang Jie, a mythical figure who is said to have invented Chinese characters 5,000 years ago, according to the UN.

Xu Yongji, education counselor for the Chinese Consulate General in New York, said that those who learn Chinese can better understand Chinese culture, and in a time of great US-China trade relations, learning the language is practical as well.

The exhibition is a joint effort between the China National Academy of Painting, Chinese Artists Association, American Artists Association, the Asia Culture Center, New Jersey Academy of Art, the Princeton Art Education Institution, and others.

The exhibition is a way to "showcase Chinese culture on the global stage," said Zhou Yong, president of the American Artist Association. "The artists from China, led by Mr Yang Xiaoyang, president of the China National Academy of Painting, are once again hosting this grand exhibition with a Silk Road theme, sending the message to the world, 'Silk Road, the road to peace'," he added.