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Haoxuezi Tian
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Exploring the Elegance of Chinese Characters: "Evolution of Chinese Characters" Exhibition Grandly Opens in London

April 20th marks the 15th United Nations Chinese Language Day. The ten-day "Evolution of Chinese Characters" Exhibition and the series of events for the United Nations Chinese Language Day have launched in London. The exhibition is organised by the Chinese Embassy in the UK, co-organised by Art and Design Press, National Museum of Chinese Writing, School of Foreign Languages (Tongji University) and the Beijing International Chinese College.

The opening ceremony attracted numerous guests and attendees from the UK, who have keen interests in Chinese culture and learning the Chinese language, including Minister Yang Xiaoguang and Minister Counsellor Xia Yuzi from the Chinese Embassy in the UK, Qian Zhu, President and Editor-in-Chief of Art & Design Press, Professor Wu Yun from School of Foreign Languages (Tongji University), Dr. Frances Wood, the British sinologist, librarian and historian.

The exhibition is supported by the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication (University of Reading), Nouvelles d'Europe UK Edition, Hangzhou Jicheng Culture & Art Co., Ltd, HengYuanXiang (Group) CO., LTD and YANGHE. Through the exploration of Chinese characters, they gained insights into the profound and extensive history of Chinese civilisation and experienced the openness and inclusivity of modern-day China.

Chinese characters have played an incredibly significant role in the inheritance and development of Chinese historical and cultural traditions. The history of Chinese characters can be traced back to at least the Xia Dynasty, with the discovery of oracle bone inscriptions in the Yin ruins of Anyang, China, some 120 years ago. These inscriptions provided a glimpse into the basic features of language and writing during the Shang Dynasty. Throughout history, the stability and continuity of the Chinese character system have enabled the sustained development and preservation of Chinese historical and cultural heritage in its pristine form. It is this enduring spirit of Chinese culture that continues to shine brightly, unbroken and uninterrupted, to this day.

During the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in a series of special events, including a lecture on Talk on Eastern and Western culture guided by Professor Wu Yun from the School of Foreign Languages (Tongji University) on April 21st,  Seal cutting experience event will be guided by a professional from China National Academy of Painting on April 24th, Talk on Diverse Writing Systems in China delivered by Dr. Cheng Xunchang from the University of Reading on April 27th, and Talk on traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese culture by Ke Songxuan, the Director of the Asante Academy of Chinese Medicine on April 28th.

Through the medium of Chinese characters and the bridge of friendship, the exhibition and series of activities serve as a grand event for Sino-British cultural exchange. The diverse and fascinating experience of Chinese character culture builds a communication bridge between the two countries, facilitating the integration and collision of Eastern and Western cultures. Chinese and British audiences can personally experience the enduring heritage and aesthetic charm of Chinese characters, evoking a cultural resonance between the two nations.

Haoxuezi TianKailun Sui

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