In the evening of March 26, the visiting Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, accompanied by Head Commissioner Liu YanDong of the Culture Department of Zhejiang Province, toured the “Silk onthe Silk Road” exhibition, which was hosted by the China National Silk Museum.This exhibition is a part of the Sino-Egyptian Culture Year program:“Conversations between two Great Cultures—the new Silk Road”.
China and Egypt were both host to great ancient civilizations. In 2014, during President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s visit to China, the two countries sign the agreement “Regarding the establishment of Strategic Cooperation”, and decided to name 2016 the Sino-Egyptian Culture year, a year in which the two great cultures engage in“Civilized Conversations”. On January 21, President Xi Jinping and Presidentel-Sisi met on the plaza of the great Luxor Temple to celebrate the 60th year of diplomatic relationships and to formally begin the 2016 Sino-Egyptian Culture year.
The “Silk on the Silk Road” exhibition opened curtains at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Cairo, in the evening of March 26. This event was hosted by Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China, co-hosted by China Arts and Entertainment Group and Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture, assisted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo, carried out by China National Silk Museum.
China’s silk, having already gone through 5 thousand years of history, is crucially important for the development of Chinese culture, and global civilization. As the bridge connecting East and West, the Silk Road is not only a road for silk trade, but also a medium for the cultural and political exchange among many nations. The purpose of “Silk onthe Silk Road” exhibition is, namely, to broadcast Silk Road culture, respond to the development of the new Silk Road, and advance of Sino-Egyptian cultural exchange. This exhibition carefully selected 54 pieces of ancient and modern artwork related to the Silk Road and silk production. Through the discussion and display of following: history of the Silk Road, spreading of the Silk road, weaving techniques, silkworm domestication, etc., this exhibition displays the beauty of China’s silk and the long history of China’s domestication of silkworms. Artist Zhang ShiJun of Ningbo performed live the “Gold-Silver Embroidery” technique, one that is categorized as a National Non-Material Cultural Relic, to add to the Chinese characteristics of the exhibition.
After the exhibition, Vice Premier Liu YanDong,together with more than 200 Egyptian guests, watched the “Conversations between two Great Cultures—the new Silk Road” performance. Planned out by the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture, with China National Silk Museum’s “Chinese Rainbow Costume” performance as prologue, seven models, each wearing exceptionally made Chinese silk costumes, performed thrice: “Silk Road Dream”,“Blooming of Youth”, and “the Chinese Impression”. This performance enabled the audience to experience in person the beauty and sophistication behind ancient China’s silk. Vice Premier Liu YanDong said, “This was an incredible performance.One of the best!”
The “New Silk Road” event, with silk and the Silk Road as an intermediary, is a hugely important milestone in Sino-Egyptian cultural exchange. The exhibition and the fashion show, hosted by Zhejiang Province,proved vital in the event’s ultimate success.(translated by Bi Ran)
China National Silk Museum’s workers preparing for the exhibition