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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair opens a window into Chinese culture

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair opens a window into Chinese culture
3 May 2024 09:05


In efforts to foster closer Emirati-Chinese relations through literature, particularly through translated works, the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024) is witnessing a notable Chinese cultural presence.

The book fair witnesses the participation of 70 guests from China, including writers, publishers, translators, and representatives of 80 Chinese publishing houses.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), this event runs until May 5 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Among the events showcased at the 465-square-metre Chinese pavilion is an exhibition titled “China Today Intangible Cultural Heritage”, hosted by Silk Road Boya Painting and Calligraphy Institute.

One of the featured porcelain artists is Chen Quing, a holder of a doctorate in design and lecturer at Jingdezhen Ceramic University.

She represents the fifth generation of ceramic artists from the Chinese Fu family, known for their century-long history of porcelain-making.

“We come from Jingdezhen, a famous city in China, considered to be the capital of ceramics, known for its white and blue-coloured plates and tea cup sets. In our city, we have a factory dedicated to making ceramics, especially for royalty, for over 600 years,” Chen told Aletihad.

Detailing the craft, she said that ceramics pieces are hand-painted and decorated, often featuring motifs like lotus, birds and natural scenes. “The Chinese people love the lotus flower, as it symbolises peace in China,” she said.

“Chinese people believe that simplicity is better, as it represents nature, which is a universal theme. We like to use simple colours in ceramics, and we consider ceramics to be a very ancient traditional art in China. You may not know about Chinese ceramics, but you can see it from museums around the world.”

Another Chinese ceramic artist participating in the fair in the Chinese pavilion is Fu Changmin, who has a personal museum in China.

She said that the fair offered an opportunity to familiarise Chinese culture to the Arab world, especially to offer a first-hand look into the world of ceramics.

Also speaking to Aletihad is Amira Nie, from the China International Publishing Group, who learned Arabic for 10 years.

“We have a lot of books here, including children’s books, politics, and fiction. Most of them are in English, and others are translated into Arabic. We have heard that many schools are teaching Chinese here. This is the reason why we brought some Chinese books here.”

She said that the fair serves as a cultural bridge. “We want to share our culture, language, and literature with the Arab people. We also want to learn more about their culture.”

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