On the evening of December 18, 2018, the Paper mulberry and ink: Printing Culture Exhibition of Zhejiang, with the Cultural Center of China in Paris (Centre Culturel de Chine à Paris) and Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism as the sponsor, and Zhejiang Library as organizer, kicked off in Paris, presenting to the French audience the long and splendid traditional printing art of Zhejiang through video, exhibition panels, engraving experience and some other ways.
Xu Jie, Secretary of the Party Committee of Zhejiang Library, said that printing, as one of China’s four great inventions and has had a positive impact on the development of world civilization. Zhejiang occupies an important position in the history of Chinese printing. The exhibition, in order of time, mainly shows the brilliant achievements and representative works in the printing history of Zhejiang, as well as the inheritance and development in the contemporary era.
The exhibition is divided into five parts, namely the engraved prints in Hangzhou, with Buddhist scriptures as the main content, from Five Dynasties (period from A. D. 907 to 960) and northern and southern Song dynasties, Official and Private Engraved Books in the Song and Yuan Dynasties, illustrated prints of Chinese opera novels and historical classics, Western Sinology, Sino-French exchanges and ancient techniques. The simulated samples of ancient books from Zhejiang Province prepared at the exhibition attracted many guests, with the images of engraving and printing books of various styles competing for visitors’ attention.
For the audience to have a more intuitive understanding of the Chinese engraving printing and book making skills by the audience, the exhibition prepared also interactive activities to experience engraving printing and thread-bound book binding, attracting many audiences to participate. Jacqueline, a French audience who produced two engravings in succession, was pleasantly surprised to see the clear images and smooth lines printed on the paper. "This exhibition is much fun, and the hands-on production is also very interesting." Jacqueline said.
To support the exhibition, the lecture themed The Organization and Achievement of Zhejiang Book Engraving was held at the Chinese Cultural Center in Paris on the 17th , offering a systematical presentation of the history and development of Zhejiang printing culture. On the 19th, the Center organized four classes (including 40 students from 6-14 years old) to participate in the Thread-bound Book + Engraving Printing workshop activity, allowing children to try it out, to experience Chinese printing culture firsthand, thus deepening their understanding of traditional Chinese printing technology and book making craftsmanship.
Yan Zhenquan, director of the Chinese Cultural Center in Paris, said that the exhibition is the finishing touch of the "France·Zhejiang Cultural Year", showing the cultural characteristics of Zhejiang, and successfully concluding this year's Cultural Year. According to Yan, in 2018, the Chinese Cultural Center in Paris and the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism co-launched nine cultural exchange activities featuring different themes, rich content, and diverse forms, by using the "France·Zhejiang Cultural Year" as the framework, including opera performances, silk exhibitions, calligraphy and painting exhibitions, photography exhibitions, lectures, etc. "This series of activities not only showcases Zhejiang's profound cultural background and rich cultural and tourism resources, but also tells 'Zhejiang Story' about continuous innovation and inheritance in the new era." Yan said.