Traditional art draws tourists and boosts ties

Manoharan (in red) listening to explanations on the exhibits by Mei (in blue) at CCCKL. — Photos: YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

Calligraphy, craft, photography and music exhibition promotes travel to China’s Jiangxi province

With the fine tip of her calligraphy brush, Fang Li, 48, a full-time Chinese artist from Nanchang, Jiangxi, drew a bevy of admirers as she painted a lotus flower on a silk fan.

Beside her, a calligrapher wrote Chinese idioms on paper scrolls.

And just a few metres opposite her, a quartet gave a performance with their traditional Chinese musical instruments.

This was the scene greeting guests at the launch of an exhibition featuring calligraphy, ceramic art and photographs at the China Cultural Centre, Kuala Lumpur (CCCKL).

Visitors were able to see the works of calligraphers and artists from Jiangxi, China’s south-eastern inland province.

A ceramic art section featuring the work of ceramic craftsmen from Jingdezhen, a prefecture-level city in Jiangxi, was the exhibition highlight.

Some of the ceramic collections at the exhibition at the China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur.Some of the ceramic collections at the exhibition at the China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

A photography collection displaying the province’s popular tourist spots, landscapes, historical monuments and heritage was also set up for visitors.

The launch of the exhibition was held to promote tourism of Jiangxi, which received over 800 million tourists last year.

Event guests of honour included those from China and Malaysia, as well as representatives and heads of several travel industry associations.

Jiangxi Provincial Department Culture and Tourism director- general Mei Yi was present to announce some special incentives for tourists.

“Tourists born in the Year of the Dragon worldwide can enjoy free admission to 121 state-owned scenic spots rated 4A and 5A within the Jiangxi province during their birthday month this year,” she said.

The top two categories refer to the country’s five-tiered rating system for tourist sites, in terms of safety, sanitation and transport.

A quartet performing on their traditional Chinese instruments at the exhibition.A quartet performing on their traditional Chinese instruments at the exhibition.

In addition to discounts and rewards, telecommunication operators in China would also offer special data plans and communication services, she added.

China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing spoke about the visa-free policy that would ease travel arrangements between the two countries.

This reciprocal visa-waiver programme allows Malaysians to stay in China for up to 15 days visa-free and for Chinese nationals to remain in Malaysia for up to 30 days.

The programme will expire in December.

“Data shows that since the implementation of the visa exemption, Chinese tourists travelling to Malaysia have reached an average of 250,000 people per month,” said Ouyang.

Another anticipated tourism bolster are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Jiangxi’s capital of Nanchang.

Fang attracted many admirers to her fan art.Fang attracted many admirers to her fan art.

Communist Party China’s Jiangxi Provincial Committee secretary Yin Hong said beginning April 26, Nanchang Changbei International Airport would launch direct flights to Kuala Lumpur.

This was confirmed by Tourism Malaysia director-general Manoharan Periasamy who expressed his gratitude to Jiangxi Southern International Travel Service Co. Ltd. and Batik Air on the signing of a cooperation agreement.

“The opening of the Kuala Lumpur-Nanchang route was very well received.

“The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is also optimistic with a target of seven million China tourists travelling to Malaysia,” said Manoharan.

As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of China-Malaysia diplomatic relations, China Cultural Centre director Zhang Jiexin expressed his views that the cultural exhibition would give Malaysians an opportunity to learn about Jiangxi as well as deepen existing bilateral relations.

Admission to the exhibition, which is until April 30, is free. The CCCKL is open from 10am to 4pm.

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