Feature: Bridging cultures: Italian curator's mission to connect Italy and China through art

  • World
  • Friday, 24 May 2024

ROME, May 23 (Xinhua) -- In the heart of Turin, Italy, stands a museum of oriental art, which serves as a unique bridge between the Southern European country and China. At the helm of the museum is Davide Quadrio, an Italian curator whose life's work has been fostering cultural exchanges between these two ancient civilizations.

The Asian Art Museum in Turin, with its impressive collection of nearly 2,300 works spanning from the Neolithic era to the early 20th century, holds a special place in Quadrio's heart. Among its five rooms dedicated to permanent exhibitions, the Chinese section stands out, showcasing hundreds of ancient artifacts from the Han, Tang, and Yuan dynasties. For Quadrio, this collection is the museum's soul, and a testament to the enduring influence of Chinese culture on his life and work.

This year, the museum unveiled a landmark exhibition called "Translation and Tradition of Eurasia", commemorating the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo's death. The exhibition, which opened in April, features an array of blue and white ceramic wares, meticulously curated to reconstruct the legendary Italian traveler's journey along the ancient Silk Road. Quadrio sees this exhibition as a modern-day tribute to Marco Polo's legacy, celebrating the historical and cultural bonds that have long united Italy and China.

Quadrio's journey into Chinese culture began after his graduation from Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Fascinated by the rich tapestry of Chinese heritage, he moved to China in 1991, immersing himself in its vibrant art scene. In 1998, he founded the Bizart Art Center in Shanghai, an independent nonprofit creative laboratory that became a crucible of artistic innovation. For over a decade, Quadrio nurtured this space, transforming it into a beacon of cultural dialogue.

In 2021, Quadrio brought his passion and vision back to Italy, taking on the role of director at the Asian Art Museum in Turin.

"China is the most important source of inspiration for my artistic life," Quadrio said.

Quadrio's mission extends beyond exhibitions. He is also a fervent advocate for a broader understanding of cultural diversity, stressing the importance of accurate and comprehensive information.

"It's unforgivable that some people in the Western world have partial information about what's happening in the rest of the world," he said. For Quadrio, the museum's role is crucial in promoting mutual understanding and facilitating global dialogues.

By activating collaborations with Asian cultures, Quadrio believes that museums can play a vital role in bridging gaps, and building a foundation for mutual respect and cooperation.

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