Former Chinese table tennis Olympic champion Deng Yaping plays table tennis with UN staff at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday. The event is considered as the opening for a series of themed events to promote Chinese culture in New York City. (Hong Xiao / China Daily)
Chinese art was celebrated at United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday night.
"No place is better than the United Nations to promote Chinese culture," said the organizers.
The Chinese Arts Gala was jointly held by the China Institute Renwen Society in New York and the China Foundation for the Development of Social Culture, with sponsorship from China's JNC Group, a liquor company.
Ye Xiaogang, chairman of the Chinese Musicians Association, said that with an aim to share the beauty of Chinese culture with the world, the event was trying to tell China's story through performing Peking Opera, calligraphy, tai chi and displaying ceramic artwork, to spread China's voice and send the best wishes to the people of the world as the New Year approaches.
Demonstrations and performances included Zhang Tielin, dean of the arts college of Jinan University and a renowned artist and calligrapher, Li Yugang, China's national Class-A performer, Peking Opera artist Wang Zige; and Chinese musicians and kung fu practitioners.
Ye praised the event as an open window that allows people of the world to intuitively experience Chinese art.
"Hopefully, on this platform, people from different countries, races and cultures can make ideological connections or resonances through the bond of art, and then promote the development and innovation of art," said Ye.
Besides the gala, two other events have been and will be held separately as parts of the tour, which was opened by former Chinese table tennis Olympic champion Deng Yaping. She shared her athletic career and thoughts on the role that ping pong has played in Chinese diplomacy, in a speech at the UN in the afternoon on the same day.
On Tuesday, Ye Xiaogang and Zhang Tielin will be giving speeches at Columbia University in New York. The speeches will focus on "comparison and reflection of contemporary Eastern and Western music" and "calligraphy and acting" respectively.
"We hope that through promoting Chinese culture, we can further help the soft diplomacy of China as a big country and build a broad platform for world friendship," said Wang Jiangxin, a representative from JNC Group.