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Contemporary art show unveils Xinjiang's rich cultural tapestry

Li Qiong


Step into a captivating journey through Xinjiang's diverse landscapes and vibrant culture at the Beijing Times Art Museum's latest contemporary art exhibition. Inspired by the region's unique elements, artists have masterfully crafted a visual symphony that mirrors Xinjiang's historical significance and cultural opulence.

"One of the most important impressions was Xinjiang's diverse landscapes – grasslands, snow-capped mountains, deserts, sand dunes, and lakes. It felt like the land was truly vast," shares Liu Weiwei, Vice Executive Director of the Times Art Museum.

"There Is Salt 2" by Li Yongzheng /CGTN

"There Is Salt 2" by Li Yongzheng /CGTN

More than 2,000 years ago, Zhang Qian's explorations forged China's connection to the Western world. The Silk Road, an ancient route linking vast landscapes and diverse cultures, served as a commercial and cultural crossroads – a vital hub for exchange between Eastern and Western civilizations.

"Robotic Reasoning" by Chen Baoyang /CGTN

"Robotic Reasoning" by Chen Baoyang /CGTN

"Contemporary art aims to unveil traditional elements using a language familiar to younger generations, rather than simply replicating tradition," Liu continues. "The first artwork, titled 'Robotic Reasoning,' appears highly technological, and requires the viewer to move around for optimal viewing. From different angles and perspectives, people see different types of content that express Xinjiang as a vital part of China's extensive cultural history."

A popular exhibition hall allows visitors to immerse themselves in Xinjiang's landscapes and art.

"The Resonance of Weaving Road" by Zhao Yan /CGTN

"The Resonance of Weaving Road" by Zhao Yan /CGTN

"When we walked over here, we thought it might be a musical instrument," says visitor Li Jun. "Drawing open the curtain, you can see there are buttons for playing music, including hand drums and even rock music. Different kinds of instruments play when activated, creating a sense of being in the Western Regions."

As Liu Weiwei explains, the inspiration for the piece came from a local instrument called the tobshuur, which is believed to be a living fossil of plucked instruments with over a thousand years of history. Artist Zhao Yan incorporated various well-known pieces of Xinjiang music, allowing visitors to enjoy indigenous melodies in a modern form.

By showcasing the diverse charms of Xinjiang, the organizers hope to spark visitors' curiosity and encourage more people to explore this fascinating Chinese territory and its rich history and culture.

The exhibition runs till the end of February at the Beijing Times Art Museum.

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