On Tuesday, Chinese artist Wang Huiqin held an exhibition in honor of Alma Karlin, a Slovenian writer who undertook a solo journey around the world, including China, a century ago. The exhibition features 23 paintings by Wang, who has been living in Slovenia for 40 years and has created various artworks that bridge Slovenian and Chinese cultures. In addition, she is a professor at the University of Ljubljana, where she teaches calligraphy and Chinese art.
Wang’s recent contributions to the Alma Karlin project include illustrating a bilingual children’s book about Karlin in 2020 and creating an animated film that was screened at the exhibition opening. The film is available in both Slovenian and Chinese versions and will be presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany in October.
Wang has been working on the Alma Karlin project since 2019, and according to her, not enough people know about Karlin, who was a courageous Slovenian woman who traveled around the world by herself.
At the exhibition, Wang’s paintings pay tribute to Karlin’s journey and reflect her experiences in China, including her observations of people’s lifestyles and local customs. The pieces on display highlight Wang’s expertise in brushwork, color schemes, and overall composition.
Wang’s use of the Chinese ink and wash painting style imbues the paintings with a unique aesthetic and amplifies the exhibition’s cultural exchange. The combination of Chinese artistry with Slovenian subject matter allows for a fusion of different perspectives and artistic approaches.
In addition to the exhibition’s artistic merit, the Alma Karlin project has significant cultural and historical importance. Karlin’s journey took place during a time when travel was not as easy as it is today, especially for women. She documented her experiences in a series of books that continue to be read today, making her an inspiration to generations of explorers and writers alike.
The exhibition’s opening ceremony was attended by various guests, including Slovenian officials and representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Slovenia. The event’s presence and attention highlight the impact that art can have in promoting cultural understanding and appreciation.
Wang’s exhibition is a testament to the power of art to bridge cultures and celebrate the achievements of extraordinary individuals like Alma Karlin. The artwork and film present a unique opportunity for people to learn more about Karlin’s legacy and appreciate the exchange of ideas between Slovenia and China.
According to Zhao Binghui, counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Slovenia, Wang Huiqin has been actively promoting cultural exchanges between Slovenia and China for a long time. Zhao expressed that art and culture transcend borders, traverse countries, and connect hearts, and hoped that Wang would continue to create more artworks to contribute to bilateral exchanges between the two countries.
At the opening of the exhibition, Ales Musar, the husband of Slovenia’s President Natasa Pirc Musar, praised Alma Karlin as one of the first women to travel the world solo, with two of her novels taking place in China. He acknowledged her longest travel lasted for 9 years. He emphasized the importance of recognizing that the connection between Slovenia and China has no burdens from the past and that the two countries share a beautiful relationship.
The opening ceremony also featured speeches from other distinguished guests, including representatives from the University of Ljubljana, where Wang teaches. The attendees noted the exhibition’s significance in promoting cultural exchanges and understanding between Slovenia and China.
Through this exhibition, Wang Huiqin hopes to deepen the understanding and appreciation of Slovenian and Chinese cultures, as well as to pay tribute to Alma Karlin’s contributions to literature and exploration. Her artworks highlight the connections between the two countries and celebrate their shared history and future potential.
The exhibition’s duration until June 5th provides ample time for people to visit and experience the artwork. Visitors will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the stories and symbolism conveyed through the paintings and gain insights into the fascinating life of Alma Karlin.
Moreover, the exhibition’s showcase of Wang’s expertise in calligraphy and Chinese art will offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn more about these art forms and their significance in Chinese culture.
In addition to the exhibition, Wang’s bilingual children’s book and animated film about Alma Karlin have contributed to increasing awareness and appreciation of Slovenian and Chinese cultures. Such efforts are essential in fostering cultural exchange and understanding, which contribute to mutual respect and friendship between nations.
The continued efforts of artists like Wang Huiqin, who use their talents to promote cross-cultural understanding, are crucial in building bridges between nations. The exhibition’s impact will extend beyond its physical duration and contribute to strengthening the cultural ties between Slovenia and China for years to come.