Gen Zers see the power of art in connecting the world

Gen Zers see the power of art in connecting the world

BEIJING, July 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Culture and art can bring minds and the world together. With this in mind, the second episode of season three of the China Daily series Youth Power, “Unlocking the power of art: How cultural exchanges can connect the world,” was broadcast online on July 30.

Gen Zers from China, Italy, Russia, South Korea and Thailand gathered at the Dalian campus of the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts and discussed how artistic beauty can bring the world together and how to face the challenges that artificial intelligence present to art.

What is the essence of beauty? What unique influence does Chinese art have on Gen Zers? What spiritual pursuits are reflected in Chinese art and aesthetics?

In this episode of Youth Power, each Gen Z guest brought an art piece that they believed would best represent the Chinese concept of art and beauty. In doing so they gained a deeper understanding of Chinese aesthetics, philosophy and culture.

Giacomo Bruni, an Italian studying at the China Academy of Art in Beijing, said brushes are the most important tools in expressing Chinese culture because they are central to calligraphy, writing poetry and painting.

“Like the hardness of the handle and the softness of the hair, the brush encapsulates the idea of yin and Yang,” Bruni said. The brush not only encapsulates the creativity of the world, but also epitomizes the profound ancient Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, he said.

Song De‘ao, a Chinese Gen Zer, chose the official mascots for Chinese winter sports designed by a team at the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts as his ideal representation of Chinese aesthetics.

Song, a member of the design team, recalled the inspiration for the mascot Xue Wa, which wears tiger-head hats, tiger-head shoes, and cloud patterns and longevity locks on the clothing. “The mascots reflect the lively and cheerful aesthetics in modern China,” Song said.

Jiratchaya Phinyoworakul, a Thai studying at Fudan University in Shanghai, highlighted two features that distinguish Chinese artworks from those of other countries and cultures: cultural extensiveness and profoundness as well as a philosophy centering on harmony between humankind and nature.

The program host, Zhong Yutong, said it is through exchanges that Chinese arts increase in vibrancy and vitality.

“Chinese arts have so much to offer. And we’ve had wonderful exchanges with different arts and civilizations across the world.”

Bruni said art Chinese art is all-encompassing, perfectly merging all types of art. He cited Chinese literati paintings, a kind of painting that expresses feelings and aspirations through natural scenery, as an example, illustrating that “they unify the intellectual world and the practical art world, which is something that is missing in Western countries”.

Program guests said there is no absolute definition of art and no universally recognized standard of beauty. Lian Liia, a student from Russia, said “the standard of art is changing in the art history, but there is one thing that has never changed, namely people’s pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty”.

Phinyoworakul said art is tantamount to comfort. “Even little things can be art. A smile on your face, a flower, sunshine, everything can be art. Art is in our everyday life.”

Concerning the combination and contradiction of traditional art and fast-developing AI art creation, Bruni said artists screen information like filters of society. They find beauty and create art, but do not mechanically record and present everything around them. However, this is not true of AI, because it cannot grasp the concept of beauty.

Sun Yuxin of China said AI could positively influence the development of art. “AI saves a lot of time for artists, and it helps them with a lot of basic work.”

Gen Zers have also contributed their wisdom in helping the world appreciate the beauty of Chinese art. Promoting Chinese aesthetics through social media could help people understand it more directly, Phinyoworakul said.

Lian Liia, a student at the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University in Beijing, said, “We can promote Chinese culture as a lifestyle. For example, doing calligraphy or drinking tea to experience Chinese culture in our daily life.”

Youth Power, organized by China Daily and first broadcast in June 2021, aims to build a global platform of communication and exchange, focusing on the interests and ideas of Generation Z. The program comes in the form of interviews, forums and speeches, with topics related to anything of current interest in the world.

SOURCE China Daily

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