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2021 UK-China Contemporary Culture Festival launched


The British Council launched the 2021 UK-China Contemporary Culture Festival on September 1. Titled #ReConnect, this year’s edition is a hybrid festival featuring work by leading British art and cultural organizations and artists via online and offline platforms, offering audiences in China an opportunity to reconnect with British art. Organized by the British Council, the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and sponsored by the Welsh Government, the festival will present nearly 40 cultural performances and projects online and offline in multiple cities across China between 1 and 20 September 2021.

2021 UK-China Contemporary Culture Festival titled #ReConnect. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

“We are delighted to be a partner of the British Council, supporting the 2021 UK-China Contemporary Culture Festival to give people in China an opportunity to experience three wonderful examples of art and culture from Wales. The theme of the festival, reconnecting, is more important now than ever – reconnecting with our environment and our communities, both locally and across borders. I hope our contribution to the festival will encourage audiences to do just that, building new cultural connections between our two nations,” said Rt Hon Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales.

Focusing on three different themes, the Festival will encourage audiences to #ReConnect with nature, community, and the self through a variety of exhibitions, talks, panel discussions, film screenings, and performances. #ReConnect with Nature will explore the deep relationship between humans and nature; #ReConnect with Community will explore the connection and consequence of human experience and our community, and #ReConnect with Self will support individuals to increase empathy and self-awareness.

Highlight projects under #ReConnect with Nature include:

  • British visual artist Celyn Bricker’s first solo exhibition in China is titled The Fifth Season. Bringing together interactive, AI-generated artworks, paintings, and prototypes, the exhibition held in Beijing will explore our relationship with nature and new technology.
  • An online talk held in partnership with the Natural History Museum -titled Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It will see young changemakers from the UK and China debate why and how our relationship with the natural world needs to change.
  • Eye of the Storm, a documentary film featuring Scottish landscape painter James Morrison will be screened in Shanghai, directed by award-winning director Anthony Baxter.
  • From the London International Festival of Theatre, Dog Ballet is a webinar about a new participatory work of public art to celebrate the community around dogs and their owners to appreciate the joy and tenderness that can be found in these relationships of mutual care.

#ReConnect with Community will share work from the UK that emphasizes the changing nature of community and talks from leading arts and cultural experts alongside knowledge-sharing events from dance and theatre producers. Selected highlights include:

  • O’r Graig, a short documentary featuring slate mines in North Wales, which have recently been designated UNESCO heritage status.
  • Journey to the Eyeth Art, a virtual art gallery showcasing the creativity of deaf artists in an imaginary world called Eyeth and a celebration of inclusiveness in the art for all.
  • Match Make is a series of short films that paired eight dance artists and eight artist collaborators during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, including natural, industrial, rural, urban, and coastal settings throughout Northern Ireland.  

An exhibition from Journey to the Eyeth Art, a virtual art gallery showcasing the creativity of deaf artists in an imaginary world called Eyeth, and a celebration of inclusiveness in the art for all. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

#ReConnect with Self will focus on activities that explore mental health and well-being. Highlight projects include:

  • Time to Dance China, an international digital collaboration between the Scottish Ballet and Shanghai International Dance Centre designed to deliver dementia-friendly dance activities for elderly people and a dance film screening.
  • An online solo exhibition of works by award-winning British artist Sir Christopher Le Brun, in addition to an online talk between Sir Christopher Le Brun and renowned art critic, writer, and curator Shen Qilan.

At this time of limited travel, we are excited to bring once again some of the most dynamic and vibrant artistic and cultural performances, exhibitions, and talks from the UK to audiences in China and offer people the choice to experience these in person or online. With the theme of #ReConnect, we hope to inspire our audience to re-evaluate their relationship with the natural environment, their community, and themselves. The world is going through unprecedented changes at this time, and arts and culture have the power to bring people together through presenting programs in partnership with institutions and artists in the UK and China. The Festival acts as a platform to share knowledge, spark discussions and stimulate thinking among our audiences.” Said Rehana Mughal, Director Arts for the British Council China. 

You could visit their official website in Chinese and English for a detailed program.



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