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Celebrating 60 Years of Chinese-French Relations: A Year of Cultural Magnificence

By XINYI LI|Feb 02,2024

Chongqing - The year 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France, a milestone year brimming with a plethora of artistic and cultural exchanges. 

The cultural panorama of this year is captivating audiences with its eclectic array of events, notably including the Chinese rendition of the stage play Les Misérables. Directed by the acclaimed French director Jean Belorini and featuring the Chinese actor Liu Ye, the play debuted at Beijing's Poly Theatre, commencing its nationwide tour. This production is not merely a theatrical reimagining of classic literature but a pivotal emblem of the Chinese-French cultural exchanges.

As a key project of the Chinese-French Year of Cultural Tourism, the Chinese adaptation of Les Misérables is set to grace the stage in Chongqing on June 1 and 2. It is anticipated to deliver a resplendent audio-visual extravaganza to the Chongqing audience.

The Chinese version of the stage play Les Miserables. (Photo/The organizer)

Additionally, the allure of French musical theatre will be prominently featured throughout the Chinese-French Year of Cultural Tourism. A particularly awaited highlight is the tour of Mozart, L'opéra Rock (Mozart, the Rock Opera), a French musical extravaganza. Huang Bo, Vice Chairman of the Chongqing Theater Association, accentuates that this production epitomizes the distinctive flair of French musicals in articulating emotions and delving into character psychologies. Slated for a performance in Chongqing in the latter half of the year, Mozart, L'opéra Rock will garner extensive acclaim, especially among younger audiences, for its innovative melding of classical and contemporary rock elements.

The cultural exchanges also encompass "The Weave of Civilization: A Sino-French Artistic Tapestry," an exhibition orchestrated by the Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Museum Director He Guiyan articulates that the exhibition's objective is to display late 19th-century French realist paintings, creations of Marcel Duchamp Prize laureates, and works by 20th-century Chinese artists who studied in France, underscoring the profound impact of French art on contemporary Chinese fine arts.

A still of the French version of the musical Mozart l'opéra Rock. (Photo/The organizer)

Furthermore, the expansive exhibition "Versailles and the Forbidden City: Echoes of Chinese-French Encounters in the 17th and 18th Centuries" is set to be showcased at Beijing's Palace Museum. Curator Guo Fuxiang reveals that the exhibition will present cultural relics intricately connected to the royal and cultural exchanges between China and France, illuminating the rich tapestry of historical interactions between the two nations.

The literary scene is also poised for exhilarating showcases. Esteemed local poet and translator Zhao Yushu, recipient of the 9th Chongqing Literature Award for her translation of Philippe Jaccottet's poetry collection À la lumière d'hiver (literally "In the Winter Light"), eagerly anticipates an enhanced focus on French poetry in this year's lineup. Having translated works of numerous French poets, she aspires to witness a greater proliferation of French poetic exhibitions this year.

One of Jean-François Millet's masterpieces, The Gleaners. (Photo/The organizer)

The Chongqing Municipal Commission of Culture and Tourism Development recently declared its participation in the "Hello! China" tourism promotion, a pivotal component of the 2024 Chinese-French Year of Cultural Tourism. This initiative aims to showcase the distinctive ethnic allure of Southwest China globally.

These enriching activities, integral to the Chinese-French Year of Cultural Tourism, not only offer Chongqing's citizens unparalleled opportunities for profound cultural engagement with France but also foster an enhanced mutual understanding and camaraderie between the peoples of both nations, coalescing in a new chapter of Chinese-French cultural exchanges.

(Han Bing, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)


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