Han Meilin stresses cultural traditions
A 20-meter-tall Liangzhu-themed statue, created by Han Meilin, stands at the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/IC]
Han Meilin, one of China's foremost fine artists, recently spoke about the development of Zhejiang's culture interviewed by local media at Hangzhou Han Meilin Art Gallery, near the West Lake scenic area in the provincial capital of Hangzhou.
Han, who is 85, was the chief designer of the Fuwa mascots for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and a great many cultural icons across the country.
Han is emotionally attached to Zhejiang province, as his mother was a Shaoxing native and his wife is a Hangzhou native. Now Han spends nearly half of his time creating art in Hangzhou. Han has donated around 1,000 personal works of art to the city, for which the Hangzhou municipal government established Hangzhou Han Meilin Art Gallery in 2005.
During the interview, Han highly praised Zhejiang's deep culture, citing remarkable Zhejiang-bred historic figures such as the calligrapher Wang Xizhi (303-361), the poet Lu You (1125-1210), the philosopher Wang Yangming (1472-1529), and the writer Lu Xun (1881-1936).
Han believes it is a must for Zhejiang artists to seek inspiration from the province's cultural traditions which are bound up with the ethos of the southern part of the Yangtze River Delta.
In July, a 20-meter-tall Liangzhu-themed statue, created by Han Meilin, was unveiled at the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City in Hangzhou. It took Han more than a year to complete the statue, which symbolizes the great vitality of Chinese civilization.