Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Museum recently unveiled “Thumbs Up – Xu Guixun Donated Works Exhibition”. The exhibition, featuring 34 calligraphy works gifted by the artist, is open to the public until 18 June.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition
Guixun Xu is a calligrapher, painter, and advocate for cultural exchange between China and the US. Previously, he gifted an ink painting to Joe Biden and a scroll painting to Hillary Clinton, promoting and sharing the beauty of Chinese art.
Xu is also the president of Suzhou Contemporary Painting and Calligraphy Art Research Institute, a representative of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Congress, and a member of China Association for Promoting Democracy.
From right to left: Kuan Sun, Bing Deng, Professor Youmin Xi, Xiaotang Yang, Jiancheng Xu, and Guixun Xu cut the opening ribbon
Professor Youmin Xi
At the event, Professor Youmin Xi, Executive President of XJTLU, expressed his gratitude and commended the artist’s calligraphy. He said the works convey a sense of the wisdom gained from a life lived with grace and ease.
President Xi also credited Xu with demonstrating the artistic nature of education and the educational value of art, and said he would like to further collaborate with Xu on integrating education and art and contributing to society.
In his speech, Xu praised XJTLU for its advancements, and said the University is a unique combination of traditional Chinese culture with an environment that promotes internationalisation.
He also highlighted the importance of Chinese characters.
“Chinese characters are fundamental to Chinese culture, and the ability to master them reflects one’s level of cultural literacy. It’s important not only to write the characters well, but also to embody and promote the values that are at the heart of Chinese culture. By doing so, we can showcase the richness and depth of our cultural heritage,” he said.
Xiaotang Yang, the former Standing Member of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of the Suzhou Municipal Party Committee, added:
“Showcasing exceptional calligraphy works in school is an effective way to preserve traditional Chinese culture. The artworks, with their great artistic appeal, can foster cultural confidence in both students and staff.”
XJTLU’s Chinese motto, 博学明道笃行任事 (boxue mingdao duxing renshi)
At the end of the opening ceremony, Xu instructed staff members and guests to write the eight Chinese characters that make up XJTLU’s motto. This provided a meaningful way for participants to engage with calligraphy and the University’s values.
Other attendees included Bing Deng, Deputy Minister of Suzhou’s United Front Work Department; Jiancheng Xu, President of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (Suzhou) and Chairman of the Greenleaf Sci & Tech Group; and Kuan Sun, President of the Suzhou Chinese Painting Institute.
The event was co-organised by Suzhou Contemporary Painting and Calligraphy Art Research Institute, and is part of a series of events at XJTLU celebrating its 17th anniversary.
By Jianeng Yang
Translated by Xueqi Wang
Edited by Xinmin Han and Patricia Pieterse
Photos by XJTLU Museum