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In March and early April, at its Wisma Kebudayaan center, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) organized a lecture and two exhibitions to celebrate and further foster friendship between Malaysia and China through art and cultural exchange. In his speech at one of the events, SGM General Director Koh Sia Feai stated that relationships built through art and culture build friendships across borders that last forever.
The first event, a lecture titled "Views on the Substance of Confucian Learning in Late Imperial China" by Dr. Chu Hung-lam, professor of Chinese Culture at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, took place on March 9. Professor Chu, who is also the director of the Confucius Institute of Hong Kong, highlighted that although the definition of Confucian learning changes over time, its teaching of responsibility toward society is still relevant today. The lecture was chaired by Associate Professor Dr. Soo Khin Wah of the Department of Chinese Studies at the University of Malaya, co-organizer of the event.
The Malaysia-China Friendship Arts Exchange Exhibition, which ran from March 16 to 31, brought together the work of 24 modern and contemporary artists, 12 from the city of Qingdao in China's Shandong Province and 12 from Malaysia. The exhibition showcased the natural beauty and culture of both countries. It was opened by Chen Dehai, counsellor of Political Affairs of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Malaysia. In his speech he described the exhibition as a cultural platform from which new ideas could be explored and new works created.
In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, a talk giving an overview of fine arts in Shandong Province was given by Shan Hong, deputy secretary-general of the Shandong Watercolor Association. The talk was chaired by Dr. Foo Yong Kong, president of the Malaysian Contemporary Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Association.
From March 30 to April 7, "A Joint Calligraphy Exhibition by Four Masters" was held, inspired by the idea of an exchange between Lok Keng Wah, Yee Sze Fook, Dr. Foo Yong Kong and Tan Gian Seng to highlight various styles of calligraphy. In his speech at the opening ceremony, Mr. Lok described calligraphy as an ancient element of Chinese culture and gave a brief history of its development. The four Malaysian calligraphers shared their journey in art, friendship and life in a dialogue held after the ceremony.
[Adapted from articles on the Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) website and reports from SGM; photos courtesy of SGM]
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