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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Part-time passion of famous Chinese performers

By Gu Zhenqiu (Xinhua)

15:19, February 03, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- To Chinese both at home and abroad, Tang Guoqiang, an actor best known for playing the late Chairman Mao Zedong, Zhang Tielin, who plays a Qing Dynasty emperor, and Yu Junjian, a singer, represent the epitome of stage glamor.

However, few people actually know that offstage, these performing artists share a more contemplative passion -- Chinese calligraphy and painting.

"Chinese Style: Painting and Calligraphy Exhibition of Chinese Performing Artists" debuted Thursday evening at the UN Headquarters in New York, showing this little-known side of Chinese performing artists to more than 130 UN staff members and diplomats.

The performing artists' works feature breathtaking Chinese landscapes and famous classical Chinese poems.

"On display here this evening are painting and calligraphy works by several famous performing artists from China," Li Baodong, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said at the opening.

"They are not only high achievers in the field of performing arts, but also experts in painting and calligraphy," Li said.

"Performing arts differ in many ways from painting and calligraphy, but as art forms, they have a lot in common," the UN representative said. "These painting and calligraphy works, to a great extent, are inspired by our artists' reflections on performing arts and their own life."

Chinese painting and calligraphy are integral parts of the time-honored Chinese civilization. They combine the charm of literature, philosophy and aesthetics, and mirror the Chinese people's thinking and exploration of nature and life.

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