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English>>Life & Culture

'China First Kiss' stirs controversy

(People's Daily Online)

08:01, October 17, 2012

Photo shows the "China First Kiss" statue erected on the street of Ya'an City, southeast China's Sichuan Province. ( Wang Jianming)

A Chinese website recently inscribed a statue inspired by a national first-grade cultural relic on its candidate list of "10 Ugliest Sculptures in China", which aroused a heated discussion among the public about whether the sculpture, named "China First Kiss", is ugly or a beautiful work of art carrying traditional culture. Experts said that the controversy reflects the public's lack of understanding of traditional Chinese culture.

Previously, the Ya'an Museum in Sichuan province had told the public that "China First Kiss" was inspired by the high relief on the walls of an ancient stone coffin dating back to the Eastern Han dynasty. The stone coffin is a national first-grade cultural relic.

Many netizens consider it unfair to label the statue as "ugly". An Internet user under the screen name "A Fish Yearning for Water" said that the website should consider not only the appearance of a sculpture, but also its cultural content. "The romance lasting thousands of years should not be negated rashly".

Yang Chao, a sculptor and a master of arts and crafts in Sichuan province, was surprised by the inscription of "China First Kiss" on the candidate list of "ugly sculptures". In his eyes, the relief that inspired the sculpture reflects the ideal way of life of Sichuan residents in the Han dynasty, and is a natural form of artistic expression. "The kiss thousands of years ago is worth remembering," Yang said.

As for the controversy about the ugliness of "China First Kiss", Li Mingquan, deputy head of the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences, said that the most important thing for a work of art should be its cultural content rather than the form of expression. "The sculpture shows a young Eastern Han couple's breaking the chains of feudalism. Not all love-themed sculptures are ugly".

【1】 【2】, author: Xu Yangyi
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