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African culture finds a new home in Changsha

(People's Daily Online)    13:42, July 09, 2019

On the morning of June 15, Ugandan sculptor Brain and his three partners were busy making a cobblestone sculpture called “They call it Africa, we call it home” on the bank of a reservoir at the Hecun African Cultural Park, Shaping Street, Kaifu District, Changsha. The sculpture was more than half finished. Brain and his partners are going to leave Changsha and return to Africa at the end of this month. They want to finish it before they leave to express their love for the park.

The Hecun African Cultural Park is China’s first village resort featuring African culture. Since its opening last July, more than 50 artists from Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia have come here to spread African culture and art. There are now 15 Ugandan artists at the park. Each has their own skill, such as iron art, wood carving, sculpture, oil painting, song and dance, and instrumental music.

Mike and Francis are good at iron art. They made robot and animal sculptures from materials such as used steel parts collected in Changsha. With 6 years of working experience, they finished 4 works in only 3 weeks after they began at the park. Mike said that they plan to finish more than 50 pieces of iron works of different sizes during their stay in China.

Tom is a wood carving master. This is his second visit to the park. He has created many wood art works. The Chieftain Chair he made is quite noticeable at the park’s China-Africa Friendship Museum.

Apart from creating in the park, African artists are often invited elsewhere to help with tourism or exhibition projects featuring African elements. This month Wesely, a 24-year-old Ugandan college student, was invited to complete a wall painting at the Hunan (Gaoqiao) African Commodity Trade Pavilion.

African artists also have exchanges with Hunan’s cultural and art inheritors and other experts in terms of tea art, Hunan embroidery, bee breeding, and rice and fruit planting. They bring Chinese culture and art back to Africa.

In less than a year since its opening, the park has welcomed more than 70,000 visitors. Next, the park will invite more artists from African countries, so as to enable more Hunanese to experience African culture; promote the integration and mutual learning between Hunan culture and African culture; and, build a bridge of friendship and culture between China and Africa. (

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Chen Zilin, Bianji)

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