Paris | France
Chengdu International Finance Square, or rather Chengdu IFS as it is commonly referred to, forged an agreement with Saint- Germain-des-Pres for an Art project in Paris that has ensured great international publicity for the Sichuan artists represented. On the first anniversary of the formation of the international sister street partnership, the Committee formally announced the joint project. Artists from the Sichuan Province, where Chengdu IFS is based, were invited to debut their art installations, featuring traditional Chinese artistic elements, at the 18th Parcours Saint-Germain.
The 18th Parcours Saint-Germain received strong support from the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, the Chengdu Jinjiang People’s Government and the 6th District Government of Paris following the official announcement. Contemporary artists from all over the world have also been invited to showcase their talent at the event. The different flavors of performers will allow the visitors to experience the unique beauty of art in public urban space.
Founded in 2000, Parcours Saint-Germain is an annual art event bringing contemporary art installations to a neighbourhood of cultural heritage and modern charm, aiming to inspire thought and strengthen the relationship between the public and art. Under the theme “The Art of Shape”, this year’s event runs for 10 days and features more than 30 artists from all over the world. Innovating, deconstructing, and exploring materials, the artists investigate the potential of “shape” and produce works that manifest the ineffable. Their art pieces will be displayed at landmark sights, branded shops, cafés and other public space in the Saint-Germain neighbourhood, encouraging the public to ponder “unknown shapes.”
Parcours Saint-Germain kicked off the 2018 cooperation programs between Chengdu IFS and Saint-Germain-des-Prés Committee at a community event that saw both local and international art lovers, as well as the curious, attend the ceremony. Working with the event’s organizing committee, Chengdu IFS invited Zhao Mi and Chen Weicai, two leading Sichuan artists, to create and present artworks featuring Chengdu elements and oriental charm, helping open a dialogue between the world and the motifs of traditional Chinese culture.
Artist Zhao Mi chose bamboo, an iconic visual element of southern China, as the base material for his installation. Zhao Mi’s piece for Parcours Saint-Germain 2018 is called “Grand Waterfall”. Featuring 700 bamboo poles, a curtain and flowing water, the artwork brings to life a striking traditional Chinese freestyle landscape painting right in front of the centuries-old Saint-Germain-des-Prés Cathedral. With this installation, Zhao Mi showcases the inclusiveness and evolution of Chengdu City.
Chen Weicai, another of the Sichuan artists, offered a striking work simply, and provocatively, entitled “Palace”. Inspired by the architecture of western Sichuan and by using grey tiles crafted at the ancient Chengdu town of Luodai, Chen Weicai produced a semi-private space fitting the context and layout of Place Fürstenberg, Saint-Germain-des-Prés that both intrigues and pleases the onlooker. This immersive work of art embodies exactly what the annual event is all about.
“Red Panda” a sculpture created by renowned French contemporary artist Richard Orlinski, was also on display at Place Saint-Sulpice. Made of red resin, the sculpture stands three meters tall, stretches two and a half meters wide and weighs 200 kg, expressing the broad power and serene calmness of the panda. Specially made for OPÉRATION PANDA last Christmas, and commissioned by Chengdu IFS, this popular “Red Panda” symbolizes the friendship and values of this international partnership.
As one of China’s leading emerging tier-1 cities, Chengdu has abundant art resources that showcase the unique cultural qualities and lifestyle of the city. As a new Chengdu City landmark, Chengdu IFS strives to lead the way in promoting international fashion, culture and art as well as the promotion of local Sichuan artists. Chengdu IFS is committed to its mission of advancing the internationalization of both Jinjiang District and Chengdu City.
Chengdu IFS and the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Committee established an international partnership in May 2017 and held their first cultural joint event last Christmas. In 2018, the two parties plan to launch a series of the event under the theme “Two Cities, Tied by Art”, aiming to promote exchange between the cities by art events. The exchange of quality works of art between the cities will surely have a profound impact on urban development. In September this year, Chengdu IFS will host Parcours Chengdu, introducing the concept and spirit of Parcours Saint-Germain to the people of Chengdu. Meanwhile, Chengdu IFS, in partnership with the T China, a lifestyle magazine by the New York Times, will present the city’s second International Style Conference in September to facilitate in-depth international talks.