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Inner Mongolia University and Kentucky University renews their cultural exchange program

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
An SVG map of China with the Inner Mongolia au...

An SVG map of China with the Inner Mongolia autonomous region highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The people, lands and livelihood of Inner Mongolia and Kentucky come together in “Living Landscapes,” a weeklong festival celebrating arts and culture from both places at Lexington, Kentucky starting on Sept. 22.

“‘Living Landscapes’ brings nearly 30 students, faculty and administrations from Inner Mongolia University (IMU) to participate in master classes, workshops and lectures at to University of Kentucky (UK),” said Huajing Maske, Director of the Confucius Institute at UK.

The weeklong program will explore both Eastern and Western cultural themes, from throat singing to classical singing, from bowl dances to musical theatre dance. In addition, there will be several art exhibitions and music and dance concerts, all free and open to the public.

“Inner Mongolia and Kentucky are horse capitals in China and the U.S.,” said Michael Tick, Dean of College of Fine Arts at UK. “We share many cultural similarities, and academically, IMU and UK both have very extensive arts programs.”

Tick said a delegation from IMU came last year for a two-day event. It was so popular, drawing more than 1,500 students, faculty, and people from the local community that they decided to expand the program this year.

English: A picture of Lexington, Kentucky take...

English: A picture of Lexington, Kentucky taken by helicopter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“They were truly traditional ethnic Mongolian musicians and dancers of the first rate,” said K.H. Khan, a retired professor of music, referring to last year’s performance.

“It was a colorful and spirited performance with one exciting surprise after another,” concurred Elaine Cook, a Lexington resident. “The performers and announcers connected with the audience in a meaningful way and it was a memorable experience.”

 This year, the delegation from IMU will not only do demonstration of local culture and costumes, but also perform with UK’s Western-trained musicians and dancers. Khan said: “What a perfect example of East meeting West and friendship between two people!”

 “The paintings, watercolors and prints by the faculty of the Art College of Inner Mongolia University provide a wonderful taste of the land and the historic equine culture of Inner Mongolia,” said Janie Welker, curator of the Art Museum at UK.

“We are extremely pleased to present them to our students, faculty and the Lexington community–we feel strongly that art is an essential tool in international understanding,” she added.

“As our world’s cultures are brought together ever faster, a global experience has proved an indispensable part of a student’s full college experience,” Tick said.

“Our partnership with the Art College of IMU has proved invaluable to both our students and our faculty. Living Landscapes is more than a celebration of the horse; it is a celebration of artists dedicated to excellence at the very highest level,” he added.

“This week of academic and cultural activities is a great testimony to the kind of collaboration the Confucius Institute brings to campus,” said Maske.

 “Living Landscapes” runs from Sept. 22 to 28. Performing arts events include: A concert of traditional Inner Mongolian music and dance; a collaborative concert of music and dance featuring students from the UK dance minor, UK Percussion Ensemble, UK Jazz Ensemble and an improvisatory ensemble with students from IMU; and an orchestral concert of both Inner Mongolian and American compositions featuring the UK Symphony Orchestra and guests from IMU.

Art exhibitions include: A juried exhibition of works by students from UK and IMU; an exhibition of works by faculty of the UK School of Art and Visual Studies; and an exhibition of works by faculty of IMU.

This celebration of international arts and culture is a collaboration of the UK Confucius Institute, UK College of Fine Arts, IMU Art College and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region International Culture Association. For more details, visit http://www.uky.edu/international/node/809.

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: a memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning feature-length documentary film by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. Visit www.mulberrychildmovie.com for more information.

      

 

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