Chinese culture features coexistence of historic memory, dynamic change
Date:2015.07.16 Attention:

HELSINKI, June 10 (Xinhua) -- "Every day when I do this, I open new doors, and behind these doors there are other doors," said Erik Soderblom, director of the Helsinki Festival, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Soderblom has been preparing for a massive project named Focus China, which will bring 600 Chinese artists to Finland in August, marking the climax of the Helsinki Festival 2015.

Soderblom said he did not know very much about Chinese culture before launching the project, and the process made him feel "it is kind of a culture which is so wide and there is so much of everything."

"When you speak about Chinese culture, it is the same as if you speak about the European culture," said Soderblom, referring to the size of the country and diversity of its culture.

"So, of course, what we can show here is a very, very small part of the immense richness of culture regions you have," he added.

The over a dozen Chinese cultural programs Soderblom is going to bring to Finland range from orchestra, ballet, Beijing Opera, Kun Qu Opera, to folk music and rock and roll. The project also shows Chinese visual arts and daily design.

It will be the first time for the 40-year-old Helsinki Festival to focus on a certain country's culture.

"We don't usually focus on a country, but this time we do, because we have seen that there is a big latent interest for Chinese culture in the Finnish society."

When Soderblom had the idea of the extensive demonstration of Chinese arts three years ago, he thought this was "something that definitely should be done."

He said "people in Europe know that China is changing very fast, developing very fast."

Soderblom said his project will give people a chance to update their knowledge about Chinese culture, saying "This will be the biggest showcase of Chinese culture and art ever taking place in Scandinavia, if not the biggest in Europe during last decade."

"Our big possibility in Helsinki Festival is that the festival is a multi-disciplinary festival so that we can show the whole, broad perspective of Chinese culture, not only one segment but folk art, culture in a broader sense, history and modern China," Soderblom added.

He believed the coming summer activities in Helsinki will be very visible in Scandinavia and in Europe.

Soderblom said what interested him the best was the realization of the fact that Chinese culture is a combination of historic memory and dynamic change, which could not be seen in Europe.

When visiting China, Soderblom felt there is "a straight line going very, very long back in history", like Beijing Opera, Kun Qu Opera and other types of traditional music.

While preserving the traditions, China has also witnessed very dynamic contemporary arts building the future.

"Changing has become a normal situation there," he said.