Le Centre Culturel de Chine

Yesterday I visited two exhibits at the Chinese Cultural Center, which is open and free to the public.

Red lanterns flanking a grand staircase made a striking entrance.  Exhibits in Paris are as much about the artwork as the interior architecture that houses them.  In this case, I appreciated the coming together of two very old cultures, the Chinese and the French.

5.chineseculturalcenter.2013a 5.chineseculturalcenter.2013b

One of the exhibits, called “La Belle Chine,” displayed photos illustrating recent developments in China meant to improve the lives of its people.  Photos included the new high-speed train in Beijing and an aerial view of hundreds of children sitting on a beach to form the shape of a dolphin and the environmental message “Protect.”

The other exhibit, only up for a week, showcased calligraphy scrolls by Wen Huaisha, paintings by Tsui Yanting, and sculpture by Zhi Min.

5.chineseculturalcenter.2013cMy favorite calligraphy scroll had this quote:

5.chineseculturalcenter.2013dOn the label above, the French translation provided for the Chinese characters is:

Comparer longévité avec le ciel et la terre, rivaliser de lumière avec le soleil et la lune, ceci une préoccupation.

Ne pas rivaliser avec les hommes, ne pas se battre avec le ciel, ceci est dit harmonie.

My English translation is:

Compare longevity with the earth and the sky, compete with the light of the sun and the moon, and you will be tormented.

Do not compete with people, do not fight the sky, and you will find harmony.

If you read Chinese or French and have a slightly different translation, feel free to share!

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