On January 20, 2023, sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Belgium and the Chinese Cultural Center in Brussels, and co-organized by the China-EU International Design and Culture Association and Atlas HiSEAS, “The Rabbit Welcomes the Spring–Exhibition of Outstanding Works of 2023 Belgian Chinese Zodiac Design Competition “opened at the Chinese Cultural Center in Brussels. Chinese Ambassador Cao Zhongming, Vice-President of CEIBS Jean-François Peters, Director of the East Asia Platform of Ghent University Luke Talvie, former President of the Belgian-Chinese Friendship Association and editor of China Square, Frank Williams, co-founder of Friends of the Silk Road Jan Gosset, and Director of French-language Mayo Publishing House Gerard Adam, were among the 50 guests who attended the exhibition. Gerard Adam, Director of French-language Mayo Publishing House, and nearly 50 other Chinese and Belgian guests and award-winning representatives attended the opening event.
Cao Zhongming, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium, said in his opening speech that as an important and indispensable part of traditional Chinese culture, Chinese Zodiac culture has a long history and a long inheritance, which contains the Chinese people’s view of time, life and values, and reflects the Chinese people’s pure and simple life and the Chinese nation’s unceasing civilizational characteristics. This exhibition will enhance the understanding of the Belgian and European people of Chinese zodiac culture and festival culture, and further promote the communication between the people of China, Belgium and China-Europe.
Jean-François Peters, Vice President of CIDIAC, expressed in his speech his love for Chinese culture and this year’s Chinese Zodiac sign “Rabbit”, and hoped that the cute rabbit would encourage more people to understand and participate in the promotion of Chinese Zodiac culture. The China-Europa International Design and Culture Association is committed to promoting Chinese art and design culture, and looks forward to more people joining and contributing to art and design.
At the opening ceremony, Ambassador Cao Zhongming presented certificates to some of the winners in recognition of their efforts to further promote humanistic exchanges between China and Belgium, China and Europe, and some of the winners came all the way from the United Kingdom to receive their awards.
After the opening ceremony, Ambassador Cao Zhongming and the guests visited the exhibition with great interest under the guidance of Vice President Peters. The award-winning representatives expressed that the design competition, with the theme of “Chinese Zodiac”, is novel and close to life, and hoped that this kind of competition can be held on a regular basis to provide a more diversified platform for the Belgian and European people to learn more about the traditional culture of China.
Launched in September 2022, the “2023 Belgian Zodiac Design Competition” was based on the theme of the Chinese zodiac sign “Rabbit”. Hundreds of entries were received from artists and the public, and six masterpieces were awarded the Professional Jury Prizes and 12 Public Jury Prizes after voting by a professional jury and the public on social media. After the professional jury and social media public voting, 6 masterpieces were selected to receive the professional jury prize and 12 public jury prizes. The exhibition will display 36 outstanding works of the competition, including the winners of the professional jury and the public jury, showcasing the wide interest and diversified understanding of Chinese Zodiac culture among participants from different countries, and sharing the strong flavor of Chinese New Year with the world through the integration of Sino-Belgian and Sino-European cultural exchanges through creativity. The exhibition will be open to the public from January 21, 2023 at the Chinese Cultural Center in Brussels.
The entries of the 2023 Belgian Year of the Rabbit Zodiac Design Competition will also be displayed online on the Chinese Embassy in Belgium’s social media matrix during the Chinese New Year for the benefit of the Chinese and European public.