Building a bridge for exchange of culture, ideas and future of mutual benefit
Published: Jul 03, 2024 11:08 PM
The art installation <em>Golden Bridge on the Silk Road</em> created by Shu Yong Photo: Courtesy of China Pictorial

The art installation Golden Bridge on the Silk Road created by Shu Yong Photo: Courtesy of China Pictorial

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Kazakhstan on Tuesday for the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and a state visit to Kazakhstan. 

Both China and Kazakhstan are ancient civilizations and share a long tradition of friendship. More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road closely connected the two countries, marking the beginning of a history of friendly exchanges, President Xi remarked in a written statement upon his arrival in Astana. 

Over the past 32 years since China and Kazakhstan established diplomatic ties, the relationship has withstood the test of time and the vicissitudes of the international landscape, evolving into a unique permanent comprehensive strategic partnership, he noted. 

Today, we stand together at a new historical starting point of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), writing new chapters of exchange and cooperation. The BRI is not just a pathway for economic and trade cooperation, but also a link for the exchange of culture, ideas, and future visions. 

As globalization deepens, building a community with a shared future for mankind is no longer a distant ideal but a present reality. The deepening friendship and cooperation between China and Kazakhstan not only benefit the people of both nations but also contribute to regional and global peace and development.

In 2018, to mark the 5th anniversary of the China-initiated BRI, I was invited to Kazakhstan to exhibit my work Golden Bridge on the Silk Road

The art installation is based on the ancient Zhaozhou Bridge in North China's Hebei Province. It is composed of nearly 20,000 amber bricks embedded with the national or city flowers of 53 countries and 94 cities involved in the BRI, representing building a bridge of peaceful development in the gardens of the world. It conveys a message of a global community with a shared future and expresses China's good will and commitment to the common prosperity and development of all countries in the world.

Golden Bridge on the Silk Road has been widely regarded as a cultural symbol of the BRI. Exhibited at high-level events like the Milan Expo in 2015 and the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in 2017, Golden Bridge on the Silk Road has become a testament to the friendship between China and Kazakhstan. 

This "bridge" brings the hearts of people from both nations and the world closer together, deepening their bonds and uniting their dreams. It has strengthened my resolve to bring Golden Bridge on the Silk Road to the entire world.

From China to Kazakhstan, from Astana to Beijing, we share the beauty of art, music, literature, and cuisine. The exchange and integration of these cultural elements build a cultural bridge, allowing for mutual appreciation, understanding, and a deepening of respect and inclusiveness. 

Art, a global language that transcends linguistic and cultural barriers, connects the most distant hearts and brings the unfamiliar closer. At this moment, everyone is not only a creator of art but also a messenger of culture. Through art, we can collectively envision a future of harmonious coexistence and mutual benefit. Just like Golden Bridge on the Silk Road, each brick carries the hope for peace, the desire for cooperation, and the aspiration for shared prosperity.

The author is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee and artist.