University bond in Richmond is pan Pacific

The suburban world of Richmond meets the big city of Tianjin, China at a new calligraphy exhibition at Trinity Western University’s (TWU) Richmond campus.

Titled “Paper and Ink Give Expression to the Rhythm of Life,” the exhibition came about due to a 27-year relationship between TWU and its counterpart in Tianjin, which is nearby Beijing.

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The exhibition runs from Aug. 14 to 18 and will feature works from four calligraphy artists from Tianjin: Liu Changxing; Liu Zhiyong; Wei Shengtang and Lyu Sipeng.

Seventy calligraphy scrolls will be on display at TWU Richmond and the adjoining City Centre Community Centre.

“TWU Richmond is hosting this exhibition to increase public awareness on the Chinese culture, as well as provide global education value,” said Dr. Phil Laird, TWU’s vice provost.

TWU has a long history of friendship with the city of Tianjin — in 1991, Dr. Deane Downey, who was the university’s acting dean of faculty, entered into a contract with Tianjin Foreign Studies University.

Since then, the relationship between TWU and Tianjin has spread to a city-wide level: more than 160 secondary and primary school teachers from Tianjin have come to TWU for English training and sports teams from TWU have travelled to China for amicable competitions with the athletes there.

“Chinese calligraphy has been around for as long as the Chinese language,” said Li Guishan, professor and dean at Tianjin University of Technology.

“Each character holds a deeper meaning, and a few phrases can tell a story.”

Each artist has his own style of calligraphy — Lyu, the youngest of the four, who has been practicing calligraphy since he was 10 years old, practices the style of “Weibei.”

“For me, calligraphy will always be a hobby and a passion,” said Lyu, in Mandarin.

An opening reception will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 14 and there will be an interactive artist demonstration daily at 3 p.m.

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