Bridging Distance and Ideology through Art

loading One for the album. Altogether for the opening ceremony.

Recent years have seen a strengthening of Malaysia-China ties through art.

It was a dog day afternoon with the mercury level crunching at 360℃, despite the “cooling” lake surrounds of Liaoning’s Celebrity Island. In the courtyard promenade fronting the newly christened Li Chi Mao Art Gallery, another auspicious rite of forging Malaysia-China cultural relations was being enacted.

There, the “Belt and Road” art link exhibition virtually blasted off with a six-cannon salute, officiated by Deputy Malaysian Ambassador John Samuel, on July 12, with the eponymous 91-year-old grandmaster Li Chi Mao flown in from Taiwan as special guest.

Although artists from both sides of the ideological divide have started cultural links since the normalising of relations between Malaysia and China in 1974, China’s transformative Belt and Road initiative has given it new gloss, traction and significance.

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