The project “Lights over the city” is a Bulgarian-Chinese exhibition in an urban environment, which includes artists and students from the Chinese Academy of Arts in Hangzhou and the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, who present their works in one of the most popular places in downtown Sofia – Square “Slaveykov”.
The project provides an opportunity for the Bulgarian audience to enjoy works of art, combining elements of traditional Chinese lantern, innovative lighting techniques and modern art forms.
The art of making handmade lanterns is a Chinese traditional craft that dates back to the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC – 8 AD) and flourished during the Tang Dynasty (VII-X century). The greatest popularity came in the Ming and Qing dynasties (XIV – XX century).
From ancient times the art of the lantern reflects the ingenuity and originality of the Chinese nation. This craft integrates decoration, realistic painting, abstract compositions, metaphorical sculptural forms and light objects with moving mechanisms. The innovations and development of lanterns as an art form provide new opportunities for the formation of an overall artistic space with strong national characteristics. The art of making lanterns reflects the broad spirit of Chinese culture.
Chinese lanterns are an art form that integrates craftsmanship, culture and aesthetics and has a strong national flavor. This tradition adds new elements and shapes as it evolves over time, making lanterns more and more influential.
The exhibition is the first artistic performance in a public place related to the concept of lanterns and light in Bulgaria. It is thematic and gives participants a special opportunity to develop works of art that embody modern thinking about traditions inspired by light as a means of expression.
By questioning themselves and the reality around them, the artists in the exhibition try to create their own understanding of what a traditional lantern is, giving it a different image and meaning. The works in the exhibition are based on an artistic interpretation of materials, shapes, colors and techniques, as well as on a specific concept of the artists.
They aim to attract the attention of the general public and interact through their ideas. Moreover, as works of art with a temporary character and a strong aesthetic influence of light, they create a new artistic vision and social activity in the public space.
The exhibition will be shown during the Chinese New Year festival in February 2021. Inspired by tradition and light, this exhibition aims to outline the beauty of the night city, to create a new artistic vision of Slaveykov Square and to present various ways of social engagement – fun, education and unadulterated joy through light.
The main organizer is the Chinese Cultural Center in Sofia, Sofia Municipality, and co-organizers are the Chinese Academy of Arts, Hangzhou, China and the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria