In January 2020, Alexey Shaburov, the Russian World Calligraphy Museum founder and the Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center president, found out that his beloved China had great difficulties. To express his support for the people of Wuhan, he invited Russian artist Yuri Koverdyayev and Chinese calligrapher Kun Lingmin to paint the picture “China, hold on! Wuhan, hold on! ” It was donated to the Chinese Embassy in Russia.
On February 5, an epidemic surge began in China, and Alexey sent a warm letter to friends via WeChat. In his message, he firmly declared: “China, we are with you.”
Later, an epidemic broke out in Russia, and our reporter contacted Alexey.
“In this global crisis, the Chinese government has shown the world an example of solving the problem,” he told us. – “China has made every effort to combat the epidemic spread. Many cities were completely closed. Tourism and mass movements were suspended. Residents were forbidden to leave their homes and visit public places. In just ten days, Wuhan built a new hospital. Now the virus is raging all over the world, and governments of all countries are learning from China. The Chinese government and the Chinese people have shown the world how to respond to the epidemic.”
After the outbreak in China, Alexey Shaburov insisted on continuing the cooperation. The Sokolniki Center is constantly in touch with the director of the Chinese Cultural Center in Moscow, Ms. Gong Jiajia.
“We saw with our own eyes how our partners were concerned about the spread of the epidemic in their homeland. We understood that it was difficult for them to maintain normal work. At this difficult time, Ms. Gong Jiajia accepted our invitation to participate in the opening ceremony of the Museum of Russian Gusli and Chinese Guqin,” said Alexey Shaburov.
The museum opened on February 12, in the midst of a terrible epidemic in China.
“The Chinese care about history, respect the traditional culture, the history of which goes back thousands of years, while maintaining continuity. They are very wise, and I am very impressed with this!” – Alexey shared with us.
He is very interested in Chinese art and understands the special position of calligraphy in Chinese culture.
“Chinese calligraphy is not only the art of writing Chinese characters, but also a means of expressing and improving the artist’s inner world,” he said. – “This is a natural part of his worldview. The Chinese attach great importance to the traditional calligraphy and pay great attention to this art, which makes me very happy. We certainly have a lot to learn from them.”
Even in difficult times, events were held in China to promote the mutual interweaving of the two countries cultures. In addition to the Museum of Russian Gusli and Chinese Guqin, on March 13, the calligrapher’s office was opened in honor of Mr. Li Hui. From 2009 to 2019, he served as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Russia and made an invaluable contribution to supporting cultural and educational projects and the development of relations between Russia and China. On the same day, at the World Calligraphy Museum, the closing ceremony of the Soutache China contest was held, which demonstrated the unique views of Russian artists on the Chinese culture.
Over the past ten years, Alexey Shaburov has initiated a series of events to promote the cultural exchange development between our countries. From May to December 2019 alone, he held six large-scale Sino-Russian cultural events. Last year, the Great Chinese Calligraphy and Painting exhibition was held in Moscow, which attracted 30 thousand visitors. And after the epidemic is over, the Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Museum will open at the Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center.