The ‘China in my Eyes’ Art Competition drew to a successful close at UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland (CII) on November 25th, 2018. Present at the event were participating children and their parents, along with Chinese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong and his diplomat team including Mr. Sheng Mingchun, chief of Political and Press Section, Education Officer Mr. Zheng Dawei and Cultural Officer Mrs. Wang Oujia, who was also a Competition judge. Also at the event were Vice President of China’s South-Central University for Nationalities Prof. Dongyun Du, UCD CII Director Prof. Liming Wang, UCD CII Chinese Director Mr. Wei Zhang, the Art Competition judges Ms. Jean Lownders, Mr. Thomas Duffy, Ms. Fengli Yu and Ms. Yi Jiang.
（Some of the guests at the event）
The Competition, which was hosted by UCD CII, was an initiative of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland. With the theme of ‘China in my Eyes’, the competition was divided into two age groups: young children and youth. A total of 202 works were received, among which 50 were selected. The exhibition was a collection of pictures with diverse Chinese features and styles: pandas, dragons, kung fu, plum blossoms, people in ancient costumes, pavilions and cities. Some of them were of bright colours and vivid depictions, some were painted with mature and refreshing techniques while other pictures were cleverly composited with excellent perceptions. The concept of China in their eyes was a perfect combination of traditional and modern beauty. The young artists expressed their impressions and understanding of China through their unique creations.
（A selection of pictures）
H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong said in his speech that children and young people were the future of Sino-Irish diplomatic ties, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2019. Against this backdrop, the Art Competition showcased outstanding pictures from children and young people, and more importantly, it provided a stage for children to show off their talents. Dr. Yue encouraged more children to participate in such competitions as an incentive to learn Chinese language and culture and to increase their interest in learning about China.
（H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong addressing the event）
While the votes were being tallied, the audience enjoyed a cultural feast in the CII lecture theatre. Young artists played western music with piano and saxophone as well as Chinese music with guzheng (zithers) and yangqin (dulcimers). The CII children’s choir earned a roaring applause from the audience for their beautiful songs. The young musicians played an important role in making music a bridge for Chinese and Irish communication.
（Prof. Liming Wang with the teachers and children from the choir）
A combined voting of the audience and the judges resulted in one first place, two runners-up and three third places in each age group. Yichen Yao and Helen Wu won the 1st prize in each group and were awarded the prizes by H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong. Judge Thomas Duffy remarked that each participating picture reflected childhood joy as the young artists interpreted their understanding of China through their own creativity and choice of Chinese features. He compared China-Ireland friendship to the beautiful pictures created by the young artists. The competition drew to a successful close with a photo shoot of all the prize winners and prize presenters.
（prize presenters with the prize winners）
Written by Wen Zhang
Photography by James Zhao