A historic agreement between two cities will create a more vibrant Chinese art scene in the South Australian city.

Adelaide is set to become Australia’s leading centre for Chinese visual arts and multimedia exhibitions after a new agreement was signed last week. The agreement between Adelaide Festival Centre and the China Cultural Centre in Sydney will facilitate increased presentations of Chinese performing arts, securing Adelaide’s standing as a city of culture.

The historic agreement will also foster an increased level of Australian-Chinese cultural dialogue when the city hosts the 2016 Association for Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Centres (AAPAC) Conference in September as part of the 10th annual OzAsia Festival. “The agreement will see the presentation of programmes that aim to enhance the existing friendship, to encourage dialogue and foster mutual understanding between China and Australia,” said China Cultural Centre director Zhao Li. News of the agreement was broadcast on China Central Television, “raising awareness of South Australia as a cultural tourism destination with hundreds of millions of Chinese viewers,” said Adelaide Festival Centre’s CEO Douglas Gautier.

South Australian Premiere Jay Weatherwill witnessed the agreement, and believes that the cultural link between Australia and China is just as important as its trade and economic counterparts. “Building the link between South Australia and China cannot solely be about two-way investment and boosting imports and exports – though those things are obviously important. It’s also crucially about improving our people-to-people ties – such as in the field of the arts,” he said. “It is agreements like this one that add substance and breadth to the long-term relationship between China and South Australia.”

The signing of the agreement took place at the opening of the Centre’s newest exhibition, Stories of Life, which identifies and explores the rapidly evolving Chinese culture through the work of 13 young Beijing-based artists. Contemporary photographer Mia Xiaochun looks at his Chinese homeland through digitally manipulated works that paint an alien view of a new dynastic era. Other artists present works in sculpture, 3D, games and watercolour.

The Chinese Music Orchestra, conducted by Xia Hong, will make its Adelaide premiere this year on February 18 as part of the Chinese New Year concert, Treasures of the Nation. Contemporary and traditional will be merged as the Orchestra performs a selection of popular instrumental work alongside stunning visuals and art.

The Stories of Life exhibition is open until April 3 – for more information, visit the Adelaide Festival Centre website. Tickets are available for the Chinese Music Orchestra concert on February 18 at 7.30pm as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival here.

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