Exhibitions, films, operas and concerts by contemporary groups, acrobatic shows, calligraphy, watercolour, tai chi and qi gong workshops, tea tastings and gastronomy, storytelling and demonstrations of silk painting... These are some of the many activities on offer as Europalia celebrates Chinese culture, exploring aspects from the most traditional to the avant-garde.
Set between two events that mark the international boom of the Eastern giant - the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and Shanghai World Expo 2010 - Europalia provides an immersion in Chinese life and culture beyond the stereotypes, cliches and prejudices, organised around four broad themes: immortal, multicultural and contemporary China, and China and the world.
The Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels and the Tea House, installed on the Mont des Arts, are the main settings of the cultural event, although it has also spread to many localities beyond the Belgian capital.
The Museum of Art and History is hosting the exhibition The Silk Road, with over 200 items, many of them discovered in tombs, ranging from great works of art to everyday utensils, and so providing a vision of life and death of the towns along the route and exploring the earliest cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.
In the Espace Culturel ING, we find the exhibition The Mandarin's Three Dreams that delves into the world of the mandarins as scholars and artists. The Walloon town of La Louviere is hosting Customs and traditions of the Chinese New Year, which showcases more than 200 pieces of folk art including pictures, kites, embroidery and origami loaned by the National Art Museum of Chinese in Beijing.
On 7th and 8th February, eyes will turn to Le Colisee, where the National Acrobatic Troupe of China will perform a spectacular colourful show revealing the acrobatic skills of 55 extraordinary artists.