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News | Published: Tue 23 Feb 2010

Image Eastern Exchanges at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Overseen nationally by the Museum, Libraries and Archives Association (MLA), Stories of the World involves more than 50 museums, libraries and archives across the UK in a collaboration shedding new light on collections. As well as seeing the traditional curators’ or historians’ view, audiences will hear stories from the viewpoint of people from diverse cultures, now living in the UK.

Eastern Exchanges is the East of England’s contribution to this project, bringing together museums, archives and community groups from across the region in a celebration of the area’s links with China, India and Pakistan. Exploring the idea of exchange, this major two-year programme of cultural activities will lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, showcasing the region’s rich heritage and collections to the rest of the country and the world.

As part of the project, The Fitzwilliam Museum is welcoming internationally renowned Chinese artist, Chen Hong as its new artist-in-residence for the next month. Regarded as a ‘cultural treasure’ in his homeland, Mr Chen is an expert and eloquent painter of traditional Chinese motifs, particularly famous for his images of fish. During his time at the Museum, he will be giving public demonstrations and painting workshops, working with visitors of all ages to illuminate this artistic tradition. Mr Chen’s three-month residency in the East of England will also see him give demonstrations for Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

Other activities within the region as part of Eastern Exchanges include a cultural exchange programme for young people between Essex and Jiangsu Province, a community art project in Luton to decorate a locally-made truck in the Pakistani folk tradition, and an oral history project involving young people and the Chinese community. The Fitzwilliam Museum will also be staging a major international exhibition of ancient Chinese treasures in 2012.

Stories of the World: Eastern Exchanges will be launched at the Fitzwilliam Museum this Thursday (25 February 2010).

  • Find out more about what’s on at the Fitzwilliam as part of Eastern Exchanges