Caricature exhibition held in Cairo on ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi

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A caricature exhibition on Chinese philosopher Laozi was held here Monday, helping promote the Chinese culture in Egypt and boost mutual cultural exchange.

"The exhibition displays more than 30 works by 40 artists from 18 countries including China, Egypt, Spain and Brazil ... the works are all about the life of the Chinese philosopher Laozi," said Shi Yuewen, Chinese cultural counselor to Egypt.

These paintings reflect the admiration and love of the people of the world for Laozi's philosophy, Shi said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the exhibition dubbed "Laozi in the eyes of the world."

"Laozi, who was born in 571 B.C., is one of the most prominent ancient Chinese philosophers, thinkers, writers and historians. He is the founder of Taoism," Shi said.

Laozi called for providing people with science and wisdom, and his thoughts have deeply influenced and helped develop the world's and China's philosophy, the Chinese diplomat added.

"Laozi called for bridging the gap between the ruling class and the people. As for self-development, he introduced the Taoist life style, which calls for maintaining humility and not to collide with others," Shi said.

The exhibition, held at the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo in cooperation with the Egyptian Caricature Association, is part of the Sixth International Caricature Forum which kicked off Sunday in Cairo.

Fawzi Morsi, the Commissioner General of the forum, thanked the Chinese cultural counselor for holding the exhibition, noting that it is the third time the Egyptian Caricature Association has held such an event at the Chinese cultural center.

"The first exhibition focused on Egypt and China, while the second was about the Chinese philosopher Confucius," he said at the ceremony.

"The exhibition includes 40 caricatures in a competition held recently in China about Laozi," he said.

According to Morsi, who is also a caricaturist, a number of Egyptian caricaturists participated in the competition, and Omar Seddiq won a prize for his works.

Egyptian caricaturist Seddiq said that he read about Laozi, and he admired the philosopher's hair and beard.

"In my work, I turned his hair into pens since he spread his culture and thoughts ... pens symbolize culture and knowledge," Seddiq told Xinhua.

Seddiq said he drew three paintings about Laozi, including a cubic portrait that was put on display at the exhibition.

The artist highly appreciated such exhibitions, saying that they help caricaturists develop their skills and experiences.

"These exhibitions also help spread the Chinese culture in Egypt and boost mutual cultural exchange," he said.

Since the upgrading of relations between China and Egypt to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014, cultural exchanges have been at their peaks as demonstrated by frequent mutual visits between artists as well as cultural and musical delegations.

Both countries hope to boost friendly ties through the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which has promoted deeper understanding between the two countries and helped revitalize the ancient civilizations in the new era. 

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