French artist displays giant dragon sculptures in Paris

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A pair of giant Chinese dragon sculptures, along with a 1,000-square-meter canvas, are being exhibited in La Place du Pantheon (Pantheon Square) in central Paris between June 1 and June 7 as part of the "Journey of the Dragon" exhibition that will arrive at Huanghuacheng Lakeside Great Wall North of Beijing in China next year after its tour of France.

Gwendoline Finez de Villena, the French artist who created the pair of origami-style Chinese dragon sculptures and the canvas, explained to Xinhua on the opening day that she was very fond of the art of Chinese paper folding, and her inspiration was children's origami game, which is full of poetry and innocence.

Finez de Villena, who has lived in Shanghai, China, said that Chinese culture was an important source of inspiration for her. She wanted to use Chinese paper folding, a "light" technique, to showcase the two "heavy" Chinese dragon sculptures that weigh 900 kilos each.

The romance of the exhibition is to let the dragons fly from Pantheon Square, one of the most important squares in Paris, to their hometown in China.

She said that next year, the Year of the Dragon, marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China, and she hoped that her dragons would be a symbol of peace and friendship between the two countries.

Stephane, a tourist from Toulon, Southern France, was particularly interested in the two giant sculptures that for him represented Chinese culture.

"I know that dragons are the symbol of China. I have always wanted to travel to the far-away country since I saw on the television that it is very modern and strong in technologies now," Stephane told Xinhua.

He said that his only direct contact with China was through his Chinese-made home appliances, and he and his wife were very happy with the quality of Made in China.

He wanted to learn more about Chinese culture, but most of the cultural events are being held in Paris, while he lives in the South of France.

The exhibition not only attracts French people but also tourists from China. Yu, a 27-year-old graphic designer, was delighted to see Chinese dragons being reinvented in another form.

"France and China both have a long history and a rich cultural background, I think we could do a lot of things together," he said.

Next year, for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, Yu said that he wanted to see more French art in China, and more Chinese art, both traditional and modern, could be shown in France.

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