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Remarks by Ambassador Gui Congyou at the Exhibition of Modern Chinese and Swedish Book Design
2019/09/19

(Stockholm, 18 September 2019)

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

In the beautiful autumn, the Exhibition of Modern Chinese and Swedish Book Design hosted by Chinese Culture Center in Stockholm is opened. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, I’d like to extend warm congratulations on the opening of the exhibition.

As Shakespeare said, books are the nutrition of the whole world. Books are what record and carry forward the human civilization. They are an important carrier of human emotions, knowledge and experience. Since the day books were born, book making techniques have been constantly developing through exchanges and mutual-learning among civilizations, and reinforce with culture, arts, aesthetics, economy and productivity throughout the course of social progress. The Egyptian papyrus paper, Babylonian clay tablet, Indian pattra leaves and Chinese bamboo sheet are examples of how western and eastern civilizations contributed to book making together thousands of years ago. The invention of paper making and movable type-printing in China was spread to countries along the silk road, and advanced book making techniques of human kind to a new level, the benefits of which are still felt today.

In the four decades since reform and opening up in China, China’s publishing industry has been growing rapidly. In 2018, 519,000 books were published and 10 billion copies were printed nationwide. The turnover of the publishing industry reached USD 13.7 billion. This blooming industry facilitated the development of book design in China. In recent years, a large number of Chinese designers, building on learning from good practices internationally, tried to find a way to reflect the Chinese culture in designing, one that constitutes both international elements and traditional Chinese culture. Sweden is strong in publishing and printing. Swedish artists have a unique view on how to reflect the content of the book through using the right texture, cover design, frame, format and colors. There is a lot that can be achieved through exchanges in book designing between China and Sweden.

In the Exhibition of Modern Chinese and Swedish Book Design, over 220 award-winning designs are presented. They are masterpieces of new technology, new materials, new techniques and modern designing concepts. During the exhibition, Chinese and Swedish book designers will have discussions on the development and trend of book arts at forums and workshops. I believe, this exhibition will bring not only a feast of book designing to the audience, but also establish a platform for the book designing industries in China and Sweden, where artists from both countries can exchange ideas and come up with innovative designs and art concepts.

I’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to the friends who made this exhibition possible. I wish the exhibition a full success!

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