International Friends from the Nanying International Folklore Festival Take a Short Course in Chinese Watercolor at CJCU
Every fall, the Nanying International Folklore Festival, an event sponsored by the Tainan City government, brings outstanding performance groups from around the world to perform for audiences in Tainan. This year, Chang Jung Christian University had the opportunity to host a visit from two of these groups: a dance troupe from the University of Padjadjaran in Bandung, Indonesia, and the Storici Sbandieratori delle Contrade di Cori, a group of young color-guards from Italy who practice a medieval form of flag-waving. Under the guidance of CJCU faculty member Sheen Jeng-chyan, the international guests experimented with Chinese watercolor techniques to create their own souvenir fans.
In order to maximize cultural exchange, each international guest was placed in a small group made up of CJCU students. Sheen, Chairman of the Department of Chinese Painting, has ample experience in teaching courses in Chinese watercolor to international students (including one 10-day course in Japan) but had to make this course especially compact because of the tight schedule of the performing groups. Nevertheless, students reported a high degree of satisfaction from the experience. Ms. Wang Pei-yin, of the Office of International Affairs, who organized the exchange, said the exchange reflected the university’s desire to give students more opportunities for cross-cultural interaction and international exchange of various kinds. The Chinese watercolor course in the Department of Painting was selected as the main activity for the guests because of its intimate connection with Chinese culture. In addition to the fans that the visitors crafted themselves, the University presented each guest with a gift sampler of mijian (蜜餞), Tainan’s distinctive preserved fruits.