Interview: Bringing Slovenia, China closer together "a great mission," says award-winning artist-Xinhua

Interview: Bringing Slovenia, China closer together "a great mission," says award-winning artist

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-12-13 00:22:15

by Marja Vogric

LJUBLJANA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Earlier this month, an animated movie about Alma Karlin, a Slovenian female writer who a century ago embarked on a solo journey around the world that also took her to China received the best Slovenian short film award at a local film festival.

The movie, which also screened at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, is based on a bilingual children's book about Karlin titled "Little Alma on a Great Journey." Wang Huiqin, an award-winning artist born in southeastern China, is the author and illustrator of the book in both Chinese and Slovene.

"I made the book and the movie about Alma because I admire her, as she was very brave and strong and those are the qualities that we need today," Wang told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"I want as many people to know about her as possible. It is important that children know about her as well," she added. The film, available in Chinese, Slovenian and several other languages, has already screened in China, Peru, Tunisia, Kenya, Australia, Türkiye and Austria.

Noting that people should know more about other countries and other cultures, Wang said, "If people would know each other, they would value each other and there would be no wars."

Having lived in Slovenia for 40 years, Wang can speak Slovene fluently and remains passionate to create bridges between the cultures of Slovenia and China.

She said she loves to work on projects about people who connect China and Europe. She also wrote an illustrated bilingual book on Ferdinand Augustin Hallerstein, an astronomer from the Habsburg Empire (now Slovenia), who was born 320 years ago and arrived in China in 1739 after a two-year journey.

Known by his Chinese name Liu Songling, Hallerstein never returned to Europe but became the head of the Board of Astronomy and Mathematics of the Qing Dynasty. He created an astronomical observation instrument, which was the largest at the Beijing Ancient Observatory, where it is still on display.

Her painting of Hallerstein has been printed on Slovenian postal stamps. Moreover, she also created illustrated bilingual books on Italian explorer Marco Polo and Italian painter Guiseppe Castiglione, who worked in China about 250 years ago.

Wang studied art at the University of Nanjing in China, where she met her husband, who is a Slovenian Sinologist. She now teaches calligraphy and Chinese art at Ljubljana University.

Living in this mountainous country by the Adriatic Sea, which has 2.1 million citizens, Wang has had her paintings exhibited here and abroad many times. Over the past years, she has received several Slovenian awards for her illustrations.

"I love Slovenia because it is a country with a lot of art, with a highly developed culture," Wang said.