Nowadays, the contacts in the field of culture and art between the Republic of Belarus and People’s Republic of China are regulated by an intergovernmental agreement on cultural cooperation. Moreover, the Ministries of Culture of the two states were concluding protocols on cooperation once in each three years up to 2006, which encourages active and manifold development of cultural interaction in different spheres.
The Ministries of Culture of the two states support the development of direct contacts between higher educational establishments and technical colleges preparing specialists in the field of culture and art of both countries on a mutual basis. The most active cooperation can be spotted in the field of cooperation between the Belarusian State Academy of Music – where 179 Chinese students study – and China.
Successful development of cooperation can be noted in museum and librarian business. The exchange of exhibitions dedicated to modern fine art and museum expositions is aligned. The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus and Chinese Artists’ Association have signed an agreement which supposes art exhibitions exchange. 2003 saw the signing of an agreement on cooperation between the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus and National Art Museum of the People’s Republic of China.
The relationship between the librarians of the two states has moved to a new level. In 2004 the head of the National Library of Belarus, Mr. R. Motulsky visited the National Library of China. The visit was aimed at exchange and study of experience in the field of applying library informational technologies. The visit resulted in signing the protocol on cooperation between the libraries of the two states. In 2004 the Government of the People’s Republic of China decided to provide the Republic of Belarus with 1,2 million USD for tools, jigs and fixtures of the new building of the National Library of Belarus. In December 2006 on the premises of the National Library the two parties concluded the final act of the People’s Republic of China donation of equipment for the library.
Chinese audience often had the opportunity to appreciate high professional skills of Belarusian artists. Various performing groups went on concert tours to China, including the Honored Dance Ensemble of Belarus (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005), actors of the National Academic Bolshoi Theater of Opera of the Republic of Belarus (1997, 1998), the Belarusian State Honored Choreographic Ensemble “Khoroshki” (1998, 2000), the National Academic Bolshoi Theater of Ballet of the Republic of Belarus (2002, 2003) etc.
Festivals of national culture – Days of National Culture – are a most interesting form of cultural cooperation between Belarus and China which are held twice a year and have become traditional and significant events in the cultural life of Belarus and China.
In 1999 the National Academic Folk Chorus named after G. I. Tsitovich, the Ensemble of Soloists “Classic-Avangard” and the Ensemble of Belarusian State Philarmony - “Kamerata”, the laureates of international competitions, soloists of the National Academic Theater of Opera of the Republic of Belarus, the National Academic Folk Orchestra named after I. Zhinovich went to China for participation in days of national culture of the Republic of Belarus. There were also held exhibitions of modern graphic arts of Belarusian artists; the exhibits were taken from the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus; and exhibitions of Belarusian modern fine art representing best works of famous Belarusian artists.
The performance of Chinese artists and art exhibitions, held within the framework of Days of Chinese Culture in Belarus in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006 evoked great interest among Belarusian audience.
In December 2005 Days of Belarusian Culture in China were held along with the visit of the President of the Republic of Belarus A.G. Lukashenko to China. Chinese audience was offered a programme, which included P. Tchaikovsky’s “The Swan Lake” performed by the National Academic Bolshoi Theater of Ballet of the Republic of Belarus, an exhibition of contemporary graphic arts provided by the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.
In July 2006 the Chinese artists for the first time participated in the International Festival of Arts - Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk. Within the framework of the festival there were performances of the Chinese Circus – Xi yui. It gave 6 plays in Vitebsk and 2 plays in Novopolotsk.
In October 2006 the National Museum of History and Culture in Belarus held an exhibition of photographic documents from the Beijing Museum.
From 23 to 29 of September 2006 there were Days of Chinese Culture in Belarus, and different dancing and music groups participated in these events. There were also held the exhibitions of Chinese pictorial art - “The world of snow and ice”.
In June 2007 Minsk held Days of Chinese Movie. December of 2007 saw the National Museum of History and Culture hold an exhibition called “Silk Garden”.
Following the regular practice the Ministry of Culture sent proposals to hold Days of Belarusian Culture in the Peoples Republic of China in October of 2007 to the Chinese party. The Chinese party suggested postponing of the Days of culture to 2008 and holding of the event in July.
Moreover, in 2006 the interdepartmental protocol on cooperation became void, and in this regard the two parties agreed on the development of a new protocol for the period 2007-2011. The draft protocol with the Belarusian party remarks and amendments to it has been submitted to the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.
The development and signing of interdepartmental protocol on cooperation, holding exchange of Days of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the PRC are also stipulated in the Programme of Belarus-China Relations Activation for 2006-2010, affirmed by S.S. Sidorsky, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus.
In April 2008, the Belarusian State Philharmonic Hall ensemble of soloists under the leadership of I. Ivanov performed at the International Tourism Exchange in Beijing within the frameworks the national Belarusian stand activity.
The same month saw Vladislav Poligovka, a student of the Belarusian State Academy of Music pay a visit to China to hold a master-class (accordion) and concert in Sichuan’s Conservatory of Music.
The dance collective of the Shanghai Pedagogical University participated in the International Festival of Arts - Slavonic Bazaar in July of 2008.
From 15 to 20 July of 2008, China hosted the Days of Culture of the Republic of Belarus. The programme included performances of the National Academic Folk Choir of the Republic of Belarus named after G.I.Tsitovich, the exhibition of modern Belarusian artists’ works. The choir collective also participated in 9th International festival of choral singing held in Beijing.
The art gallery of the University of Culture opened an exhibition of creative youth of Belarus and China on 23rd of January 2009.
A creative team from the China Coal Industry Association participated in the International Festival of Arts “Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk” in July, 2009.
With a view to implement the Programme for Activation of Belarus-China Relations for 2006-2010, dated March 30, 2006, No. 35/205-516, approved by S. Sidorski, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, under the terms of the Interdepartmental Protocol on Cooperation for 2007-2011, the period from 14 to 20 of September, 2009 saw the holding of “Days of Culture of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Belarus.”
The Days of Culture included performances of Radio and Cinema Symphonic Orchestra of China held in Minsk, Vitebsk, Polotsk; the exhibition of modern Chinese ink painting was opened at the National Historic Museum of the Republic of Belarus.
In order to participate in the Days of Culture, the official delegation of the Ministry of Culture of China headed by Ouyang Jian, the Vice-Minister of Culture of China paid a visit to Belarus. In the course on negotiations with the administration of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus the officials discussed issues on development of Belarus-China cooperation in the field of culture, including the arrangement of mutual tours of the best creative teams from Belarus and China, consolidation of direct contacts among organisations of the two countries, development of interaction between the national libraries, the national museums of art, educational establishments in the field of arts and humanities.
The Parties also reached agreements on the holding of the Days of Culture of the Republic of Belarus in the People’s Republic of China next year.
The Ministry of Culture has addressed a list of international event to be held in the Republic of Belarus in the year 2010 to the Chinese party so that interested entities will be able to participate.
The Ministry of Culture has been proceeding the work to organize the participation of Belarusian creative teams in a cultural programme of the National Exposition of the Republic of Belarus held within the frameworks of the World Exhibition “EXPO-2010” in Shanghai.
A merit amateur team of the Republic of Belarus – a dance ensemble “Radasts’” (Brest) – partook in the opening of the National Exposition of the Republic of Belarus presented at the exhibition.
In the course of the exhibition visitors enjoyed the presentations of cultural programmes of the Vitebsk Oblast (the vocal and choreographic ensemble “Toloka” of the Vitebsk Oblast Philharmonic) and the Gomel Oblast (an ensemble “Liritsa” of the Gomel Oblast Philharmonic and a merit amateur team of the Republic of Belarus – the vocal and choreographic ensemble “Gomiy”).
Under the interdepartmental protocol of cooperation for 2007-2011, on October 12-18, 2010 China hosted the Days of Culture of the Republic of Belarus with the Belarusian State Choreographic Ensemble “Khoroshki” and the Belarusian State Ensemble “Pesniary” take part. On October 11, 2010, Belarusian performers appeared within the programme of the National Day of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai.
During the Days of Culture, the Belarusian delegation was led by the first Deputy Culture Minister Mr. Vladimir M. Karachevsky. Following the results of meetings held with the Chinese party, agreements to hold response Days of Culture in Belarus on September 2011 were reached; draft protocols of cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the PRC and the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television of the PRC were elaborated.
In May 2011, a children’s creative team from China partook in the International Festival of Children’s Art “Zolotaya Pchelka” (“Golden Bee” held in the town of Klimovichi.
According to the program of the Ministry of Culture for 2011, from September 26 to October 03 Belarus will host the Days of Chinese Culture held in the Republic of Belarus.
The Days of Chinese Culture agenda includes performances of the China native musicians in Minsk and Grodno, the exhibition “Ceramics and chinaware” that will be held at the Belarus National Art Museum, the exhibition “Contemporary Chinese Fibre Art” which will take place at the Belarus National History Museum.
During the Days of Chinese Culture, Minsk will enjoy the performances of a folk song and dance creative team and an acrobatic troupe originating from an autonomous region Inner Mongolia.
In January 2012 the exhibition of Chinese painting and calligraphy “Air Bridge” was opened at the Palace of Arts in Minsk within the framework of celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and China.
The joint concert by Chinese and Belarusian students dedicated to the Chinese Spring Festival was held on 20th January 2012 at the Lyceum of Belarusian State University.
In February 2012, Li Zuo’s personal exhibition of Chinese calligraphy was organized at the Mobilnaya gallery of the National Library of Belarus.
The exhibition of the Chinese artist Xiao Yu was held on April 2012 at the Art Gallery of Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts in the Palace of the Republic and was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Belarus and China.
In June 2012, within the framework of the visit of Chinese artists’ delegation to Belarus, an art exhibition opened at the Palace of Arts in Minsk on 11 June and the meeting with the administration of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus was held.