Chinese artists' group on board MH370

By Lin Qi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-03-09 07:49:11

Passengers on board Flight MH370 included a group of 30 Chinese artists, family members and staffers who had attended a three-day painting and calligraphy exhibition at which the artists' work was displayed.

Ma Yong'an, chairman of the Beijing-based China Calligraphy Artists Association, which co-organized the event in Kuala Lumpur, told China Daily that 13 people from the group are members of the association. One of the members was the association's Vice-Chairman Meng Gaosheng, who led the group.

Chinese artists' group on board MH370

Malaysia hosts Chinese art exhibition

Sin Chew Daily, a major Chinese-language Malaysian newspaper, said that the 30 group members who later boarded Flight MH370 had taken part in the art fair opening on Tuesday.

The newspaper said that 35 people, including 25 artists, executives and their families arrived in Kuala Lumpur on March 3, but the artists took different flights back. Six people from the group did not board the missing flight, the newspaper said.

The exhibition featured a lineup of artists from around China who demonstrated their proficiency in calligraphy, oil paintings and ink art.

Meng, the association vice-chairman, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying at the opening ceremony that "the exhibition coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Malaysian diplomatic ties".

"They not only brings the magnificence of Chinese art to people in Kuala Lumpur, but also they want to celebrate the friendship of the two countries through their brushwork."

Meng, 63 and a native of Shaanxi province, is himself an established calligrapher who specializes in writing xingshu, or running script, and caoshu, or cursive script, Ma said.

"He is occupied with a lot of social activities by day. He only has nighttime to practice calligraphy, and he does so until midnight," Ma said, choking back tears.

"His works are widely exhibited. He has carved out a name in the field because of his diligence and gift. He has always been a mentor and an old buddy of mine."

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