South Australia Cooperation and Development Forum was held on May 25 in Ji'nan, the capital of Shandong province.
The forum saw 16 institutions sign cooperation agreements and a memorandum of understanding on cultural exchanges.
According to an agreement signed by the Shandong provincial department of culture and the Adelaide Festival Center in South Australia, the two institutions will co-host the “South Australia Cultural Week” in Ji’nan and Qingdao in 2016.
Another outcome of the forum was that Shandong and South Australia will attach more importance to cultural and art exchanges, through communication between art managers, artists, and exhibitions.
Shandong Cultural Week was held in South Australia in 2014. During the celebration, many traditional operas and cultural heritages were shown to foreigners, including the operas Red Sorghum and Liaozhai Yimeng, as well as cultural heritages such as Taishan shadow puppets and Weifang kites. The photo exhibition, “Wisdom of Confucius” and other painting exhibitions were held to promote the traditional and modern arts of Shandong province.
South Australia Cultural Week will stage various performances and exhibitions by local artists, such as a guitar concert by the Slava Grigoryan brothers, accompanied by Chinese musicians. An array of local folk arts, movies and photography exhibitions will be open to the public during the cultural week.
Xu Xianghong, director of the Shandong provincial department of culture said that cultural exchanges between South Australia and Shandong are frequent remarkable achievements have been made in that area. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s performance in Ji’nan and Qingdao in 2006 left a deep impression on members of the audience.
Shandong should learn more from South Australia, according to Xu, such as improving the services of its museums and restoration techniques of cultural relics, like at the Art Restoration & Conservation Center in Australia. Dubbed the "Festival State", South Australia’s advanced operation models and festival celebration services are well worth learning from, says Xu.
To promote Shandong culture, the province has attended many world-renowned cultural events, such as the Nishan Forum on World Civilizations and the World Confucian Conferences. Some promotional events such as the Nishan Forum and Confucius Cultural Week were held at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris.