Across Time and Space: The Silk Road and the Silk City" International Symposium Successfully Concluded

October 26th - October 27th, 2022
Martini Room, Hamilton Hall, William Paterson University, and Online

Sponsored by William Paterson University in New Jersey (hereinafter referred to as UW), co-organized by the University’s Center for Chinese Art, the University’s Art Exhibition Hall, and the Academy of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, supported by the China International Cultural Exchange Association, Paterson City Government, "Across Time and Space: The Silk Road and the Silk City International Symposium" co-organized by Guizhou Foreign Cultural Exchange Association, Nantong People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, China National Silk Museum, Patterson Museum, American Association of Chinese Art Professors, etc. "It was held on October 26th and 27th at the University of Paterson Hamilton Building and online. The seminar adopts the form of domestic and foreign connection, online and offline combination. The content of the exchange and the fields involved are broad, the government cultural institutions and 7 colleges and universities participate in the academic standard majors, and the links with the local history, economy and culture are closely linked, impressing all participants.

This seminar took the history of the famous "Silk Road" as the background, took the American Silk City-Patterson as the core, and relied on the origin city of Chinese silk, focusing on the research and discussion of the time-space extension of the Silk Road's historical coordinates, especially the relationship and development between China and the United States in culture, education, art, industry, and commerce since the 18th century. The event included an opening ceremony, academic reports and discussions, art exhibitions and more.

On the morning of the 26th, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, William Paterson University, Dr. Joshua B. Powers, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dr. Wartyna Davis, and Director of the Center for Chinese Art Professor Cong Zhiyuan co-hosted the opening ceremony of the seminar and delivered a keynote åspeech. University of William Paterson President Dr. Richard Helldober, Paterson City Mayor Andre Sayegh, Consul General Huang Ping of the Chinese Consulate General in New York, and Cultural Counselor Chen Chunmei were all present. President Helldober, Consul General Huang Ping, and Mayor Sayegh all delivered warm speeches. President Helldober said that historically, immigrants from all over the world and cultural diversity have added great impetus to local development. He praised the special significance of this event being held in Paterson, known as the "City of Silk", and fully affirmed the excellent organization and hard work of the Center fo Chinese Art at UW. Consul General Huang emphasized, "The Silk Road has promoted trade and cultural exchanges between different cultures. I hope that the heritage and spirit of the Silk Road will be carried forward to promote the well-being of the Chinese and American people and the common prosperity of the world." He also spoke highly of "the event of the UW Center for Chinese Art is actually trying to build a new cultural Silk Road." Mayor Sayegh said that Paterson City is the famous "Silk City" in the United States. It used to have a well-developed silk textile industry. He hoped that he could work with the Chinese side to promote the spirit of the Silk Road and promote the future development of the city.

Chen Lyusheng , former deputy curator of the National Museum of China, Zeng Li, vice president of Guizhou Normal University, and Diane Von Furstenberg, chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and chairman of DVF fashion company, also made opening speeches through video.

Then Zhao Feng, the honorary curator of the China Silk Museum, Ben Marsh, a professor of history at the University of Kent, and Stephen Hahn, a lifelong honorary professor of English at the University of William Paterson, respectively traveled from China, Europe, and the United States; from before the Han Dynasty, after the Renaissance to the present, From the creation of the silk to the development of the Silk Road through time and space, he gave a wonderful exposition and speech.

The noon symposium was chaired by Professor Zhang He from the Department of Art History Theory, and the topic of the symposium focused on the silk research on the "Silk Road from China to the United States". Curator Zhao Feng, Martina D'Amato of Cora Ginsburg LLC., Donna Ghelerter, an American textile and fashion expert, Claire McRee, curator of the Allentown Museum of Art, and Zhang He Professor shared their research results in this field.

The round table seminar on the morning of 10/27 was hosted by Stephen Hahn of UW. The theme of the meeting is more focused on "Silk Road and Silk City". Hua Ganlin, professor of Yangzhou University, Giacomo DeStefano, curator of the Paterson Museum in the United States, Yao Chong, associate professor of Nantong University, China, and Professor Lucia MacMahon, director of the history department of UW , Zhao Jian, associate professor of art history at Nanjing University of the Arts, Elena Saboga, associate professor at University of William Paterson, Dong Wei, professor at the University of Wisconsin and executive chairman of the National Association of Chinese Art Professors, associate professor and director of the Department of Fine Arts and Design at Beijing Jiaotong University Wang Zheng and other experts shared their historical and academic research on Paterson City, Yangzhou, Nantong, culture, economy, trade, and art education from different perspectives.

The guests, experts, and audience also visited the " Textile Arts from Guizhou, China" and "A durable Thread: The Silk Road from China to America" exhibited in the UW Art Exhibition Hall.

At the opening celebration dinner on 10/26, Principal Helldober, former President Kathleen Waldron, Counselor Chen Chunmei, Powers The Executive vice president and chairman of the school foundation Pamela Ferguson, vice president , Dean Davis, The founder and honorary director of the Center for Chinese Art, Lin Jiehui, Yan Xinkai and the director, Professor Cong Zhiyuan, all made speeches. Everyone Highly praised of the successful convening of the seminar and highly affirmed the achievements of the Center for Chinese Art. Highly commend Professor Cong Zhiyuan for his contribution in planning and preparing the seminar.

A well-produced William Paterson University Production Seminar theme video "Through Time and Space: The Silk Road" was also played at the dinner; a feature video "Silk and the Silk Road - From Hangzhou to Paterson" produced by the China National Silk Museum for the online exhibition Museum"; the special video "Boundless Silk Road - Chinese Art in the United States" produced by the National Association of Chinese Art Professors for the online Professor's Art Works Exhibition; Guizhou Cultural Exchange Association's video "Blueprint Guizhou State". These videos include Chinese silk production, history and culture, batik art works, works of the Chinese Art Professors Association. The product, the essence is absolutely wonderful, glamorous, shocking the audience.

In his speech, Cong Zhiyuan first thanked Ms. Lin Jiehui and Mr. Yan Xinkai for their contributions to the establishment of the China Art Center! He emphasized, without the establishment of the center and the donations and support of the honorary directors of the center, all achievements would be impossible to talk about. Then he introduced the meticulous preparation process of this event, and sincerely thanked the leaders of UW for their attention and help. He introduced former principal Dr. Kathleen waldron’s inspiration for the theme of this symposium, and the current principal Dr. Helldobler and the senior executive vice-principal discussed the seminar approval and support of the proposal. He sincerely thanked the China International Cultural Exchange Association for its support, and thanked Guizhou Province for Cultural Exchange with foreigh countries stream Association, Paterson City Government, Paterson Museum, China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou, Nantong, Yangzhou, Guizhou and other provinces and cities relevant departments and leaders, teachers and students of dozens of universities in China and the United States jointly assisted and supported. He emphasized organizing and holding such a big event, It is unimaginable to rely on the strength of a few people alone. He supports and helps all those in and out of school, domestic and international. Heartfelt thanks to individuals and institutions!

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