Cuban painter opens exhibit to pay tribute to Chinese cultural heritage

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Cuban painter Alexander Hernandez Chang's one-man show "Heritage," which is now on at the Asia House Museum in Havana's Historic Center, pays tribute to his Chinese cultural root.

The exhibit features 19 works of art, including oil paintings, charcoal drawings and sculptures, inspired by the fusion of Chinese and Cuban cultures.

"Working from memory has meant a commitment to be able to pass on the acquired knowledge to new generations," the 35-year-old artist told Xinhua.

"I am interested in continuing to deepen research on the Chinese presence in Cuba," he said.

Brought up in Sancti Spiritus, a central Cuban province located more than 350 km from Havana, Hernandez Chang has learned about Chinese traditions and drawn inspirations from his Chinese root.

"I am interested in working based on the interpretation of family photographs, both from Chinatown and other Chinese communities that have existed in Cuba," he said.

The artist, who is currently working on a local development project to establish the Center for the Interpretation of Chinese Culture, is a fan of Chinese martial arts, who hopes to study the Chinese language for better understanding.

"Heritage" was inaugurated as part of a series of events marking the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants in Cuba.

Though the pieces on show, with such evocative names as "Family Portrait" "Cardinal Points" and "Encounters," were conceived before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Cuba in March 2020, they are relevant to the challenging times of today, said exhibit curator Teresa Toranzo.

"In this exhibition there is a very interesting reflection on such issues as spirituality — from different interpretations of Buddhism to the preservation of the family — in the difficult times that humanity is experiencing," Toranzo said.

The exhibit will run till August at the Asia House Museum, which was founded in 1998 and houses the largest collection of Asian art in Cuba. 

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