29/11/2018 - 28/02/2019

Urban sculpture is indispensable testimony of cultural history and developments of human civilization. As significant symbols of a citys cultural landscape, urban sculpture seals memories that inspire respect across generations, becoming timeless in peopleshearts while highlighting cultural distinctions: the Little Mermaidbrings to mind Copenhagen, the beautiful port city in Denmark, as "Manneken Pis" does the city of Brussels.

Since 1985, more than 50 cities have enjoyed the honorable title of "European Capital of Culture" conferred by the European Union, under fierce competition. The theme Urban sculpture explores and develops the dialogue between sculptural arts and photographic arts, as elements of culture exchange linking the cities through their shared experience of "European Capital of Culture. This distinct experience is communicated by the lenses of photographers, from China and Italy, who were invited to photograph and shoot urban sculptures, creating a discourse that serves as an opportunity for discovery and learning for the exhibition's visitors.

Appointed as the Special Envoy Team, Italian photographers Michele Stanzione and Alessandra Combatti, and Chinese photographers Zeng Yi and Zhou Yinshuang, took over 10 thousand pictures, focusing on 10-15 representative sculptures from each city, to present the historical and humanistic atmosphere of "European Capitals of Culture" to the world.

In the process of shooting, the photographers captured and recorded the history of the urban sculptures through their own unique cultural and artistic perspectives, to systematically evoke a sense of the urban sculptures’ harmony, long history, and far-reaching influence. Over a 3 month period, between August and November 2015, the two groups of photographers travelled to 13 European countries to take photographs in 15 cities which had been granted “European Capital of Culture” status between 1985 and 1999:  Athens (Greece), Florence (Italy), Amsterdam (Holland), Berlin (Germany), Paris (France), Glasgow (UK), Dublin (Ireland), Madrid (Spain), Antwerp (Belgium), Lisbon (Portugal), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Copenhagen (Denmark), Salonika (Greece), Stockholm (Sweden), and Weimar (Germany).

With Malta`s capital, Valletta, being the 2018 European Capital of Culture, Mr. Kevin Casha, President of the Malta Institute of Malta Photography, was invited to take photographs of city sculptures in Valletta, as a special part of this exhibition.

The Immortals of a City showcases 51 selected photos from the vast quantity of works, these photos are not objective records of the sculptures, but rather stunning reinventions inspired by lots of reading and reflection on historical documents. The exhibition seeks to convey the influence and charm of European public artworks, by representing sculptures of European cities through photography, offering visitors an extraordinary taste of glimpses captured in these European cities, and inviting one to reflect on life and moments of history while progressing toward the future. It has been exhibited in Beijing, Qingdao, Tianjin and other places in China, meeting with profound appreciation and interest in the historical, cultural and exotic diversity of the urban carvings, especially by many who have never been to Europe.


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China Cultural Centre in Malta