Art festival to commemorate Cao Xueqin

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Cao Xueqin was a famous Chinese writer in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) best known as the author of A Dream of Red Mansions, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Redology is the academic study of Cao Xueqin's A Dream of Red Mansions. There are numerous researchers in this field. Dozens of influential redology experts and scholars, and hundreds of fans, gathered on the lawn around the memorial to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Cao Xueqin's death in the 1760s.

The fourth Cao Xueqin Culture and Art Festival kicked off in the Cao Xueqin Memorial in Beijing Botanical Garden on Sept 22, according to the organizing committee of the festival.

Hu Deping, head of the Cao Xueqin Academy, declared the fourth Cao Xueqin Culture and Art Festival open on Sept 22. It will last for one month. In order to promote Chinese traditional culture, the one-month festival will promote international communication with memorials of world literature giants, nationwide commemorative activities, and traditional drama performances themed around A Dream of Red Mansions.

This festival was initiated by the Cao Xueqin Academy in 2010 and co-sponsored by the Beijing Haidian district government and Beijing Municipal Administration Center of Parks, according to Li Mingxin, secretary-general of the Cao Xueqin Academy.

Cao's beautiful story in A Dream of Red Mansions has spread across the world. He is a humanist and a heroic figure in folk legends.

Cao, moreover, is a symbol of Chinese traditional culture to some extent. He is to Chinese literature what Shakespeare is to English literature, said a redology expert. The cultural giants and classics are the spring of innovation, the jewels of a nation's culture.

Cao's residence in Xishan Mountain, which was where he wrote his masterpiece, will be repaired by Beijing Botanical Garden. The project hopes to establish a high-quality cultural spot that incorporates history with natural scenery.

A historical and cultural project, named “Three Mountains and Five Historical Gardens,” is being promoted by the Beijing municipal government and Haidian district government, according to Chen Mingjie, director of the Haidian publicity department. The project includes the renovations of Xiangshan Mountain, Yuquan Mountain and the Summer Palace. The restoration of Cao's residence is also part of this project. The restoration embodies the development and prosperity of Beijing culture and promotes the construction of the project. Visitors will be able to learn specific details about Cao and his masterpiece in the museum-like space.

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