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A man of character

Updated: 2021-11-16 08:13 ( China Daily )
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Sears writes the characters for "Uncle Hanzi" during a visit to the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing in 2017.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Staying in China

After he visited Tianjin in 2012 to receive an award at an event hosted by Tianjin Satellite TV, Sears decided to stay in China. He worked different jobs in Tianjin, Beijing and Anhui province before finally settling down in Nanjing seven years later in 2019. There he worked with Nanjing Retinar Information Technology Co to transform the images of different forms of the same Chinese characters into animation for teenagers, using augmented reality and pattern recognition.

In June last year, Sears was awarded Jinling Friendship Award by the Nanjing local government in Jiangsu province. Six months later, the 70-year-old received his long-awaited permanent residence permit for foreigners, or the Chinese "green card".

In September, Sears set up his studio in Nanjing as part of the local authority's plan to cultivate talent in the culture sector. The studio focuses on applying AR, animation and artificial intelligence to telling stories of Chinese culture and character origins. They have made more than 60 such videos in English with Chinese subtitles for Bilibili, a video website.

"They have both entertainment value for young Chinese and educational value and can teach the origins of Chinese characters," he says.

"We also want to make videos with a high educational value for other platforms both for Chinese and foreign learners of Chinese characters. This will be a comprehensive set of videos, showing the pictographic origins of all of the basic components of modern and traditional Chinese characters."

In the meantime, Sears has been updating the database. "My philosophy is huodao lao xuedao lao (live and learn), so never stop learning."

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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