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Greek artist offers 'exit' from pandemic

Updated: 2022-03-01 08:51 ( China Daily )
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ATHENS-A recently opened exhibition of 18 paintings by Greek artist Vassilis Perros takes visitors to a gallery in central Athens on a journey from darkness and depression to hope and light.

Inspired by his observation of his students' homes during the online courses he delivered over the past two years, his works express loneliness, fear and optimism, and the quest for an exit from the crisis caused by the pandemic.

The exhibition, which runs through March 12 at Skoufa Gallery, is titled Domo after the Latin word for home, Perros says.

Perros, who is also a teacher at a primary school, started exploring the concept of home just before the outbreak of the pandemic. COVID-19 has radically changed people's lives and had a major impact on Perros' art style.

"I am one of those artists who are influenced by the social environment and by what is happening around us. E-learning acted as a catalyst, a stimulus for my work," he says.

Initially, Perros painted people perching on their sofas and glued to their screens, struggling with negative emotions inside dark rooms. As the number of COVID-19 infections dropped, smiling figures, children with books in their hands and rays of sunlight appeared in his paintings.

The central piece of the show is titled Exit, featuring a group of individuals inside apartments. In the apartments on lower floors, dark colors and images of isolation and confinement prevail. Lighter tones take over on higher floors and in the attic, there is an "exit "sign illuminated by sunlight.

"This work has a heavily depressive atmosphere, but it is deeply optimistic at its core. The message is, 'here we go, we are exiting'. The exhibition invites visitors to find the way out of whatever traps them in," Perros says.

He and fellow artists have had more time to create art in the past two years and are now presenting their works.

Perros says the power of art can transcend borders and move people beyond the limitations of language.

"Our art is addressed to a global audience. I believe that a Chinese person would be as excited by what he sees here as a Greek viewer would, even if this is an apartment building in Athens," he adds.

His students were by his side during the opening of the exhibition on Feb 17.

"We were all glued to electronic devices during lockdowns and perhaps that is why I noticed many electronic devices in the works," says Maria Vassiliki, one of Perros' students.

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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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