by Elena Chuquimarca
QUITO, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Renowned Ecuadorian painter Jorge Perugachy has spoken highly of the cultural relations between Ecuador and China, saying these two cultures share many similarities.
Perugachy, 62, had exhibited his work in China. The artist has also been commissioned by President Rafael Correa to create artworks that were presented as gifts during his foreign visits. One such work was given to Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015 when Correa traveled to Beijing.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Perugachy said his artistic endeavors in China began in 2010, when he participated in the World Expo in Shanghai, exhibiting several of his iconic works depicting pre-Hispanic culture and indigenous women.
While exhibiting abroad, the painter said he considers himself a kind of diplomat representing his country. "Because in the long-run, one is an ambassador, conveying what Ecuador is in colors, lines and shapes."
"I like China, I love China, for the similarity of its culture, and I still want to learn from China," said the artist, who has visited China four times.
"I have come to understand that with China, its people and its culture, there are more things that unite us, than things that separate us," added Perugachy.
The two countries share certain indigenous characteristics, he said, noting the weaving, adornments and headdresses of some indigenous people of the two nations are similar.
Perugachy's artistic career gained prominence at the 5th and 6th International Art Biennials of Beijing, held at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) in 2012 and 2015, when he was invited to display his work.
"My work was seen by nearly 30 million people," he said. He donated three paintings from his series "Virgins of the Sun" to the NAMOC and the Foundation of Art and Literature, as a way to share his work with the Chinese people and strengthen cultural relations between the two countries.
"They like and they identify with the message that I take with me from Ecuador, from Latin America," he said.
China has also inspired Perugachy. On his gallery walls, several paintings feature scenes of Suzhou, a city in eastern China. The artworks, known as the "Venice of the East," depict the city's network of canals, rivers and gardens.
"All of the cities are pretty, they have their own unique character, (but) Suzhou invites you to relax, to be at peace," Perugachy said. The classical gardens of Suzhou are known for their delicate design and have been put on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
Talking about one of his artworks that was given to Xi as a gift, Perugachy said "it was an honor to paint for the Chinese leader. I feel it is an enormous responsibility, since it isn't a work of Perugachy, but a work of Ecuador."
Perugachy said he is now looking forward to Xi's upcoming visit to Ecuador, as well as the strengthening of bilateral cultural ties.
"The arrival of a president from China, a culturally powerful nation, opens the doors to Latin American art, allows it to cross borders, and can more easily show Ecuador to China," said the artist.
Xi will pay a week-long state visit to Ecuador, Peru and Chile from Nov.17 to 23 and attend the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting from Nov. 19 to 20 in Lima, capital city of Peru.