At the beginning of 2021, our China Program began a new education campaign, One Yangtze River With Thousands of Cranes, supported by Huatai Securities, a Chinese finance firm. The Yangtze River basin in eastern China is one of the two most important wintering sites for cranes in Asia, along with the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The basin supports several species of wintering cranes, including nearly the entire population of critically endangered Siberian Cranes. An important goal of the education campaign is to increase awareness and understanding of crane conservation through our work.
“I hope to depict their beauty by myself, to reflect the inspiration gained from the connection between the Yangtze River and cranes in the painting, and also hope cranes can coexist with the world for a long time and appeal to everyone to protect wetlands and preserve the ecological environment.” ~ Li Mingxin, Artist
The campaign began with a suite of five digital New Year’s cards featuring five different crane species, each representing blessings for success in study, love, career, health or wealth. The public viewed the cards and related videos more than 400,000 times on our Chinese social media platforms.
“The crane is a very important image in ancient Chinese culture, and countless scholars and poets have written poems to praise cranes. There are thousands of cranes on the bank of the Yangtze River, delivering plentiful connotations.
I cite ancient Chinese poems about cranes to express people’s love for cranes throughout history.” ~ Liu Yuyang, Artist
Most recently, we partnered with the Center for East Asian-Australasian Flyway Studies, Huatai Securities and the environmental education non-profit organization Roots and Shoots to organize a poster contest featuring the cranes found in the Yangtze River basin. We received over 120 entries from all ages, including professional and amateur artists, and chose 20 winning posters.
We have compiled the winning entries, along with the artist’s statement explaining the theme and techniques used in each artwork. Click here to view the portfolio. We hope you are as inspired as we are in reading about these creative pieces. Please let us know which poster is your favorite!
“The poster is composed of the crease patterns and folding steps of a self-designed origami crane model, both of which are vector drawings. The essence of a paper crane model is formed by a square piece of black and white paper through folding repeatedly without cutting.” ~ Huang Xiaoxian, Artist
This month, we displayed the posters at two public outreach events – the One Yangtze River With Thousands of Cranes Roadshow – in Beijing July 9 to 11 and Shanghai July 16 to 18. Here is a short video with some splendid moments from the roadshow in Shanghai.