By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer
The Dakota County Public Art Citizens Advisory Committee announced that a China cultural exhibit is now open in the rotunda of the Dakota County Northern Service Center located at 1Mendota Road West, West St. Paul, MN 55118, and will continue to be on display through the end of March, 2012.
The exhibit focuses on China with three themes:
Dakota County's Sister City – Chengde, China.
Traditional Chinese Culture
This is the fourth installment of the Three Cultures series of exhibits that focuses exclusively on one country. The country selected this year is China, and it is being viewed through three different lenses. The first is the relationship between Dakota County and its sister city, Chengde. The second is a reflection of key elements of traditional Chinese culture. The third lens is the perspective of the Chinese Americans who have moved to Dakota County.
According to the brochure distributed at the exhibit, China is growing rapidly and playing an increasingly large role in the global community. Statewide, exports to China totaled US$1.3 billion in 2009 and some of those exports came from Dakota County. To foster business opportunities and cultural exchanges, the County sent a trade mission to China in 2001. The lessons learned on that mission are affecting the local economy today. The exhibit shares the relationship between the County and its sister-city Chengde and illustrates some of the results of trade mission ten years ago.
One of the goals of the Dakota County Public Art Citizen Advisory Committee is to help foster cultural understanding through the Three Cultures series of exhibitions at the Northern Service Center. As Dakota County becomes increasingly diverse, understanding the differences and similarities between each cultural community will help long-time and new residents interact positively, strengthening the communities across the county.
The Chinese Heritage Foundation and China Insight partnered with the County's Art Committee to create the displays of traditional Chinese culture and Chinese/American culture.