CHINA-ZIMBABWE Exchange Centre director Steve Zhao returned from the recently-held China Africa Charity Fundraiser Exhibition in Shanghai a happy man as the expo generated more demand for Zimbabwean visual artefacts, especially those which portray nature and climate change.

Steve, through local galleries and artists’ commitment, took with him close to 50 Zimbabwean visual artists’ paint portraits, which they bartered in exchange for financial and material resources which they will donate to their own communities for development.

He added that the artists would in due course receive tokens of appreciation, and asked to choose beneficiaries for the raised resources at a colourful event.

The China Africa Charity Fundraiser Exhibition took place from May 30 to June 2 at Oriental Pearl Towers in Shanghai.

“So this time, we held an exhibition in Shanghai in conjunction with several international charity organisations in China. We showcased Zimbabwean culture in its diversity, lobbied for the growth of our borehole project, the differently-abled persons and pooled resources for our China-Zimbabwe Friendly Scholarship,” Steve said.

“We were at the Oriental Pearl Towers, a place that has been broadly popularised by magnificent photographs and videos, including promotion of the arts. We appealed to several companies and promoters to direct their excess resources to the education sector.

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“During the exhibition, we also realised that Zimbabwe still lacks dedicated promoters and marketers for several arts domains. People are very much interested in African art, especially the paintings of animals, landscapes and people to people.”

He added that for this year’s edition, he took with him 50 creative works from Harare artists only, adding that in future  he would like to expand access to the information on Africa Charity Fundraiser Exhibition to all the provinces in China.

“During the four days from May 30 to June 2, Shanghai Oriental Pearl ushered in a unique event, the first African Charity Zimbabwean Theme Art Exhibition combined with the Star Wish Baby Public Welfare Activity of Shanghai Xizhixing Foundation.

This is not only an art exhibition, but also a feast of friendship across borders. The full support of Mr Liu Long, vice-chairperson of the China-Zimbabwe Exchange Centre, the loving support and enthusiastic participation of enterprises from Donglong Huiquan, Temeike, Beijing Yingke (Yixing) Law Firm, Sangu Makita and other enterprises made this event even more exciting,” Steve said.

“The event is not only an art exhibition, but also a spiritual journey. Artists from Zimbabwe use their unique perspectives and artistic creations to show the world the colourful customs of Africa with each work, calling on people to care for the natural environment, and pay attention to the growth and development of children with special needs and young people in disadvantaged areas. This is not only a gluttonous feast of art, but also a baptism and sublimation of the soul.”

This year’s edition of the China Africa Charity Fundraiser Exhibition saw the likes of visual artists Batsirai Muswe, Asa King Zvihari, Keith Zenda, Danial Chimurure, S Mlambo, Tatenda Calton, B Chikanyanga and Tadiwanashe Marufu, to name but a few, taking part in the initiative.