Beauties of China, dating back to ancient times, have come together for mutual development.

In line with the directives of General Secretary Xi Jinping, who emphasised the importance of aesthetic education in fostering virtue and grounding it in contemporary life, the Open University of China (OUC) has utilised its digital educational system to conduct a series of online and offline aesthetic education activities in 2023. These activities align with the unique characteristics of aesthetic education and strive to perpetuate the spirit of Chinese aesthetic education.

On 16 January 2024, the OUC "Appreciating Each Other for Mutual Development" – the 2023 Aesthetic Education Teaching Achievement Exhibition – took place in Beijing.

This event was a notable gathering of leaders and distinguished guests. The attendees included Xu Li, former secretary of the Leading Party Group and vice chairman of the China Artists Association; Shan Wei, director of the International Cultural Exchange Centre at the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy; and Liu Ying, former director-general level officer (Grade II) at the Department of Vocational and Adult Education, MOE.


The event also featured esteemed calligraphy and painting artists, such as Guo Shifu, a member of the Art Committee of the Beijing Fine Art Academy and a national first-class artist; Chen Keyong, president of the China Research Institute of Landscape Painting; He Jialin, former curator of the Art Museum of the China National Academy of Painting, vice chairman of the China Literary and Art Volunteers’ Association, and member of the China Artists Association; Fan Cungang, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of Rong Bao Zhai and member of the China Artists Association; Zhu Peier, editor-in-chief of Chinese Calligraphy and a national first-class artist; Zhang Zhihe, a member of the China Calligraphers Association, researcher at the Palace Museum, and supervisor at a postdoctoral workstation; and Zhang Weizhong, a member of the China Calligraphers Association and member of the Specialized Committee for Regular Script.

Representatives of "Art Master Lectures" tutors, along with editors-in-chief and course leaders in the field of calligraphy, were also present. From the OUC, there were Wang Qiming, secretary of the Party Committee and president; Fan Xianrui, a member of the Party Committee and vice president; Liu Xuanxuan, deputy secretary of the Party Committee and secretary of the Discipline Inspection Commission; Xu Mingjun, deputy secretary of the Party Committee; and Zhou Tianming, vice president. The event was also attended by leaders from all departments and relevant enterprises of the university, and representatives of the staff members. The event was presided over by Fan Xianrui.

In his address, Wang Qiming introduced the digital advantages and distinctive operation features of the OUC. He expressed gratitude to the esteemed artists for their strong support for the OUC.

The esteemed artists present fully recognised the OUC's contributions to aesthetic education and offered suggestions for its future endeavors in this area. Guo Shifu expressed that aesthetic education is essentially moral education, and the OUC has created a platform for promoting traditional Chinese culture. Fan Cungang highlighted that the OUC’s focus on aesthetic education has significantly enhanced young people's understanding of traditional culture, which holds extraordinary importance. Zhang Zhihe noted that engaging in aesthetic education at the Open University is not merely about learning techniques, but also about transcending them to impart the correct approach to artistic culture.

Sun Shuping, a student representative spoke at the opening ceremony, shared her learning achievements and personal experiences.

In conclusion, Xu Li and Shan Wei each delivered speeches. Shan Wei emphasised that the OUC should promote Chinese culture globally. Xu Li highlighted the OUC's role in offering popular aesthetic education for lifelong learning, capitalizing on its unique advantage that "Anyone can learn anytime and anywhere." This approach, according to Xu Li, is a practical step towards deepening the understanding and study of the principles set forth in the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It demonstrates the universal accessibility of education, the vibrant confidence in Chinese culture, and the educational achievements bolstered by digitalisation.

Subsequently, the attendees visited both “the Art Masterpieces Exhibition” and “the Exhibition of Works and Documentary Materials by Teachers and Students”. The data displays at these exhibitions showcased the entire process of how the OUC has harnessed the benefits of information technology in both online and offline teaching for their aesthetic education initiatives. All the visitors were impressed, noting that the exhibitions not only featured masterpieces from top artists but also the early efforts of budding learners. These exhibits exemplify the idea that teaching enriches both instructors and students, creating a platform for displaying works and fostering a space for interactive dialogue among a vast number of teachers and students.

The exhibitions showcase the Open University of China's (OUC) commitment to "respecting learning and making it universally beneficial, providing education for all without distinction." Moving forward, the OUC will steadfastly adhere to its philosophy of “expert guidance, empowerment in all areas, multidimensional integration, and leapfrog development.” The university is dedicated to fulfilling its roles and mission of “advancing Chinese civilization, inheriting cultural arts, enhancing aesthetic literacy, and fostering a beautiful life.” Aiming to enrich public aesthetics and humanistic values, the university is committed to contributing to a society and country of learning where lifelong learning is pursued by all.