Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian and Chinese culture experts celebrate his 70th birthday with a homage seminar held at the University of Oriental and African Studies in London. Fellow Chinese writers in-exile Chen Mai-Ping, Ma Jian and Yang Lian were present.
Gao Xingjian is the first and only Chinese writer to have won a Nobel Prize for Literature. But his work is little known in his own country. Xingjian left the mainland twenty years ago and his work is banned in China.
Writer Chen Maiping lives in Sweden and has also spend two decades in exile. Maiping shares how sad he feels that mainland Chinese language students have never read Gao Xingjian’s work.
[Chen Mai-ping, Chinese Writer in Exile]:
“Since his work is being banned, Gao Xingjian’s hasn’t achieved more popularity. It has prevented him from sharing out his great talent.”
Gao calls himself a citizen of the world- with no country, no home and no ties to political parties. He says culture is the only platform his voice can be heard. That is perhaps why his work has been so prolific and wide a range as a play writer, screenwriter, novelist, painter and film director.
Here is his advice to young students.
[Gao Xingjian, Nobel Literature Laureate]:
“Think independently, a young man must first of all have his own understanding. That means not blindly accepting ready-made opinions.”
Gao Xingjian has recently published a new book called ‘Drama Theory’.
NTD News, London.