Cui Jian, composer and singer, ambassador of Croisements Festival 2017

Cui Jian, composer and singer, ambassador of Croisements Festival 2017

Picture : Cui Jian © Song Xiaohui

Cui Jian is a very versatile artist. Guitarist, trumpet player, composer and singer, he first became famous in 1986 with Nothing to my name, the first Chinese rock song. He introduced a new musical trend to a China that was just opening up to the world. Under his influence, the Chinese public began to take an interest in Western rock. Often referred to in the press as a "pioneer", "thinker" and an "emblematic icon of contemporary Chinese culture", his music awakened the consciousness of the time. His lyrics, poetic and intense, speak of the emotions, hopes and frustrations of youth. Cui Jian is now a major figure in China’s cultural scene. This year, he is invited as the ambassador of Croisements Festival.


Faguowenhua : Can you tell us about your relationship with France and French culture?

Cui Jian : I am very attached to France. I have played concerts there since the beginning of my career and it is there that I grasped the spirit of freedom and equality in music. At that time, rock music was not at all politically engaged, and musicians only wanted to express themselves, talk about everyday life and live happily. 
I have returned to France on several occasions. In 1989, I met Jack Lang, the founder of World Music Day. I participated twice in Cannes Film Festival and the Festival of Three Continents in Nantes. I have the impression that France is a country open to all. I also believe that French art is of extremely high quality, one of the best in the world. When the French Embassy in China invited me to participate in the Croisements festival, I said yes immediately. I believe that this is destiny and I hope that my creations will strengthen the cultural ties between France and China.

Faguowenhua : This year, as part of World Music Day, six French bands will be touring a number of Chinese cities. Do you have any advice for young groups just starting out?

Cui Jian : I took part in World Music Festival ten years ago. The group FFF deeply moved me. I was very pleased to see that this year, French bands will play in several cities in the south of China and I hope that the festival will spread to all Chinese regions in the future. 
Music contains abstract elements. It is proof of the acceptance and generosity of a people. I believe that music can bring people closer together. It can lessen misunderstandings and hostility, while religion, military affairs and the economy can stir up tensions. 
Music is alive but has not contributed to peace in the world. I hope to see someone take on that responsibility. Most musicians seek above all success and money. This is how music has become a service profession without creativity. Therefore, I want to participate in this type of event, and take the opportunity to express myself.

Faguowenhua : Apart from music, which programmes are you drawn to?

Cui Jian : I have been interested in contemporary dance for a long time. I go to most contemporary dance performances in Beijing, some of which are French. I also love musicals. The French have always left a strong impression here. I participated, for example, in a Papier Tigre concert with my daughter. I was afraid she would not like it, but to my surprise, she loved the music. Music makes the differences between the generations disappear just like a common language. I am also a fan of French hiphop. The French language is a kind of music. My daughter is learning French. I don’t understand what she’s saying, but I love the melody of it.

 The three "coups de cœur" of Cui Jian

Music Day
2666, by the theater company Si vous lécher mon cœeur, mis en scène Julien Gosselin
Little Morning Psalm

They support Croisements festival

Wang Yabin, dancer and choreogapher, ambassador of Croisements festival
Sui Jianguo, sculptor, ambassador of Croisements festival
Jia Zhangke, cinematographer and director, ambassador of Croisements festival

Lu Ming, cartoonist and illustrator, ambassador of Croisements festival






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