10th Anniversary of TCG Nordica
In the year of 2000, on May the 13th, spirits were high in Kunming. TV-stations were there, radio reporters were in place, journalists from the daily papers were flocking – and hundreds of guests from Kunming and other parts of the world attended when the first Scandinavian culture café and gallery in China opened: T Café/Gallery.
A Swedish artist, Janeric Johansson, Malmö, was first to exhibit his works in the Scandinavian-Chinese gallery.
Many assumed that the “T” in T Café/Gallery alluded to “tea”. Certainly, steaming fresh tea was served, but the actual embedded meaning was another: T as in Tomas Tranströmer – the world famous Swedish poet who’s works have been translated into some 50 languages.
Tomas Tranströmer was not able to attend the inauguration, but did come a year later, in April 2001. At that time, T Café/Gallery had the privilege of hosting a Swedish-Chinese culture event with Tomas Tranströmer, his translator Li Li and the artist Jan Persson. In one week, a highly intensive program, including seminars, poetry readings, trips together with artists and poets, and an exhibition by Jan Persson on the theme of Runmarö –Tranströmer’s childhood island home and where he today spends most of his summers – was presented.
Soon enough, T Café/Gallery outgrew it’s premises. On April the 6th 2002, the artist community of Chuang Ku, LOFT, invited us to move there.
T Café/Gallery became the culture center TCG Nordica; a transition full of challenges as well as opportunities.
Since then, TCG Nordica has worked together with ArtsNordica International to arrange and take part in numerous culture exchange projects that have included hundreds of artists, musicians, dancers and students from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and China.
Swedish radio’s (SR) China correspondent, Hanna Sahlberg, described in an article in 2005 how two of the founders – Anna Mellergård from Sweden and Wu Yuerong from Kunming – embodied the culture centre’s purpose and theme, namely cultural meeting.
Today, as TCG Nordica celebrates its 10th anniversary, it is easy to see how their working community and common goal of establishing and developing this international meeting place has created rings on the water. The friendship bands and the cooperative projects are countless, and the number keeps growing through the Scandinavian network ArtsNordica and through all of TCG Nordica’s friends from different parts of the world.
From all of us to all of you, we wish you a happy new decade – filled with culture meetings and challenges, and exciting art projects!
The TCG Nordica Team