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Tranströmer 80 year’s birthday celebration at TCG Nordica

April 16th, 2011, TCG Nordica in Kunming, China, held a Poetry Evening to celebrate Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer’s 80th birthday.

Tomas Tranströmer has been honored as leading the trend of poetry in recent history and his works have been translated into over eighty languages. 1999, when Anna Mellergård, one of the founders of TCG Nordica and a poet herself, proposed to name a soon to be established cultural center located in Kunming after him, the poet happily approved. In the spring of 2001, he visited T Café Gallery, the predecessor of TCG Nordica.

 

The letters in TCG Nordica has special meanings: T is the initial for the renowned Swedish poetry master Tomas Tranströmer; C is for the English word Culture; G is for the English word Gallery; Nordica is the English word for the Nordic countries. With all of them combined, it means a cultural center bridging China and Scandinavia for equal exchanges with culture and art being the focus points.r’s collected works in Chinese, translated by poet Li Li.

 

During the Poetry Evening at TCG Nordica the audience was given the opportunity to read Tomas Tranströmer’s poems as well as writing their own. People also learned about how to write haiku poems and gave personal birthday greetings to Tranströmer through Chinese calligraphy, free writing and recordings. During the evening one of the founders and current General Manager of TCG Nordica, Wu Yue Rong, held a speech to declare the evening as a tribute to the Swedish poet and also to remind the audience of his part in the TCG Nordica name, logo and history. People from different countries continued the celebration with reading selected poems by Tranströmer in diverse languages and dialects.

 

Li Li, who translated Tranströmer’s works into Chinese, said: “There are but few modern poets like the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer who can pen the poetry in a fashion that is so succinct, accurate, exquisite and brilliant”.

 

 

The evening ended with a live performance by musicians Martin Berggren, Huang Shan and Sara Forsang together with dancers Helena Berggren and Chen Jia. Accompanied by Tranströmer’s poems, read by invited people, the artists created reflections of the poems, translated into music and dance. This improvisational interpretation in the moment touched the audience in a unique way and gave everyone an opportunity to get inspired to write poems themselves. The performance put sound and movement to the words of Tranströmer and created new ways of viewing and experiencing the poems. The Poetry Evening ended with lighting of candles, singing of birthday songs in Swedish, English and Chinese and a big cake with the face of Tranströmer on it. The whole celebration was a tribute to the great poet who has been an inspiration to TCG Nordica’s work during more than ten years and still is.

 

Helena Berggren, Kunming 2011-05-03

 

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