Since its inception in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network has expanded significantly, now encompassing nearly 300 cities across roughly 90 countries and regions. Notably, Hangzhou, China and Milan, Italy became part of this network in 2014 and 2017, respectively. These cities were recognized for their contributions to the creative domains of “Crafts and Folk Art” (Hangzhou) and “Literature” (Milan). Since October 2017, Hangzhou Public Library and Milan Public Library have fostered a robust partnership, consistently engaging in the exchange of experiences, and supporting each other through literature exchange and mutual staff exchanges.

Greetings Video of Liu Dong, the General Director of Hangzhou Public Library, extending his greetings to friends and readers in Milan

The “Hangzhou Feel” Exhibition, a collaborative project between Hangzhou Public Library and its international sister library, Milan Public Library, was successfully held in Milan, Italy, from September 16 to November 30,2023. Beyond strengthening the connection between libraries, the exhibition also aimed to foster mutual respect and understanding between Eastern and Western cultures, contributing to the advancement of the creative and cultural industries in both cities.

The exhibition was divided into the physical and digital component.  The in-person exhibition primarily featured books and cultural-creative products from Hangzhou Public Library, illustrating Hangzhou’s unique style and cultural heritage. Conversely, the online segment included a welcome video from Liu Dong, General Director of Hangzhou Public Library, extending his greetings to friends and readers in Milan.

“Hangzhou Feel” Exhibition in Milan Public Library
Theme Books Promoted by Milan Public Library
“Hangzhou Feel” Exhibition in Milan Public Library

Contributions from the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, and Tourism enhanced the online exhibition. It presented a multifaceted perspective of Hangzhou’s charms through themed images, including West Lake and local handicrafts. The visual experience was complemented by video narratives titled “My Hangzhou Story” which were shared by international residents. Furthermore, the “Hangzhou Feel” Exhibition was prominently showcased on the official homepage of “The City of Literature Milan”, thereby expanding its reach to literary enthusiasts and readers in Milan. Its coverage in China Library Weekly underscored the pivotal role of libraries in fostering multicultural exchanges.

Online Exhibition of “Hangzhou Feel” (Provided by Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism)
The Garden of the Central Library of Milan Public Library

As a key international cultural exchange initiative of Hangzhou Public Library, the “Hangzhou Feel” Exhibition endeavors to vividly showcase Hangzhou’s charm in its entirety, inviting everyone to explore and fall in love with the city’s enchanting beauty.

Contributed by Hangzhou Public Library