500 brush strokes illustrating a smoke-free future

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“The shot I drew represented my sincere commitment to quit smoking.”

“I used blue, the color of a clear sky, to express my wish that my family would stay away from tobacco and that there be fresh air in the house.”

“I have been smoking for over 30 years and have been hoping to quit for a long time. I chose the hot red to symbolize my sincere desire to quit smoking. I must succeed this time!

The temperature rises in early summer in Beijing. An event where experimental art meets public health brings a touch of freshness to hot temperatures.

On May 9, an on-site experimental arts event called “500 Brush Strokes + Commit to Quit” hosted by the China Office of the World Health Organization and the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention with sponsorship joint of the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China held WeWork workspace at Parkview Place. The event invited the contemporary artist Wu Jian’an to integrate his artistic creation “500 brushstrokes”, which integrates painting, paper cutting, collage and other forms of art, in a collective commitment public health. Each shot, painted by hundreds of people with diverse backgrounds, including United Nations Resident Coordinator in China Siddharth Chatterjee, young actor and singer Xu Weizhou, and WeWork North China CEO Conan Quan, symbolized his commitment to quitting. smoke for themselves, for their families and for a healthier world.

According to the latest WHO report, tobacco kills more than 8 million people worldwide each year. There are approximately 1.337 billion smokers aged 15 and over in the world, of which 308 million are in China.

“China has the largest population of smokers in the world, and smoking is the source of a significant disease burden. With every person who commits to quitting, the health risks are reduced, for the smoker and the indirect victims of their smoke, ”said Dr George F. Gao, director general of the China Center for Control and Prevention of Smoke. diseases.

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. WHO has defined this year’s theme as “Commit to Stop”.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous trauma. However, it also brought the health issues to the attention of many people. According to the WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted millions of smokers to consider quitting.

“Art and public health have a lot in common. Both are noble and oriented towards the public. During the pandemic, art transmits warmth beyond nationalities and brings inspiration and comfort to people. I believe this special joint event can draw the attention of more people to the risks of smoking and encourage smokers who want to quit, ”said Dr Gauden Galea, WHO Representative in China during the opening ceremony.

Lü Pinjing, vice president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China, said, “The fine arts and the development of society must progress in tandem. Attention to general health, tobacco control and the promotion of a tobacco-free lifestyle reflect the progress of our society. With an insightful and well-designed artistic presentation, we can carry this message of progress to more people and inspire them to embrace health.

The 500 brushstrokes are among Wu Jian’an’s most popular works of art in recent years. This interactive artistic experience has been carried out on several occasions in national and international contexts. That latest 500 Brushstrokes + Commit to Quit, however, is pretty special to him. “Each person’s line will be deconstructed from the original structure, then assembled on a new piece of white paper. The interactive form of experimental art creates a strong sense of participation and ritual, turning the invisible commitment and support to quit smoking into real action and tangibly presenting it in a work of art, ”explained Wu Jian’an.

Siddharth Chatterjee, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in China, expressed his gratitude for the event. “The power of art has enriched the meaning of smoking cessation as a public matter. I am happy to participate in such a creative and useful activity. ”

“Quitting smoking is not that difficult. With professional support and evidence-based cessation services, you have a smoother transition with less pain. If someone around you is trying to quit, be generous in giving them encouragement, understanding, and support. And don’t convince them to smoke or give them cigarettes, ”said actor and singer Xu Weizhou, who believes that such an inspiring event is essential to the call to quit.

“Since WeWork entered China in 2016, it has established more than 100 communities in 12 cities. It is our responsibility and our goal to provide employees and members with a healthy working environment. By creating a smoke-free workspace to encourage everyone to quit smoking, we promote well-being at work and in life. We are happy to contribute to public health as a community platform, ”said Conan Quan, General Manager of WeWork North China.

The features painted by hundreds of participants will be cut, glued and recreated by Wu Jian’an and his team. The finished work titled 500 Brush Strokes + Commit to Quit will integrate individual commitments into a commitment to a smoke-free and healthy world.

The final artwork will be officially released on May 31, World No Tobacco Day.

For China-Related new inquiries contact:

WHO Media Office in China
E-mail: [email protected]

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