A life dedicated to China

Adriano Màdaro, journalist and writer, is one of the foremost world experts on China where, over the last thirty-three years, he has made more than  190 trips with long stays and also penetrating into the most remote regions, from Mongolia to Tibet, from Manchuria to the island of Hainan.
Upon graduating from university with a thesis of Political Doctrines on the Chinese Revolution, he concentrate on journalism, publishing monographies on the Far East for the De Agostini Geographic Institute of Novara (Italy), editing various kinds of newspapers and magazines; he has, moreover, often been sent as special correspondent to the China-Korea-Japan area in particular.
In his capacity as an expert on China, he was invited by the American government in autumn 1977 to visit the United States, where he met the leading Sinologists of the universities of Washington, Harvard, Stanford and New York as well as the experts of the Library of Congress.
 


Il decreto di nomina nel Consiglio direttivo
permanente della CAIC (2 giugno 1991)

Il decreto di nomina a Rappresentante Ufficiale
della CAIC in Italia e in Europa
In 1988 he was the first western journalist to travel in North Korea up to the 38th parallel and in 1990 he was present at the first democratic elections of Mongolia in Ulan Bator.
Member of the executive council of CEVESCO (Veneto Centre of Studies on Oriental Civilizations) of the University of Venice, for ten years he has been and continues to be the only non-Chinese member of the permanent executive council of the Chinese Academy of International Culture, with head office in Peking.
He was director of the International Symposium on Marco Polo that took place in the Forbidden City in October 1991.

His writings include the following books: Mao in prima pagina (Mao on front page) (1977), Cina, 700 anni dopo Marco Polo (China, 700 years after Marco Polo) (1980), Gran Catai (Gran Cathay) (1983), Viaggio in Cina (Journey in China) (1986), Welcome Cina (Welcome China) (1988), Nel Grande Ignoto Paese al di là della Muraglia (In the Great Unknown Country beyond the Wall) (1989), Fiori di carta - Poesie dalla Cina (Paper flowers - Poems from China) (1990), Autunno in Corea (Autumn in Korea) (1990), Le giornate di Tien An-men (The days of Tien An-men) (1990), The Boxer rebellion (2001). Peking 1900 ( The Chinese edition of the "Boxer Rebellion", 2006), An eye-witness of an Italian journalist in Peking (People's Editions, 2008); “Xinjiang, Where Once There Was Hell” (China Intercontinental Press 2013); Lao Ma (Biography: Chinese edition 2014, Italian edition 2015); “China in the 1970s”, catalogue published in China in 2015.

He is now working on a monumental book devoted to "Peking, capital of the Heavenly Empire".

On February 2002 he is appointed Official Representative of the Chinese Academy of International Culture for Italy and Europe.

On July 2002 he is invited to organize a Historical Exhibition devoted to the Old Peking in the restored imperial studio "Huafangzhai" of Beihai Park. The Peking Municipal Government was among the sponsors.

On May 2003, during the SARS Epidemic, he is in Peking, consultant of the Information Office of the Municipal Government, as journalist expert on the international media.

On September 2003 he is appointed jointly by the Chinese Academy of International Culture and the Fondazione Cassamarca of Treviso director of the Project and of the Great Exhibitions "The Silk Road and Two Thousand Years of the Chinese Civilisation" to be organized in the "Casa dei Carraresi" between 2005 and 2011.

On October 2003 he is invited by the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry, through the Italian Cultural Office of the Italian Embassy in Peking, to partecipate as journalist expert on China to the "Third Week of the Italian Language in the World", with lectures in the Universities of Peking and Canton.

In autumn 2003 the television channel "Beijing TV" produced two one-hour documentaries entitled "The Modern Marco Polo" dedicated to the life of Adriano Màdaro and his cultural activities in Italy and China. The television crew made a special journey to Italy to film the sections dealing with his home life.

In 2005/2006 Màdaro curated the first exhibition, entitled "The Birth of the Heavenly Empire", in the series "The Silk Road and Chinese Civilisation" at the Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso. This was followed in 2007/2008 by the second exhibition, "Genghis Khan and the Treasure of the Mongols".

In July 2006 People's Editions, Beijing published the Chinese edition of his book on the Boxer Rebellion, "Peking 1900", which was distributed throughout the country.

In October 2008 People's Editions published his work "An Italian Journalist in Beijing: 1976-2008", including a long introductory essay and a selection of 200 colour photographs taken by the author during the 32 years of his travels in China. The work was selected from 3,000 works put forward by Chinese publishers in order to celebrate thirty years of economic reform.


The third exhibition, dedicated to the Ming dynasty, was held between October 2009 and May 2010 with the title "The Secrets of the Forbidden City - Matteo Ricci at the Ming Court".

In February 2010 a team from X Stream, a Hong Kong/China television production company conducted a long interview with Adriano Màdaro regarding his more than thirty years of cultural activities in China. The documentary has been broadcasted by the main Chinese television channels in autumn 2010 to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Italy and China, celebrations for which Adriano Màdaro has been chosen as an expert advisor. The team, headed by the well-known Hong Kong film producer Chow Keung, included the director Emily Tang and two television operatives from Beijing.

In February 2011 the Beijing publisher "China International Press" brought out a volume of photographs taken by Màdaro in Cina between 1976 and 2008 together with a diary entitled "An Eye-witness in Beijing". The current edition in English and Italian will be followed by translations into other languages.

In December 2011 Adriano Màdaro has signed in Rome with the Director of the Museums of Hubei Province the agreement of cultural exchanges with Italian Museums.

In March 2012 he has been elected President of the Italy-China Museums Alliance, one agreement of collaboration between Italian and Chinese Museums.

In 2011/2012 the fourth exhibition "Manchu, the Last Emperor" concludes the series dedicated to China. From October 2012 Adriano Màdaro, once again at Casa dei Carraresi, has curated  the exhibition “Tibet, treasures from the Roof of the World” opened till June 2013.

In September 2013, the exhibition entitled “The Etruscans, the Dawn Era of Ancient Italy”, organized by Sigillum of which Màdaro is president, was inaugurated at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan. It was later transferred to other museums in Hangzhou, Canton and Xian (the museum of the terracotta warriors). 

In October of the same year the exhibition “The Magic of India”, organised and curated by Màdaro together with Marilia Albanese and Renzo Freschi, was opened at the Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso.

In November his book "Xinjiang, dove c’era l’inferno" (“Xinjiang, Where Once There Was Hell”) was published in Beijing by the China Intercontinental Press.

In October 2014, “Japan, from the Samurai to Mazinga”, an exhibition curated by Màdaro and Francesco Morena, was inaugurated at the Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso.
In November Màdaro was in Tokyo conducting research in museums on ukiyo-e, multicoloured Japanese xylographic prints from the 18th and 19th centuries.

In December, Beijing Time Chinese Press brought out the Chinese version of his biography Lao Ma, which was distributed to bookshops throughout the country. This was followed by an Italian edition.

On 20 January 2015, at the Provincial Museum of Hubei in Wuhan, an exhibition was opened entitled “The Night Before the Great Changes”, which presented 120 of the thousands of photographs taken in China by Màdaro between 1976 and 1979. On 17 March the exhibition was transferred to the Lu Xün Museum in Beijing.

In March the major exhibition on the Etruscans at the Liaoning Provincial Museum in Shenyang came to an end.

In April 2015 the exhibition of photographs was transferred from Wuhan to Beijing, where the 11th April was celebrated as “Lao Ma Day” (Lao Ma being Màdaro’s Chinese name) in recognition of his almost 40 years of travels in China (news, articles dedicated to him in the Chinese press and photographs can all be seen on Adriano Màdaro’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/adrianomadaro

In May the exhibition “The Night Before the Great Changes” was opened at the new Liaoning Museum in Shenyang with 22 new photographs of Shenyang from the early 1980s.

In October the exhibition of photographs “Hangzhou and Shaoxing at the dawn of the 1980s” was opened at the Zhejiang Provincial Museum in Hangzhou.

In November the exhibition was transferred to the Shaoxing Museum.

From Màdaro’s Facebook page:
“After great success at the Hangzhou Museum, the exhibition of the photos I took in the Chinese province of Zhejiang in 1981 and 1982 was opened today at the museum in Shaoxing, the ancient and fabled city of waters. With the help of the local press and television, after 34 years I was able to meet some of the previously anonymous characters who appeared in the pictures. These photographs from the early 1980s have become precious historical documents of great anthropological value. In a ceremony organised at the Museum, during which I met about 15 people whose images I had caught through my lens more than a third of a century earlier, I donated copies of the photographs to the director of the city’s historical archive and to each of the individuals who had been identified. For the youngest, who at the time were children aged between 4 and 8, the photographs I took – what’s more, in colour – were the very first of their lives. For the children of others who have since died, the photos are the only ones they have of their parents and grandparents. During my brief visit to Hangzhou and Shaoxing, I retraced the steps I had taken 34 years earlier in the company of journalists and others who had been there at the time in search of the places and hidden corners I had photographed, which today have either disappeared altogether or become unrecognisable due to the huge changes the city has undergone. Before I left, my friend and interpreter Lu Xin and I took part in the famous television programme Dream, which is watched by more than 270 million viewers in every corner of this immense country. Here is the link to the site of the Museum of Shaoxing where this afternoon the exhibition of my photos from 1981-82 was opened. By clicking on the Chinese link, it is possible to see all the photos taken before the opening showing how the exhibition was set up.
http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MjM5NjgwNzU1Mg%3D%3D&mid=400382521&idx=1&sn=b64fe998c42f03005b7e9deef86d157c&scene=1&srcid=1125bw5WOSCl5rTA4MZAPn1D#rd"

Between December 2015 and 31 March 2016, another exhibition of Màdaro’s photographs taken in Shaanxi between 1979 and 1982 took place at the Terracotta Army Museum in Xian. In 2016 and 2017 the exhibition will transfer to other museums in Xian and Shaanxi.

In March 2016 Màdaro and Wang Jichao curated the exhibition “Wonders of the State of Chu”, organised by Cultour Active in Treviso. Seventy precious archaeological exhibits from the State of Chu (771 – 221 B.C.) were displayed for the first time outside China. The exhibition closed on 25 September 2016 at the National Archaeological Museums of Este and Adria and with a small section at the MAO, the Museum of Oriental Art (Ca’ Pesaro) in Venice


In July 2016, in collaboration with the museums of Tuscany, Campania, Basilicata and Sardinia, Màdaro organized an exhibition entitled “The Gold of the Mediterranean”, a travelling exhibition first held at the famous Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xian. At the time of writing, the exhibition is due to last 18 months, and after Xian will transfer to the following museums: the Provincial Museum of Liaoning in Shenyang, the Provincial Museum of Hebei in Shijiazhuang, and the Provincial Museum of Hubei in Wuhan. The final two museums are yet to be confirmed.

In September 2016 the Chinese Postal Service, in celebration of Màdaro’s forty years of travels in China, in collaboration with the museum of the ancient city of Shaoxing, issued a set of 12 postage stamps featuring his magnificent photographs from the early 1980s of the city known as the Venice of the East. The stamps were formally presented to him on Friday 9 September at the Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso during the opening of the exhibition “Shaoxing, an ancient Chinese city”.

In the same month, a special issue of the famous magazine “That’s China” was brought out to mark the occasion of the G20 meeting in Hangzhou. Six pages were dedicated to Màdaro highlighting the special relationship he has maintained with China over many decades.  The article contained an account of his return to Hangzhou and Shaoxing thirty-five years after his first visit to the province of Zhejiang, which at the time was closed to foreigners.



Adriano Màdaro lives and works in Treviso and Beijing.

He is president of Sigillum Srl, the company which organises the exhibitions, and the editor of the exhibition catalogues published by Edizioni Sigillum.
info  segreteria@sigillum.it

Follow him on his personal facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/adrianomadaro






Màdaro con Li Shuxian,
la vedova dell'Ultimo
Imperatore Pu Yi

Màdaro con Mao Xinyu,
nipote del Presidente
Mao Zedong

Màdaro con Wang Daguan,
il pittore dei
rotoli "Lao Beijing"