Bao Po Cultural Ambassador Liang Wendao Visits Basel

[2015 Basel] This is the Basel Clock Fair. As soon as I put my luggage in the room at eight in the morning, I encountered a scene like Mong Kok in Hong Kong on the open-air cafe below the hotel. The crowds rushed from all directions to the exhibition center across the road. Someone dragged their suitcases and hurriedly hurried away. Some people hurriedly carrying their bags while sipping coffee in their hands; there were buses on the side of the road and they were still spitting More tourists-Of course, this is not an ordinary tourist, but I saw so many black hair and subconsciously regarded them as tourist tourists to Hong Kong.
   Compared to these professionals, I am actually a tourist, and I am a tourist too late; the Chinese have already become the mainstay of the annual Basel show, everyone is well-informed, I just do n’t come Just join the fun. Since it’s fun, I don’t want to talk too much about the doorway in the exhibition, lest you laugh. Anyway, it’s dizzying, and it’s exhausting. Although I’m interested in watches and I like beautiful things, but the aesthetic bombing is so dense, can’t I be tired? So early the next morning, I crossed the river with the friends of Blancpain and went to the city to see the long-loved sights, such as the Art Basel and Basel Cathedral.
   Usually speaking of Basel, a small city with a population of less than 200,000 (but it is already the third largest city in Switzerland), we think of two exhibitions, one is the Basel Watch and Jewellery Show, and the other is Art Basel exhibition. Most people are here for the two major exhibitions. So during the two major exhibitions, the hotels in the city were naturally full and crowded. But on weekdays, the city hasn’t been busy, because it also shoulders the heavy responsibility of carrying Swiss economic strength. Switzerland’s number one industry is not watches, not tourism, and even chocolate; medical chemicals and precision instruments. Basel is where the Swiss medical industry and precision industry re-locked the headquarters of many global leaders (by the way, one of the Swiss Watch Group headquarters is also in Basel). I don’t want to say that the watch exhibition is just a icing on the cake for it, but in some deeper and therefore more clearly face-up clocks are indeed the fruits and fruits of the historical nature of the city. Without the accumulation of the past few hundred years, there would be no later Swiss clocks, nor would there be any Basel clocks that are famous internationally today.
   We crossed the river and walked to the old town in order to hang the old roots that were hundreds of years old.
   In terms of European standards, Basel Cathedral is not magnificent; after the Protestant baptism, the bustling end, its carvings are not as delicate as the Catholic Church. But here is buried a big man I admired since childhood-the father of Western humanism Erasmus. Erasmus’ translations and treatises opened the religious revolution led by Martin Luther, and also affected the Italian Renaissance. He is a ancestor in history. He advocated the trend of enlightened progress throughout his life, but remained in the Catholic Church for life. Shoudu Li, whose temperament is like our Chinese Hu Shi, sees new learning in tradition. His tombstone was even more dull on the day when there were not many tourists.
   The question is, how could a Dutchman in Erasmus hide in Basel, Switzerland? If you want to understand this problem, you can take a detour and go to the gilded Art Basel.
   The Basel Art Museum is the world’s first public art museum. It originated from a collection of local wealthy in the early modern times. At that time, the wealthy died, and future generations were scattered. The then mayor of Basel was worried that a large number of precious books and treasures would flow to other parties, and he and the University of Basel (the oldest university in Switzerland, Nietzsche taught here; Wei One of the founders of the points, Leonhard Yula is a student here) co-funded to turn this private collection into public finances. Gradually, it absorbed more donations and gradually became one of the most important art galleries in Europe. Especially famous is its modern art. You can get a glimpse of the ins and outs of western art in the twentieth century by taking a tour. Another interesting fact that must be mentioned was that in 1967, they had held a full-name referendum in order to ask whether they would be included in Picasso’s two expensive items. As a result, the Mayor of Basel would rather blackmail the public funds spent elsewhere in the year and obtain two masterpieces by Bi Gong, which would be voted by a large percentage. Picasso was so touched by this news that he simply sent four more works in return for this city.
   But the focus of my trip was not Picasso, but an inconspicuous small-sized portrait on the second floor of the art museum. It was written by Hobein, one of the most important painters of Central Europe in the 16th century. Rasmus. You can see this portrait of Erasmus casually when you go online and check, his side writing is the first association when later generations think of him. The relationship between these two people is deep, not just as simple as ordinary artists and buyers (portrait paintings in those days are like today’s photos, and people with status and wealth will invite people to take photos for themselves). Hobart often respected Erasmus, and illustrated many of his works. The quality of illustrations, and the good and evil of printing, were the main reasons for the unpopularity of books in the era when printing was just popular.
   In fact, the reason why Erasmus came to Basel for a long time was for books. He found that there was a book dealer named Flobber who copied his masterpiece without permission, but he edited it and finished it better than the original, so he was curious, so he came here to check it. Erasmus, who was humorous by nature, just made a embarrassing joke when Floburn just met, and immediately fell in love with this printer, who is also a scholar and works very seriously. Everyone happens to be Floburn. Please ask Hobba for his production and retouching. These three people became the publishing triangle of the European cultural circle, co-editor, co-authored the book, and even Thomas Moore of the UK handed over his ‘Utopia’. Give them published first. The publishing house that Flobben founded back then still exists, and of course it is the oldest publishing house in the world.
   After so long, what does all this have to do with the watch? Let’s look at it. When we open the map of Switzerland, we will find that there is a long and narrow valley starting from Geneva and north along the French border. This area is the official “watch valley” of Switzerland. The focus of the extreme north is exactly Basel. This place is not only known for the watch industry, but also a very special area in European history. Before and after the Protestant Revolution, it absorbed countless refugees who fled because of religious persecution. These refugees were conscientious, they could not see the decay of the Catholic Church at that time, they could not stand the social and ideological shackles, and wanted to find a space where they could breathe freely. Coincidentally, many of these people are ‘specialized technical talents’, love scientific research, and are fascinated by all kinds of technology research and development and promotion. According to the situation of that era, most of these people were people with learning and intellectual thinking, unlike today’s liberal arts. They are very interested in everything from astronomical new knowledge to artistic progress. The ‘watch valley’ is where they can settle down, while Basel is a free port of thought on the valley.
   Don’t forget that typography is an emerging industry of the year, meaning today’s Internet. As a publishing and printing center, Basel’s opening to the mainland has certainly attracted the free minds of Europe, including ‘dissidents’ such as Erasmus, to promote the development and dissemination of new knowledge and ideas together. The predecessor of today’s watchmakers is actually free thinkers and technical talents who have been attracted by this trend. For them and their heirs, the world created by God should not be a myth that is interpreted by authorities, but a precision instrument governed by laws. Looking for the laws of nature is to find the secrets of creation; distant works that imitate those laws are the masters of praising the laws. For example, a well-functioning, accurate and perfect clock is not the model of the world? The manifestation of God’s glory?
   Time is the model and benchmark for all order in the universe; clocks are a concrete and weak manifestation of this order. Basel is the end of Switzerland’s ‘Watch Valley’, and Basel watches are the export of the Swiss watch industry. From here, we can just go back to the history of spiritual pursuit behind this industry. (Wen Liang Wendao)