BARCELONA, Spain, June 27 (Xinhua) — Prominent illustrators and writers from China and Spain gathered in Barcelona on Thursday to celebrate the art and literature of comics from both countries.

The event, called “A World of Comics, closer to Chinese and Spanish literature and illustration”, was held in the Espai Sol room of Barcelona’s Nord train station.

Chinese comic artists Xiao Lin Manga and Nie Jun, as well as writer Cai Jun shared their thoughts, methods and experiences in a roundtable discussion with Spanish comic artists, writers, and publishers.

“Comics are very powerful, they are a language that has no borders, and so I think the most important thing for this kind of exchange is that people can learn about each other’s thoughts through comics,” Nie told Xinhua.

The Chinese illustrator pointed out that while Western comics are very popular among young people in China, demand for Chinese comics in Europe is also increasing. Nie’s work has already been published in France, and will soon hit the bookshelves in Denmark.

Munir Hachemi, a Spanish writer who also lectures at Peking University, said comics are ideal for showing how different Chinese contemporary culture is from outdated preconceptions that often persist in Western societies.

“Comics can reach young people, which is (…) important and powerful (…), and as there’s no such thing as traditional Chinese comics, that makes them good for transmitting contemporary Chinese culture,” he told Xinhua.

The event was also the inauguration of an exhibition of the same name, which until July 27 will display some 200 artworks by comic artists from Spain, China and all over the world.

“A World of Comics” is part of the ‘Get to Know China’ initiative created by China’s State Council Information Office.

“Publishers say that most demand is for manga, both Chinese and Japanese. In fact, these days Asian culture is much more present in Europe than before, in food, in fashion, in music, in literature, in everything,” Spanish comic artist Igor Sarralde told Xinhua.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also participated in the event, since both Nanjing and Barcelona are part of its Cities of Literature network, which is made up of 53 cities in 39 countries.