Chinese artist Yuan Xikun voiced his admiration of Latin American art during a recent tour of the region.
"Latin American art is a fusion of local and foreign cultures, while preserving its own identity," said Yuan, the director of Beijing's Jintai Arts Museum.
Latin American indigenous groups and Afro-Caribbean communities have combined religion and nature into a unique style, he explained, adding that it was then in turn combined with Western schools of art by local artists.
Yuan is currently on a tour of Latin America, which aims to strengthen cultural exchanges between China and countries in Central America and the Caribbean.
The popular Chinese artist also made a stop in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, where he met with President Danilo Medina.
Medina spoke highly of Yuan's artistic career, his contributions to universal culture and his interest in Juan Pablo Duarte, one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic.
The 70-year-old artist, who has created two busts of Duarte, expressed his interest in opening a museum there.
Yuan is best known for his artistic efforts to promote heroes of other cultures. 11 of his most iconic sculptures of historic Latin American figures are on show at a museum in Washington, D.C..
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has also recognized Yuan for his efforts to promote environmental awareness.