May 4, 2023
BEIJING – Woman defies expectations by working as tour guide into her seventies.
At the age of 73, Chen Shaoqin from Beijing has shown the world how life should be lived. Despite having only a middle school education, Chen began studying English at the age of 40 and passed a college entrance exam, transforming herself from a factory worker to a white-collar employee in an international trade company.
Chen continued to pursue learning after retirement, studying art and eventually becoming an art guide at the age of 67. Over the past five years, she has guided visitors at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art for three days a week on average, totaling 3,500 hours.
From a retiree who knew nothing about contemporary art to a dedicated volunteer guide, Chen’s hard work and love for learning have inspired many. She said that it is precisely because she does not understand that she must continue to learn. As a guide, she is able to attend professional training sessions and has the opportunity to learn from curators and artists, giving her motivation to continue.
Chen has guided many exhibitions over the years, including those of famous artists like Zeng Fanzhi, Xu Bing, Qiu Zhijie and Pablo Picasso. She believes that every tour is a beautiful journey and a new opportunity to learn and be moved.
Chen’s dedication to learning and her ability to mix history, aesthetics, sociology and psychology have made her an exceptional guide. After turning 73 this year, she believes that the width of one’s life can be expanded through self-exploration and learning.
Chen is a best example that anyone can find their passion and then learn, grow and share with others.