Left, portrait of Madam Li, second wife of the 68th Generation Sir. Hereditary Sage; on right, portrait of Madam Peng, wife of the 75th Generation Sir Hereditary Sage.

While the Regional Leaders Summit being held in Atlanta is focused primarily on developing business ties between Georgia and its global partners, a celebration of the life of Confucius opened the week’s events at the Rialto Center for the Arts June 1.

Georgia’s partners in the organization that meets biennially include Bavaria, Germany; Quebec, Canada; Shandong, China; the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Upper Austria and the Western Cape, South Africa.

The Confucius Institute at Georgia State University and the Shandong Foreign Affairs Office are partnering to present the Rialto exhibition downtown celebrating Confucius’ life.

Shuqing Guo, Shandong Povince’s governor, and Qiangmin Li, China’s consul general based in Houston, spoke at the event, which marked the opening of a picture exhibition including displays in the Rialto’s lobby of more than 40 photographic prints of artwork associated with Confucius and Confucian culture.

Mark Becker, president of Georgia State; Sam Olens, Georgia’s attorney general and Baotong Guo, director of the Georgia State institute, welcomed the Chinese officials and praised the exhibit as an example of how art can bring people together.

Georgia has four Confucius institutes that all provide language courses and promote an understanding of Chinese culture. Georgia State’s institute, however, is specifically focused on encouraging business relationships.

Following the official remarks and ribbon cutting, Shandong’s governor, Mr. Guo, accompanied Dr. Becker on a tour of the photographs of portraits of Confucius and his disciples, the Confucius temple, residence and burial site.

The historical portraits are kept from public view in Shandong’s museums to ensure they are preserved.

But the extensive photographs of the portraits of Confucius and his descendants and important episodes in his life and teachings provide a window into the life of the philosopher who was the first to promote a form of “the golden rule” to treat others as you would like to be treated.

Confucius was born near Qufu in Shandong Province in 551 BC and his philosophy emphasizes personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

Georgia joined the Regional Leaders alliance in 2008. The officials from Shandong Province met with local business representatives at the Omni Hotel during the afternoon of June 2.

The officials from all the participating regions are to meet at the Omni Hotel on June 3.