featured image of 2016 Happy Chinese New Year Fantastic Art China

After last year’s success, the “Fantastic Art China” festival returns to New York City from February 4-10, 2016 for a second year of even bigger and more exciting arts and cultural events across New York’s top cultural venues and landmarks, including Lincoln Center, the Empire State Building, and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. On February 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. “Monkey King” actor Liu Xiao Ling Tong, with Ambassador Zhang Qiyue, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in New York and Mr. Anthony Malkin, President of Empire State Building, attended the lighting ceremony and led the countdown to light ESB ceremoniously in honor of the Year of the Monkey.

On February 6, 2016, ESB synced its world-famous tower lights to the second annual “Happy Chinese New Year: Fantastic Art China” fireworks display over the Hudson River at 8:30 p.m. EST. Created by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman, in collaboration with the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), the light show featured dazzling effects. The Empire State Building also commemorated the Year of the Monkey with a festive window exhibition opening on February 2, 2016, in the building’s Fifth Avenue lobby. Designed by China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG), the windows feature Sun Wu Kong, a well-known Chinese childhood character also known as the Monkey King. Drawing inspiration from Peking Opera facial makeup, the monkey display represented wisdom, braveness and vitality in the coming year.

New this year, the music of Tan Dun, a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, enhanced the visual experience of art at several venues including a major art exhibition at the Javits Center, a fireworks display on the Hudson River, and events at Lincoln Center. With Chinese New Year a public school holiday for the first time, New York school children from the National Dance Institute representing 75 schools perform Chinese dance at Lincoln Center and the Javits Center. And, in celebration of the “Year of the Monkey”, events feature a conservation message about the endangered Golden Monkey in China, in collaboration with international environmental organizations.

Festival highlights include:

Opening Concert: A kick-off concert, open to the public, by composer and conductor Tan Dun (Academy and Grammy Award-winner for his original score of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and featuring NYC school children from the National Dance Institute, on February 5th at the Jacob K. Javits Center.
Art and Creative Exhibition: A free week-long public exhibition of Chinese Art at the Jacob K. Javits Center from February 5-10th, featuring the works of celebrated contemporary Chinese artists Pan Gongkai, Jiang Jie, and Duan Haikang, a pavilion featuring art from several Chinese cities never before exhibited in the U.S., and a pavilion featuring works from young U.S. and Chinese artists from prestigious New York and Chinese art universities.
Fireworks Spectacular Over the Hudson: Multiple barges on the Hudson launched a true fireworks spectacular on February 6th. Designed and organized by CAFA, and executed by world-renowned Fireworks by Grucci, the display, titled “The Voice of Fantasy”, utilizes groundbreaking firework designs from CAFA and a live simulcast of music by Tan Dun to tell a New Year’s story of celebration and conservation.
Empire State Building Lighting: A special lighting show on the Empire State Building illuminate New York City during Lunar New Year.
New York Philharmonic Chinese New Year Concert and Gala and Community Dance Event: The New York Philharmonic will present its fifth annual Chinese New Year Concert and Gala on February 9th. The concert, conducted by Long Yu, will feature violinist Maxim Vengerov playing the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, and will be highlighted by the New York Premiere of Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, for harp and orchestra, featuring the Philharmonic’s Principal Harp, Nancy Allen. (Tickets are available at http://nyphil.org). Young dancers from 75 NYC public schools sponsored by the National Dance Institute will also perform in a free community event preceding the concert, and a public art exhibit by Su Xinping will be featured.

The artistic theme of the 2016 Fantastic Art China festival focuses on exploring the intricate relationship between sound and image. Visual artists will collaborate with musicians to bring extraordinary experiences to audiences, introducing the beauty of Chinese culture and values and inspiring participants to rethink the relationship between man and nature. The festival, now in its second year, aims to serve as an innovative approach to establishing cultural exchange between China and New York City.

Courtesy of CAFA, for further information please visit http://fantastic.art.china.cn/en/.

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