08 View of the press conference

“Happy Chinese New Year” Illuminates Manhattan, New York Welcomes the Year of the Goat by “Fantastic Art China”

On January 28, 2015, hosted by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and organized by CAFA, 2015 Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China New York Series of Events launched the press conference in CAFA, Beijing, formally announcing one of the key programs of the “Happy Chinese New Year” activities organized by the Ministry of Culture around the world–the thematic project and exhibiting works of the 2015 “Fantastic Art China” New York series of events.

In New York on February 17, 2015, it is Chinese New Year’s eve in Beijing, Chinese New Year themed light installation, public art exhibition, themed fireworks show, etc., from China will be present at landmarks such as Empire State Building in New York, Lincoln Center, the famous artists Xu Jiang, Xu Bing, Guan Xia, Lu Shengzhong, Zhan Wan, Huang Jiancheng, Chen Wenling will jointly combine a Chinese festival atmosphere with public art and contemporary creativity, showcasing in front of ten million citizens and tourists in the global city of New York, so that everybody can experience a distinctive Chinese New Year. The activity will start from February 17, 2015 (New York), continuing to February 24, the 6th day of the first lunar month.

The leaders who attended the press conference included Xie Jinying, Director of the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Culture, Fan Di’an, President of CAFA, Chen Chunmei, Director of the American Continent of Public Relations Department, the Ministry of Culture, Shang Jiyuan, Head of the Happy Chinese New Year Office, Professor Yu Ding, Dean of the School of Art Management and Education, CAFA and the chief curator of the “Fantastic Art China” program, Professor Huang Jiancheng, Vice President of the School of Urban Design, CAFA, the chief designer of the program, Professor Zhan Wang, the representative of the participating artists, etc.

Contemporary Chinese Public Art “Shines” in the New York Skyline

Xie Jinying, Director of the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Culture introduced the “Happy Chinese New Year” activities which had continued for 5 years and was an international cultural exchange brand program founded by the Ministry of Culture associated with the relevant ministries and commissions. For the New York show, “Happy Chinese New Year” program initially invited a professional art academy – China’s top art academy CAFA – to organize a professional planning team, widely mobilizing the institutions and enterprises of the art, design, marketing, communication, and other art based forces to participate in the collaboration and organization, which plays a demonstration role in more widely integrating the resources at home and abroad, innovation and development in the future.

2015 Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China New York Series of Events is as a subsidiary brand program of Happy Chinese New Year to debut, it has invited a number of important contemporary art masters to participate in, both Chinese and foreign teams work closely together and will show an high-profile culture and art event in New York in February. Fantastic Art China series events are made up of 3 parts including the Lincoln Center for Public Art Exhibition and Creative Bazaar, the Empire State Building Light Installation and Happy Chinese New Year Themed Fireworks Show.

On February 17 to February 24, 2015, installations by six artists will be on display at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. At the Avery Fisher Hall, Xu Jiang will show his steel sculpture “Symbiosis” that combines nearly 400 sunflowers; Zhan Wang will display his signature work “Artificial Rock 102#” and Huang Jiancheng, chief designer of the Chinese Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, will present a 3-D animated video recreating the momentous painting “Qingming Shanghe Tu” (Along the River during the Qingming Festival). At the David Rubenstein Atrium, Xu Bing will exhibit a hand-painted animation “Chinese Character”; Chen Wenling will discuss the symbolism of the era in “The Scene in the Future” while Lu Shengzhong will show both his “Little Red People” series and “Creativity Market” which is both a real market selling handicrafts from across China and a display of contemporary art pieces.

The Creative Bazaar within the atrium lobby brings together the creative derivatives specifically designed for “Happy Chinese New Year”, traditional Chinese handicrafts and selected New Year gifts, intangible cultural heritage, etc. Included in this are products of art design from the Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Museum, Hunan Provincial Museum, Zhejiang Provincial Museum, Hubei Provincial Museum, CAFA Art Museum, Suzhou Museum, Erdos Museum, etc.

“Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China” “Colorful China” themed light show will illuminate the Empire State Building on Feb. 17 and Feb.18 according to the 5 themes including the “Splendid New Year”, “Spring Snow”, “Green”, “Colorful” and “Celebrating”, looping every 3 minutes, giving the skyline of New York a warm breath of Spring Festival during the Winter.

Generally designed by CAFA, “Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China” the “Harmonious and Beautiful China” themed fireworks show will be staged over the Hudson River at 19:30 on Feb. 17, 2015 and people can watch the 20-minute show, including “Cheery”, “Spring is Back to Earth”, “The Shining Moon and Stars” and “Celebrating”, while listening to a symphony entitled “Harmonious and Beautiful China” composed by the famous Chinese musician Guan Xia, which will be aired by New York City radio station WABC, the bright fireworks in cooperation with the lingering music will become the best way to spread the Chinese Spring Festival. The Chinese Consulate General in New York will hold a reception in the evening for invited American politicians, cultural celebrities, and honored guests from Chinese communities to watch fireworks at the Consulate General.

In addition, “Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China” activities also includes “Chinese Americans: Rejection/Tolerance” exhibition held in New York History Museum which serves as one of the subprojects.

The Chinese Festival and Art Essence is introduced to the American Mainstream Society

Professor Yu Ding, the chief curator of the program said, compared with the previous Happy Chinese New Year activities held around the world, the Fantastic Art China had new characteristics and patterns: firstly, it focused on pushing the celebration of Spring Festival to American mainstream society, to enter the most famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Lincoln Center, which would attract more people from American mainstream society and tourists from all over the world to participate in the activities of the Spring Festival; Secondly, it expanded the previous content based on traditional folk customs to Chinese contemporary public art and the products of creative design, bringing the contemporary living and latest art and design to the international stage, to reveal the power and achievements of “Made in China” and “Designed in China”, also helping the people of the world to understand the new features of contemporary China; Thirdly, in the history of “Happy Chinese New Year”, it was the first time to entrust the planning and design to an high-level professional art team, both in terms of the overall visual identification system, and the selection of artists and works which are of an high level and high quality. CAFA organized a powerful team: President Fan Di’an serves as the general director, Professor Yu Ding serves as the chief curator, Huang Jiancheng serves as the chief designer, bringing together the famous artists Xu Jiang, Xu Bing, Lu Shengzhong, Zhang Wang, Chen Wenling and gained crossover support from Guan Xia, Director of China National Symphony Orchestra, while inseparably cooperating with the American famous team producing and setting off the fireworks; Fourthly, it held a design competition themed “Happy Chinese New Year” for the souvenirs of Chinese New Year, collected and selected a number of art derivatives of an high creative level and with the prospect of being marketed, for market-oriented operation and promotion in the future, increasing the cultural trade products and creative reserves of Happy Chinese New Year; Fifthly, it changed the old pattern of relying on government investment to one that relies on social power, market operation, and brand marketing to hold activities, so that “Happy Chinese New Year” activities could sustainably develop under the market-oriented mechanism.

As an important cultural exchange program, the event widely mobilizes the social forces at home and abroad to participate in and cooperate with the organizer the US-China Institute (The Cultural Associate of the Committee of 100, New York), the organizer in New York China Institute in America, the executive organizer of the Institute of National Art and Cultural Policy, CAFA, Urban Visual Culture Research Center, CAFA, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Jimei Group, Beijing First Cause Creative Co., Limited, all consistently gave the operation support, in addition to the support and sponsorship by many investment companies and institutions, to realize the docking and integration of a variety of domestic and foreign resources and powers.

Courtesy of the artists and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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