On February 17, 2015 in New York, “Happy Chinese New Year• 2015 Fantastic Art China” New York Series of Events, which had already been carefully planned for a long time, finally kicked off in New York. The events was hosted by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and jointly organized by CAFA and the US-China Institute, started from February 17, 2015 (Beijing time was the Eve of Chinese New Year in Beijing), continuing to February 24 (Beijing time was the 7th day of the first lunar month of Beijing). Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Empire State Building, Pier 84, Manhattan of the Hudson River, and New York History Museum were taken as the main avenues, “Fantastic Art China” series of events invited international art masters to attend the cross-border cooperation, integrating traditional elements and contemporary art, symphony music, integrated design and creative derivatives, combining traditional Chinese culture and contemporary context, so as to shorten the distance between Chinese and western cultures, to bring the Chinese New Year to the mainstream society in New York.
At 10:00 on February 17, Ms. Zhang Qiyue, Chinese Consulate-General in New York, together with Anthony Malkin, President of the Empire State Building Group attended the lighting ceremony of Chinese New Year at the landmarks of New York Empire State Building, using the colorful lights on the top floor to meet the arrival of “the Spring Festival of the Year of the Goat”of the traditional Chinese lunar New Year. On the nights of Feb.17 and Feb.18, designed by CAFA, “Colorful China” light show themed on Chinese lunar New Year with 5 chapters was presented to the public at the top of the Empire State Building.
Anthony Malkin, President of the Empire State Building Group initially gave a speech, and he said it was the 14 times for the Empire State Building to hold a lighting event celebrating Chinese lunar New Year in 2015. Different from the previous activities, the team participating in the light design for the Empire State Building was from the CAFA, who did not only use a new themed lighting design to explain and convey the best wishes during the Spring Festival of the Year of the Goat, also through the shop windows themed on “the spring comes in full form” to decorate the public zone of the Empire State Building. The design of the CAFA brought New York the breath of spring in the winter, and he also hoped this activity promote the friendship and cultural exchange between China and the United States.
Later, Ms. Zhang Qiyue, Chinese Consulate-General in New York said, the lighting event of the Empire State Building was one of the “Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China” series of events, to highlight that Chinese New Year has become a worldwide festival, not only hoping this activity increase the festival atmosphere,but also promote the world know about Chinese traditional culture. The “Fantastic Art China” series of events is a new brand of “Happy Chinese New Year”, and is organized by domestic top professional art college CAFA, which is an effective supplement to “Happy Chinese New Year” and the improving of the value.
At 4:00 pm, the public artworks show of “Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China” and the Creative Bazaar kicked off at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. More than 300 local overseas Chinese representatives, the honor guests from New York mainstream society braved the storm and snow to attend this activity, to share the joy of the annual Chinese festival, to catch a glimpse of the visual feast of fantastic art China specially designed for New York by CAFA.
The works by Xu Bing, Chen Wenling, Lv Shengzhong, Huang Jianchengwere showcased at the David Rubenstein Atrium, while the works by Xu Jiang and Zhan Wang were on display at the Avery Fisher Hall. At the same time, the Creative Bazaar within the atrium lobby brought together the award-winning works selected from more than 600 entries from dozens of colleges and universities across the country inthe Spring Festival Design Competition, as well as the cultural and art works from the stores of the 8 well-known domestic museums, which also drawn the guests at home and abroadhalt foot and appreciate. In the Creative Bazaar, it specially set up a section of “Image of China”, exhibited the works by 12 young and middle-aged painters such as Zou Jianping,Cai Dong, Lv Zhongyuan, Yang Jun, Shi Qiao, Tan Jun. The related exhibition held at the Lincoln Center was free and open to the public on February 18, and continued to February 24.
The opening ceremony of “Fantastic Art China” series of events was presided over by Shirley Young, Chairman of the US-China Institute, Professor Yu Ding, Dean of the School of Art Management and Education, CAFA and the chief curator of the “Fantastic Art China” program, and Wang Yansheng, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Consulate-General in New York successively addressed.
Shirley Young said 2015 Happy Chinese New Year• Fantastic Art China made Chinese traditional cultural elements have an artistic transformation in the contemporary context, combined the Spring Festival folk customs with the Chinese contemporary public art and creative design products, shortening the distance between the tradition and contemporary, using an easily understood and common way to build a new mode of Chinese and Western cultural exchange, in order to help the world understand China and Chinese culture.
Professor Yu Ding, the chief curator of the “Fantastic Art China” program said, it was the another large-scale cultural event for CAFA after the academy participated into a series of major national cultural image activities such as the planning of visual design of 2008 Olympic Game, the visual design of the Pavilion of China at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.
At the end of the opening ceremony, Xu Bing’s hand-painted animation “Chinese Character” and Huang Jiancheng’s 3-D animated video “Qingming Shanghe Tu” (Along the River during the Qingming Festival) were screening.
“Let’s see fireworks together – do the most romantic thing in New York in the Chinese New Year” was the title of the advertisement of the activity published by Chinese Consulate-General in New York. When night came to the Hudson River, numerous people gathered on the both sides of the river, to see the “Harmonious and Beautiful China” themed fireworks show. It is the first time to hold a large-scale fireworks show for Chinese New Year in the history of New York and even the United States. At 19:30, the 20-minute show officially started, “Harmonious and Beautiful China” symphony composed by the famous Chinese musician Guan Xia was aired by 3 New York City radio stations, the bright fireworks in cooperation with the lingering music became the best way to spread the Chinese Spring Festival. “Harmonious and Beautiful China” includes “Cheery”, “Spring is Back to Earth”, “The Shining Moon and Stars” and “Celebrating”. At the same time, “Colorful China” light show held at the top of the Empire State Building echoed the fireworks show.
February 17, 2015 is a special day for New York – “Fantastic Art China” Series Events is as the subsidiary brand of “Happy Chinese New Year” to first land New York, USA, to bring New York the Chinese culture in the form of public art, and also bringing the good wishes of the Chinese people. The world New York City is a place of the multiethnic and multicultural integration; “Fantastic Art China” does not only transfer Chinese messages – “Harmonious and Beautiful China, Harmonious World, Happy the Year of the Goat!” to overseas Chinese people, but also the American and the friend around the world.
Text and photo by The Department of Propaganda, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO