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Confucius comes to life in New York exhibit

2016/2/18 17:42:37   source:China Daily

  Ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius has taken on a new look in the US market for the ongoing "Hello, Kongzi" (Hello, Confucius) cultural event co-organized by the Shandong Tourism Bureau and the Shenzhen Broad Link Culture & Creative.

  "Hello, Kongzi" will run at New York's Grand Central Terminal and Times Square until Friday, according to Sha Huang, public relations coordinator of the event.

  The event, featuring an interactive demonstration of Confucius and his ideologies, includes a 3-dimensional plastic sculpture of Confucius, a virtual reality experiment zone with a computerized helmet to simulate riding a horse through an ancient Chinese city in the era of Confucius.

  There is also a quick-quiz machine and a virtual reality screen where you can see yourself dressed in ancient Chinese garb.

  Flo Doukov, a New York-based curator, said Confucius was a lofty ancient philosopher in her memory, but the Confucius in this event tended to be "more approachable".

  "The cute statutes matrix at the entrance reminded me of the famous terra cotta warriors but it surprisingly turned out to be Confucius," she said. "They are cute and interesting."

  Lucas Strzalec and Nick Pan, two creators of the 3-D Confucius sculpture, said they learned a lot about Confucius during their work.

  Strzales said he had not had any knowledge of Confucius beforehand but he learned about Confucius' life and story once he was assigned the work.

  Strzales said they used a sculpturing robot and a plastic bulk to fabricate the Confucius sculpture. "We wanted to make sure the sculpture of Confucius was as great as his own ideas," he said.

  Pan, a Philadelphia-based artist, said the combination of modern technology and ancient figure was a new challenge for him. "Chinese culture was one of the most interesting yet profound spheres that I wanted to demonstrate," he said.

  The virtual reality section was a popular draw.

  Volunteer Trina Constantine said that the number of people who had experienced the virtual horse-ride was "countless" and almost everyone was awed by the accessibility and lifelike experience from wearing a helmet and holding the electronic horsewhip that controls the speed of the "horse".

  Nicella Lagonigro, a native New Yorker, said she never thought Confucius could be "so adorable" and attractive enough to be accepted and appreciated by New Yorkers.

  She said cultural products from Asian countries were always exquisite and "this time Confucius followed suit".

  Long Yifan in New York contributed to this story.

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Sponsor:Information Office of Shandong Provincial People’s Government