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January 11, 2012

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Recycling the immortal dragon

TO welcome the Year of the Dragon, artists have fashioned the mythical, immortal beast who lives on through recycled materials such as empty cans, discarded CDs, waste paper, cardboard, machine parts and bicycle components.

Major figures such as Liu Jianhua, Shi Jindian and Ma Liang are among 10 contemporary Chinese artists using recycled goods to make recyclable dragons for the 2012 Jinqiao Public Art event.

"The interesting aspect is that we ask the artists to use environmentally friendly materials," says curator Li Xu. "In keeping with energy conservation and environmental protection, all materials used can be taken apart and recycled, from old CDs and aluminum cans to various kinds of waste like packing foam."

The highlight is an installation created by Liu, who created an enormous "magnet" sculpture outside the Shanghai World Financial Center.

In the dragon show, he uses 1,000 colorful empty soda cans to create a wall in which he carves out a flying dragon.

Fang Shaohua, a Guangzhou-based artist, uses colorful old CDs with vivid labels and iridescent discs to create a gigantic, dazzling dragon.

Young artists such as Ma Liang and Chen Yanlin inject more humor into their dragons.

Ma's dragon is composed of old bicycle parts to create a long, glittery-gold creature that moves on seven golden bicycle wheels and rears up on a head made from a child's tricycle.

The dragon is said to represent the Chinese people and Ma says the bicycle was once so popular that it too is a symbol of China.

Chen's "Dragon Kids" are made from packing foam. She creates a group of manga-like figures who are singing, dancing and setting off firecrackers for the Year of the Dragon.

Date: Through February 29, 9am-8pm

Venue: Jinqiao International Commercial Plaza, 3611 Zhangyang Rd, Pudong


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