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East meets West in Xintiandi mini-Expo

SHANGHAI Xintiandi, a trendy dining, shopping and tourist hub, has presented a celebration of Eastern and Western art titled "When East Meets West in Artistic Harmony."

The event running through May 21 to 26 featured high-definition prints of Italian court painter Lang Shining's flower-bird paintings, a musical performance by Brown Sugar and Moon Karma, and artistic items, such as exquisite Kunqu Opera costumes.

The prints were displayed throughout Xintiandi, enabling international visitors to get a sense of Oriental charm in a Western way.

At the bottom of each print is a harmonic combination of notes from Western musical scores and the traditional Kunqu musical scale.

Italian court painter Lang first came to China as a missionary and went on to serve three emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He depicted Chinese subjects and traditional themes using Western realistic styles, introducing perspective and three-dimensions.

His unique blend of Western painting techniques and Chinese content made him a key figure in the artistic revival of the time.

Last weekend at the South Block Piazza of Xintiandi, visitors enjoyed a blend of sounds from pipa, (lute), erhu (two-stringed fiddle), dizi (bamboo flute), Peking Opera, drums, piano and bass.

Two impressive musical performances were staged by "Moon Karma," a Chinese traditional orchestra, and the city's jazz restaurant, Brown Sugar.

The crossover combination mixed rich and mysterious Chinese folk music with Western electronic music. The repertoire included "Whisper of the Heart," "Dance Festival" and "Qilin" (a hooved Chinese chimerical creature).

The high point of the East-meets-West celebration was an unprecedented crossover concert of Kunqu Opera and symphony on Wednesday by the Kunqu Opera "Prince" Zhang Jun; Tan Dun, the internationally acclaimed composer; China's Expo 2010 Cultural Ambassador to the World, renowned conductor Tang Muhai; and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.

The world-class musicians delivered a fresh interpretation of "When East Meets West in Artistic Harmony." The elegant sounds of Kunqu Opera melded with passionate symphonic sounds. A piano-flute ensemble, "Peony Pavilion," was created by Tan and Zhang.

According to Carrie Liu, an official from Shui On Land, the East-West campaign goes hand in hand with the cultural fusion of Xintiandi.

"During the Expo, we plan to present more international culture and art events to provide visitors unforgettable memories of the city from our 'mini-Expo'," Liu said.

A series of programs, such as cultural weeks of Hong Kong, France and South Korea, will be launched under the theme of "World Fashion at Xintiandi."


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