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May 16, 2011

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Glass museum breaks the mold

THE Shanghai Museum of Glass features everything from ancient glassware to modern art created by famous designers along with some interactive displays suitable for people of all ages. Chen Ye reports.

The first sight of the grand Shanghai Museum of Glass is an eyeful of thousands of words - all related to glass in various languages - itched all over the facade of the square-shaped building.

At night, LED lights create such a scene that the museum becomes another landmark of Shanghai.

With a total area around 3,750 square meters, the museum that is to open on Wednesday consists of four main exhibition areas - What is Glass, Development of Glass Technology, The Secrets of Glass Technology and Artistic Creativity.

Through visiting, visitors can learn the history of glass, the modern technologies utilized in glass wares and appreciate the beauty of glass artworks, said Cindy Fang, the museum's marketing and public relations director.

The building that houses museum used to be a workshop of Shanghai Glass Company.

Visitors will find a mysterious Egyptian container, Bohemian accessories, jewelry, paintings from the Middle Ages, a British wine cup, treasures from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-467 BC), a Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) vessel, a Song Dynasty (960-1279) hairpin, a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) vase and much more.

One of the most interesting pieces is a giant wall mural created by the well-known Swiss design studio Jacques & Brigitte. It shows scenes of everyday life and poses questions such as "How hot can glass get?" The answers can be found in hidden doors.

One the mezzanine level of the two-story museum is a Glass House, with walls displaying 1,498 silver-chrome glass bottles created by the Shanghai Glass Company designers. On each bottle there is a Chinese character that is engraved with a laser. Putting together, the 1,498 characters make up a love story.

The Glass House is dedicated to the visions of design and hosts some of the most outstanding pieces of international contemporary design such as works from the limited editions by Jamie Hayon for Baccarat or the Column of Venini created by Alessandro Mendini for their 90th anniversary.

The entrance to the museum features five multimedia screens showing different films, creating a kaleidoscopic vision.

The glass museum also collects four glass shards from the St Salvator Church in N?rdlingen, Germany. During World War II, the city was bombed and the church's windows were shattered. The glass shards were collected by the stained glass company Mayersche Hofkunstanstalt.

Overall, everything at the museum is well laid out with plenty of space and is suitable for both adults and children.

Opening hours: 9:30am-4:30pm

Address: 685 Changjiang Rd W., Baoshan District

Admission: 20 yuan


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