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March 2, 2010

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Butterfly Professor flits about Expo

THE wise and beautiful Butterfly Professor, played by actress Xu Jinglei, has been unveiled as the video centerpiece of the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion, known as the World Expo's DreamCube.

Xu, wearing sparkling wings and a shimmering white gown, plays an inspired scientist who guides visitors through a dreamy interactive exhibition journey.

Xu, 36, is also an award-winning director and a writer.

The "female scientist" will guide visitors through a dream-like interactive journey in the pavilion in pursuit of a city dream and a better future. She will encourage audiences to contribute to a better urban life.

"Professor Butterfly is beautiful, intelligent and self-confident, representing the group wisdom of the Shanghai business community," says Gu Shuhang, president of the pavilion.

"I was startled by the beauty of the figure and cannot wait to attend the opening of the pavilion," says actress Xu whose main job these days is to promote the pavilion.

City evolution

The film, using cutting-edge technologies, is in postproduction.

Upon entering, visitors will walk through a long gallery with multimedia showing Shanghai's development from a small fishing town to the current metropolis. At the end of the gallery they will "meet" a virtual old man and his granddaughter talking about some social problems caused by the rapid urban development.

Then the Professor Butterfly will appear in the center of the pavilion, guiding visitors to possible solutions shown in various exhibits in various pavilions.

This will be an interactive section as well as the pavilion highlight.

The 4,000-square-meter pavilion, nicknamed the DreamCube, is funded by around 40 medium and large local state-owned enterprises. The environmentally friendly structure is largely transparent and made from recyclable materials. Intelligent robots will welcome visitors and some can cook Chinese food for guests.

Xu became well known overseas after she won the best director award for "A Letter From an Unknown Woman" at the 2004 San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain.


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