After the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 almost all of the pavilions were dismantled never to be seen or used again. In Shanghai, there are only a couple of the pavilions left. What I didn’t know until this week is that the province of Anhui had a pavilion and after the expo it was relocated to Hefei.
I visited it this week.
The pavilion itself is shaped like an old, much larger than normal Hui-style house, a very traditional style native to Anhui. Inside are several rooms. On the left are rooms displaying art from the province including traditional crafts like paper cutting, puppet making, bamboo and stone carving. The items on display were all beautiful. Sorry, no picture taking was allowed in the rooms.
When we, John and I, started are little tour one of the workers approached us and started telling us about some of the items on display in English. From that point we had our own private tour guide. Her English wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t bad at all.
Across the courtyard on the right side of the building is a large display hall with special pieces of art telling the history and culture of the province, but that was just auxiliary to multi-media display. In the middle of the room is a large open space surrounded by white ‘walls’ that are actually projector screens. When the presentation began, I found myself in the middle of the action with images projected on my four sides and an LED floor under my feet.
After an introduction to the province, the projections all focus on a door that opens into another room. This room has a white box in the middle with a projection making it look like a large, wrapped gift. Once everyone moved in and the door shut a new presentation began by unwrapping the present. This room also fully encompassed the viewers with projection not just on the box in front of us but also on the four walls around us.
The music was grand, the video well done and overall, it was very successful in showing the province and getting people, or at least John and I, excited to visit Anhui. I only wish the tour guide had turned on the English version of the presentation, which I’m sure they have since it was on display at the World Expo.
I will probably visit the pavilion again with other friends and because I noticed some of the art was for sale. I already want to buy some of that style of art. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a piece that was on display at the World Expo?
The pavilion is located at the Hui Yuan Park and Fan Hua road. The entrance is just west of the expo center on the north side of the road. It is 20 RMB to get in.
Humanity and Love
John and I also visited the Anhui Museum since John hasn’t been there yet. When we got there we saw a temporary exhibit on the first floor called Humanity and Love. It is a world-travelling exhibition of oil paintings by Li Zijian. The collection is varied in subject with paintings of children from all over China to portraits of old, wrinkled yet majestic women, from homeless people in Los Angeles to earthquake victims in China.
The exhibition really does reach across a whole range of human emotion. All of the paintings are large-scale and some of them look like photographs because of the intense detail. I enjoyed it very much. I will definitely be back to the museum more often if there are going to be more temporary exhibits with work of this caliber.
On another note, my five-week vacation has begun. I finished entering grades yesterday and fly to Guilin tonight. I am really looking forward to seeing more of China. Remember “Adventure is out there!”