China In­sti­tute marks 88th year with gala

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The China In­sti­tute will hold its an­nual gala to­day, cel­e­brat­ing the 88th year since its found­ing in 1926 and mak­ing it the old­est USChina cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion in the United States.

It will gives its Blue Cloud Award for con­tri­bu­tions to the cul­tural ex­change be­tween the US and China to I.M. Pei, ar­chi­tect; Chien Chung Pei, son of I.M. Pei and also an ar­chi­tect; Michelle Kwan, US pub­lic diplo­macy en­voy and for­mer Olympic fig­ure skat­ing medal­ist; Feng Lun, chair­man of Van­tone Hold­ings; and Shen Wei, di­rec­tor and chore­og­ra­pher of the 2008 Bei­jing Olympic cer­e­monies.

I.M. Pei de­signed the Lou­vre Pyramid that sits in the main court­yard of the Lou­vre Palace, as well as the Musée d’Art Mod­erne Grand-Duc Jean, a mu­seum of mod­ern art in Lux­em­bourg. Michelle Kwan won sil­ver and bronze medals in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, re­spec­tively, and is a se­nior ad­viser to the US State Depart­ment as well as a sports an­a­lyst for Fox Sports. Feng Lun is a real es­tate ty­coon in China and is also chair­man of China Cen­ter, which was the first ten­ant to sign a lease for the new One World Trade Cen­ter in New York.

Past re­cip­i­ents of the Blue Cloud Award in­clude play­wright David Henry Hwang and the Lang Lang In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Foun­da­tion. The gala will be held at Gotham Hall in mid­town Man­hat­tan.

“We are the old­est cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion in the US that has been pro­mot­ing the two coun­tries’ re­la­tion­ships since 1926,” Wil­low Hai, gallery di­rec­tor at the China In­sti­tute, told China Daily. “And the gala is very im­por­tant for the in­sti­tute. Ev­ery year this gala lets the world know we keep do­ing our mis­sion, and it is also through these galas that we raise funds to sup­port the in­sti­tu­tion and keep it run­ning.”

The China In­sti­tute in Man­hat­tan was es­tab­lished by Amer­i­can and Chi­nese ed­u­ca­tors, in­clud­ing John Dewey, Hu Shih, pres­i­dent of Pek­ing Univer­sity and China’s am­bas­sador to the US, and Kuo Ping­wen, founder of the Na­tional South­east­ern Univer­sity in China.

The in­sti­tute of­fers pro­grams in ed­u­ca­tion, arts and cul­ture, lit­er­a­ture, and lan­guage. It also has an art gallery that show­cases Chi­nese art. More than 100 ex­hi­bi­tions in cal­lig­ra­phy, paint­ing, and ceram­ics have been held at the gallery since its es­tab­lish­ment

And the gala is very im­por­tant for the in­sti­tute. Ev­ery year this gala lets the world know we keep do­ing our mis­sion, and it is also through these galas that we raise funds to sup­port the in­sti­tu­tion and keep it run­ning.” WIL­LOW HAI GALLERY DI­REC­TOR AT THE CHINA IN­STI­TUTE

in 1966.

Two paint­ings on ex­hibit at the China In­sti­tute Gallery will be auc­tioned dur­ing the gala, Hai said. The ex­hibit, In­spired by Dun­huang: Re­cre­ation in Con­tem­po­rary Chi­nese Art, opened in De­cem­ber and runs through June. The paint­ings to be auc­tioned are by Chi­nese artists Emily Cheng and Yu Hong.

Hai said that the China In­sti­tute Gallery is one of the big­gest draws for the in­sti­tute, at­tract­ing more than 10,000 view­ers to ex­hibits.

“I think we re­ally did a lot to cul­ti­vate US- China re­la­tions through our gallery,” she said. “We use art ex­hi­bi­tions as the bridge. All the art­work show­cased orig­i­nated from China, and through the newly ex­ca­vated ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ma­te­rial and re­search in the field, we’re able to give Amer­i­can au­di­ence first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence to see those art­works.”

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