A cul­tural spec­ta­cle to be­hold in Shang­hai Tower

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - In Shang­hai

zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Founded in Beijing in 1996, the Guanfu Mu­seum is one of China’s most well-known repos­i­to­ries of art and cul­ture, and the es­tab­lish­ment has re­cently ex­panded its pres­ence to the soon-to-be-opened Shang­hai Tower, the high­est build­ing in the coun­try.

The mu­seum forms part of the Guanfu Baoku project, which also com­prises the Baoku Art Cen­ter. Both spa­ces are lo­cated on the 37th floor of the Shang­hai Tower.

The fi­nal com­po­nent of the project is the Baoku Trea­sury, China’s largest un­der­ground vault that has 30,000 pri­vate safe boxes.

The fa­cil­ity, which is lo­cated five lev­els be­neath the build­ing, is equipped with se­cu­rity sys­tems that are even more so­phis­ti­cated than bank vaults, as well as hi-tech en­vi­ron­men­tal con­trols that en­sure pre­cious art­works are stored in the per­fect con­di­tions.

“My am­bi­tion is to build a mu­seum that peo­ple, who have never been there, can­not imag­ine what it is like, and for those who ac­tu­ally have been there to be un­able to de­scribe it to oth­ers,” said Ma Weidu, the founder of the mu­seum, at the launch of the Guanfu Baoku project ear­lier in Novem­ber.

Ma said that about 95 per­cent of the traces of hu­man civ­i­liza­tion will even­tu­ally be elim­i­nated, with the re­main­ing 5 per­cent forming China’s cul­tural legacy. The pur­pose of the mu­seum was hence to “win the pub­lic re­spect for this 5 per­cent”.

The Shang­hai Guanfu Mu­seum has five ex­hi­bi­tion halls con­tain­ing more than 500 ar­ti­facts such as ce­ramic works, gold pieces, an­tique fur­ni­ture, Bud­dha stat­ues and tex­tiles. The ce­ramic col­lec­tion is es­pe­cially im­pres­sive as it fea­tures works from the Song Dy­nasty (9601279) and presents a com­pre­hen­sive over­view of the ce­ramic arts scene dur­ing that age.

Upon ex­it­ing the mu­seum space, visi­tors will en­ter the Baoku Art Cen­ter, a space that fea­tures the re­pro­duc­tion of an an­cient Chi­nese gar­den and a pub­lic area named “Olive Cir­cle”, de­signed by Dutch ar­chi­tect Al­fonso Wol­bert.

At the cen­ter is a 480-squareme­ter ball­room with an enamel floor. The space, which won a Guin­ness World Record for the world’s largest enamel hall, re­quired a to­tal of 321,681 com­bined work­ing hours by 134 crafts­men to com­plete.

The of­fi­cial open­ing of the Shang­hai Guanfu Mu­seum has been sched­uled for next year when the Shang­hai Tower is of­fi­cially op­er­a­tional. The build­ing, which stands at 632 me­ters high, is cur­rently con­sid­ered the tallest in the coun­try. To­gether with the Jin­mao Tower and the Shang­hai World Fi­nan­cial Cen­ter, the trio of high-rise build­ings an­chor the city’s iconic Lu­ji­azui land­scape.

Gu Jian­ping, pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of Shang­hai Tower Con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment Co, said that the com­pany de­cided to in­clude the Guanfu Baoku project be­cause it wanted the build­ing to stand out from the count­less high-rise build­ings are con­stantly be­ing built th­ese days.

“We wanted a dis­tinc­tive cul­tural iden­tity for Shang­hai Tower,” said Gu. “With the in­clu­sion of this project we have man­aged to achieve a ver­ti­cal feat as well as cul­tural depth.”

CHINA DAILY PRO­VIDED TO

The Guanfu Mu­seum has more than 500 his­tor­i­cal items on dis­play.

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