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Rare Chinese art exhibit at Flushing Town Hall

The Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts opened the doors on Wednesday, October 6 to a yearlong exhibition of the Thousand Springs Pavilion – a highly detailed scale model of the classic Wan Chun Ting pavilion that is part of the Emperor’s quarters at Beijing’s Forbidden City.
“This pavilion reminds me of China’s over 5,000 years of recorded history,” said Councilmember Peter Koo. “I encourage students and tourists to come visit this exhibition and get acquainted with Chinese culture.”
The model is on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and will be on display at Flushing Town Hall until September 2011. The original pavilion is part of the Imperial Garden, the personal quarters of the Emperor, built in the Forbidden City in Beijing. The garden is a part of a spacious complex, spanning over 247 acres and consisting of thousands of buildings. The Forbidden City served as home to 24 emperors off the Ming and Qing Dynasties in the 14, 15, 16 and 19 centuries.
The model is made of the rare hand-carved red sandal wood. It consists of over 800 parts, each one preserved in its own container. No nails or glue are used. Instead a mortise-and-tenon joinery keeps the model together. A group of experts from the Smithsonian oversaw the assembly process.
Red sandal wood was highly prized in China for its fragrance and beautiful finish; however, over-harvesting has made it nearly extinct and with it the art of carving, practiced mostly by women.
The model is the exclusive item on display for a whole year, but other exhibitions will be running simultaneously at Flushing Town Hall. “Endangered Art/ists – China” is an exhibition of textiles, traditional lacquer-ware and ritual masks. It will remain open to the public until Sunday, November 14.
The pavilion exhibition was made possible through the sponsorship and collaboration of the Smithsonian Museum, Savannah College of Art and Design, Flushing Bank, Cathay Bank, the New York City Council, New York State Assembly, the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts and others.
“It took an amazing coordination between many different groups to make this possible,” said Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts. “We are glad to be able to show this amazing model here.”
For information, visit www.flushingtownhall.org, or call the box office at 718-463-7700, Ext. 222.

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