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Science meets art, audio-visual exhibition and performace at the first ASEM Culture and Arts Festival in Beijing, From 2 to 8 September
Address: Culture Palace of the Nationalities, Beijing, P. R. China,
(49 Fuxingmen-nei St. Beijing China)
Date 05-08/09/2009

Science meets art, audio-visual exhibition and performance
Address: Ge Yi Gallery, Nantong, P. R. China
No.3, Wen Feng Road, Nantong, China
Date 25-30/09/2009, 11 am

Science meets art

The International Symposium on “The Early European Missionaries Coming to China and Sinological Studies”
Address: Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, China.
(No. 15, Xueyuan Road, Institute for Sinological Studies)
Date 26-27/09/2009

Science meets art - Hallerstein

The European project Hallerstein was created to connect European with Chinese culture. Through the conceptualisation of the two-year project Hallerstein, we have tried to combine cultural heritage, performing arts and new media technologies. The project being twofold in nature, combining historical documents with contemporary artistic products, creates opportunities for understanding both past and present Chinese and European conditions.

Some three centuries ago, the Jesuit Augustin Hallerstein travelled by ship and horse for almost three years to arrive in Beijing, the capital of China. Hallerstein’s name was rendered in Chinese to Liu Songling. He stayed in China for 35 years, living most of this time near the Chinese court and the Beijing Observatory, later becoming a leading foreigner in the field of astronomy in China.

Hallerstein was in regular contact with the Chinese Emperor, the Qianlong Emperor who had, as an excellently educated man, a great interest in Jesuit scientists, especially in mathematicians and astronomers, and was a major patron of the arts as well. Therefore the Qianlong Emperor and Liu Songling, two men of different cultural backgrounds, developed an understanding with each other and discussed science and cultural issues, a mutual understanding testified by their preserved letters in world archives.

A first symposium on Hallerstein organised by the Beijing University, hosting European and China Historians, will offer clues as to how much of this story is historically documented and how much is legend. Special conceptual and contents efforts were made by Dr. Zhuo-yue Huang and Dr. Mitja Saje, representing Slovenian University of Ljubljana, Philosophic Faculty, Department for Asian and African Studies.

In the Hallerstein events tournee in Beijing and Nantong, we will be present some artistic works inspired by Hallerstein. His life story is a source of artistic inspiration. A beautiful art result is an audio-visual animation Hallerstein which was conceptualised by Slovenian-Chinese artist Huiqin Wang in a collaboration of a group of European and Chinese artists, produced by ACE KIBLA.

A multilayered approach in the Hallerstein animation offers two possible fields of observation for Chinese visitors: visual artworks, graphics and paintings by Huiqin Wang dealing with images of Hallerstein according to imagery from historical sources, and music of Cameron Bobro interpreting Chinese traditional music and songs as well as European Jesuist approaches toward music, resulting in a singing and electronic musical recital of Cameron Bobro accompanied by Peter Tomaž Dobrila on the Theremin, one of the first known electronic instruments, a recording of which was taken to the Moon by Neil Armstrong.

Artists strive to intermediate the linguistic, cultural and historical divide. The context is that of research into the relations between the traditional and the contemporary, between science and art, and the dialogue between East and West, between Slovene and Chinese history.

As a coordinator of a two years project Hallerstein and representative of the Association for Culture and Education KIBLA from Maribor, Slovenia I would like to thank to all partners: China partner: Beijing Language and Culture University - Institute for Sinological Studies- Beijing - China and to european partners: Instituto Poltecnico de Tomar - Portugal, Confucius Institute - Univerity Minhu - Portugal, CIANT – Prague - Czech Republic, Korotan - Vienna – Austria and all others who have helped to bring toward realisation our project. Especially to Mr. Zhuo-yue Huang, Mrs. Huiqin Wang and Mr. Mitja Saje.

Aleksandra Kostič,
President of ACE KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia