Chinese cultural exhibit comes to OSU tonight
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 01:01
Tonight, the Oregon State University School of Arts and Communication will host the Huaxia Orchestra of the Henan Museum in the LaSells Stewart Center from 7:30-9 p.m. The event is free to attend and is produced in collaboration with the performing arts department at Southern Oregon University as well as the Henan Province Cultural Department.
At the event, attendees will be given the opportunity to experience firsthand ancient cultural treasures rarely seen outside of China, including ancient music, the sharing of history and cultural traditions, and martial arts demonstrations by Shaolin Temple Kung Fu team members.
Founded in 2000, the Huaxia Museum is one of the oldest collections in China and is engaged in the protection, research, development and exhibition of ancient Chinese music, according to the group’s official press release.
Instruments used during the performance will be replicas of actual instruments previously unearthed from ancient tombs, and the music performed has been orchestrated by Chinese music history experts and is based on actual ancient musical scores. In addition, costumes worn by the performers will be authentic reproductions of clothing found in the tombs of ancient musicians.
More than 20 performers between the ages of 14 to 45 are currently included in the delegation from the Henan Museum and the Shaolin Temple.
Although the Henan Province has a great relationship with OSU and the Corvallis area, it is only one stop on the troupe’s U.S. tour, which also includes a stop at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, a show in the Midwest and two shows in California.
Steven Zielke, one of the head coordinators for the visit, has personally been to the Henan Province several times. In addition, he is also a lead coordinator for the OSU music department, a major section of the School of Arts and Communication.
“Our relationship with the Henan Province goes back more than a decade and has included numerous cultural exchanges,” Zielke said.
Back in 2011 the OSU Chamber Choir, conducted by Zielke, visited Henan in the spring. He also helped coordinate a visit to OSU by the Henan Opera during the winter term that year.
Zielke will host this event alongside Erin Sneller, music department publicity and events coordinator, who was on multiple planning and advertising committees for the show.
“The music department has had an ongoing relationship with the Henan Province for years,” Sneller said. “We have previously hosted a Chinese opera and some Kung Fu performers here in Corvallis, but nothing yet of this magnitude.”
“The goal is to create a greater understanding of the ancient culture and history of another country,” said Sneller. “The more we learn about and understand each other the more positive the relationship can be, even though our cultures are very different.”
Both Sneller and Zielke believe the arts can facilitate these relationships in a very peaceful and noncontroversial way.
“We want to give people an experience in ancient Chinese culture and traditions,” Zielke said. “Those who attend should gain an appreciation and love for these art forms.”
Freshman Audrey Tsai had the opportunity to see this group perform before in her hometown in China, and again here at Oregon State last year with her older sister.
“It was a really eye-opening experience for me when I saw them the second time here in America,” Tsai said. “It’s nice to see that we are so accepting of other cultures here at Oregon State. The whole thing made me feel as though I was right back at home and it was very rewarding for me.”
For more information on this event and to learn about other events being hosted by the department throughout the term, visit their website at www.oregonstate.edu/cia/music.
Lara von Linsowe-Wilson, news reporter