Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, March 19, 2010

Confucius Institute open house to highlight
Chinese art forms

The Confucius Institute at U-M (CI-UM) welcomes the Ann Arbor community, on-campus and beyond, to its inaugural open house from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday at CI-UM headquarters, 715 N University, Suite 201.

For anyone who ever has been mesmerized by the magical tones of traditional Chinese instruments, entranced by the artistry of calligraphy and the intricacy of Chinese paper-cutting, or struck by the distinct nuance of Chinese opera, this is a time to learn and experience more.

The CI-UM open house exhibition of images of Huqiu (Tiger Mount), China, will include this item image taken by Ann Arbor resident Xu Zengquan.

Refreshments and a brief welcome kick off the day’s events, followed by a calligraphy demonstration at 11 a.m.; food, prizes and pipa and erhu performances at noon; a paper-cutting demonstration and audience participation at 1 p.m.; a demonstration of and comments about Chinese opera at 2:30 p.m.; culminating in a final prize drawing at 3:30 p.m. There is no charge for any of the activities.

A small exhibition of photography of Huqiu (Tiger Mount), a historically renowned site of Chinese calligraphy and music, also will be featured at the open house.

“We have placed Chinese art forms at the center of our open house activities to reflect CI-UM’s primary mission, which is the promotion of Chinese arts,” says Joseph Lam, CI-UM director and professor of music. “Our focus on ancient to modern arts, and our intent to establish a national CI repository of Chinese art, makes UM-CI unique within the extensive international network of nearly 400 Confucius Institutes in the United States and abroad.

“Our mission is further advanced in our March 21 forum of CI directors from Ohio, Michigan, California, and New York State, where we are discussing ways to promote an understanding of China through its arts and cultures as we build a corridor of Chinese arts and cultures in our communities.”

The CI-UM was established in late 2009. The institute adds a substantial arts component to President Mary Sue Coleman’s China Initiative, and moves forward the university’s overall global programs and initiatives.

The network of more than 60 Confucius Institutes at universities around the U.S. — and more than 300 worldwide — seeks to strengthen educational cooperation with China, develop Chinese language education, and increase intercultural understanding with the peoples of China. The network was developed in collaboration with the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing, a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education.