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January 26, 2000 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-26

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0 David Lynch's compassionate 'The Straight Story' opens.
Tonight and tomorrow night only, come see this true, tender tale
of Alvin Straight, who drives from Iowa to Wisconsin on a John
Deere to visit his ailing brother. Michigan Theater, 7 & 9:15 p.m.

fIjeLt rt~m BNak

Ibmorrawi eknd, etc:
Weekend, etc. brings the local Ann Arbor music scene into
the spotlight with features on several bands and musicians.
Wednesday
January 26, 2000

5

Chinese paintings
span centuries

New play goes

Neshe Sarkozy ;
r the Daily
"The Orchid Pavilion Gathering." an
exhibit featuring ancient Chinese paint-
ings, is now open to the public at the
Museum of Art. Covering the deep red
walls of the upstairs gallery at the
museum are enormous silk and rice
paper paintings, many of which have
never been on display in the U.S.
before. These amazingly fragile pieces
art from the Southern Sung Dynasty
(1126-1280) to
the 20th Century
portray a wide
Th array of artistic
techniques which
Pavilion are not only aes-
Museum of Art ~thetically pleas-
hrough March 26th ing but provide
an educational
component as
well.
Marshall P.S.
Wu, head curator
at the Museum of
Art, said "the
goal of collecting
(these particular) works is for educa-
tion and for visual enjoyment." Wu
went on to note that students can learn
and understand the present problems as
well as the priceless educational
value of these ancient pieces. Within
*most all of these exquisite paintings
are beautifully written historical or

mythical calligraphy placed on some
part of the painting. Wu noted that the
museum staff has gone to great lengths
to translate all of the ancient writings,
since they hold so much of the meaning
behind the art.
Oddly enough, most Chinese art was
not intended for the public but instead
kept for the elite. The writings were in a
form of cursive from the Chinese
Bronze Age (1500 B.C.), which the
masses could not read. The Museum of
Art has translated the meanings of the
names, stories recorded and historical
background. "Education, being the
main goal,' Wu said, "is important in
bringing this exhibition to the muse-
um."
Interestingly enough, most of the
paintings are on two types of medium,
rice paper or silk. Rice paper does not
have anything to do with rice but is
instead made from either bamboo or
tree bark. Certain dynasties preferred
one or the other. This helps in dating
the specific art pieces and in decipher-
ing in which era they belonged. The
works of art are arranged chronologi-
cally along the walls from the 12th
Century to the most modern painter
who died in the '80's. There is so much
beauty as well as wisdom and a certain
calmness in these delicate paintings.
Wu mentioned in regard to these pieces
the Chinese painters always tried to
tease the viewer, whether simplistic ally

Courtesy o University Museum of Art
'Presenting lichee Fruit on a Carved ice Platter,' by Yu Chi (1738-1823)

or with a more complex piece. The
desired effect from viewing Chinese art
is to unite oneself with nature and get
the sense of tranquillity of people.
Even in ancient China it was consid-
ered a noble and respectable thing to
leave all worldly possessions when fed
up with bureaucracy and live as a her-
mit. Wanderers are what one can see in
many of the paintings.
Some of the paintings are done in a
rather abstract form, even though they
are from the 15th and 16th Century.
These paintings are suggestive and let
the viewer enjoy the representation.
Little if no color is utilized, and the
characters are realistic. Wu expressed
the idea that these Chinese artists'
paintings were a vehicle for self expres-
sion. Unlike artists in the Western
hemisphere, Chinese painters never
studied the human anatomy; however,
balance, complexity and an inner

expression was the main focus.
Due to the particular uniqueness of
the art, special attention has been paid to
how it is exhibited. Large silk scrolls
hang on the wall and are stretched over
long display cases. Red hues, which
symbolize prosperity and happiness and
play a crucial part in the Chinese tradi-
tion, cover some of the walls. A few of
the paintings were even mounted on
material from Japan. A nice touch to the
showcase is a rather small porcelain pot
with several goldfish swimming about
in its decorations.
"The Orchid Pavilion Gathering" cre-
ates an ideal way of combining art and
elements of history as well as glimpses
into the complexity of Chinese culture.
Going through the exhibit is as if you
step into another realm, wherein knowl-
edge and art intersect and that somehow
it seems that it belongs together.

'After
By Robyn Melamed
For the Daily
Basement Arts introduces<
clever performance of James Sa
"After Liverpool" this weekern
show consists of a series of scene
ed by theatre students and facult
tor Phillip Kerr. This production
as a workshop for Kerr's fall actin
yet its fabulous end product res
its ability to share the productic
the Univer
Ann Arbo
munities.
In thisr
After tion, st
Liverpool come togetl
make son
Arena Theatre great: sor
Friday,11 p.m. that is fun
esting, woi
and oigi
seems tha
and time
plays ar
formed in
tain, pred
fashion. So when something as n
tional as "After Liverpool"
around, the audience can be stun
"After Liverpool" is broken
separate segments, and there is n
in which these segments need to
formed. This production will de
relay the togetherness and impul
felt by the student actors in th
who were given the freedom fro

originality
to direct individual scenes.
The 26 scenes take place around the
a new, same shared space between characters
unders' 'M' and 'W.' Actor and 3rd year theatre
id. The major, Tony Von Halle says that "though
es creat- it is a complete script, nowhere does it
v direc- suggest that M' and 'W' are single char-
n began acters - hence we're managed to split
ng class, up the scenes amongst nine actors."
ulted in Originally there were 16 actors, but a
on with few had to leave the production last
sity and minute. Ironically. Von Halle thinks this
r com- will only add more thrill to the play.
"What's exciting is watching how we, as
produc- actors, find the balance of picking up
tudents that unfamiliar script, and apply it to a
her and scene without missing a beat...this has
mething been treated as if it were a studio," he
mething said. The cast includes Aaron Michael
n, inter- Sherry, Von Halle, Dan Hall, Quinn
thwhile Strassel, Gavin Kenny, Emily Whyte,
nal. It Patti Lavery, Caroline Peacock, Jen
at time Lima and .len Guerra.
again, Von Halle suggests that the audience
e per- watch for the natural patterns of rela-
a cer- tionships during the course of the
dictable scenes. These includes the ways in
ontradi- which verbal communication is used, the
comes peculiarities of people, and how difficult
nned. it is to leave a loved one.
up into "After Liverpool" is certain to leave
no order the audience with a sense of compas-
be per- sion, thoughtfulness and realism due to
-finitely its themes, said Von Halle, such as "the
siveness silly quirks we as human beings are will-
e class, ing to share with a loved one, no matter
m Kerr how vulnerable it makes us."

Opera soprano sings at Mendelssohn

By Jennifer Gates
For the Daily
It began in a high school and church
oir in Stephens, Arkansas and start-
d to soar under the care of mentor
Jenni Tourel during a summer program
at Aspen Music School. "Singing,"
said Barbara Hendricks, "was not

o" .
Barbara
Hendricks
Mendelssohn
Theatre
Sat. at 8 p.m.
r4

something i
thought about
pursuing as a
career until that
summer - then I
began to give it
some thought and
consider it as my
life. It was a
chance I took
when I went to
New York."
A chance, that
as time would
prove, was an
excellent one to

classical musician invited to perform
at Clinton's Inaugural Gala. This
Saturday Hendricks brings her soprano
voice, famous in the opera world, to
the Mendelssohn Theatre for her first
University Musical Society perfor-
mance.
Opera, according to Hendricks, was
the type of music that was pre-destined
for her. "I sang the music my voice was
suited for, and it was much more suit-
ed for opera. I couldn't have really
sung like Aretha Franklin - I would if
I could - but it was not really a
choice."
A worldwide performer, Hendricks
travels not only where her voice leads
her, but also where her heart leads her.
Hendricks has served as the Goodwill
Ambassador for the United Nations
High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR) since 1987. Her deep passion
for human rights has driven her to visit
refugee camps in Cambodia, Malaysia,
Tanzania, Thailand and Zambia.
"Humanitarian work is based on the
belief that you need all be active to pro-
mote human rights in our own commu-
nities, families, work," Hendricks said.
"In order for us to live in harmony, we
must learn to respect the rights of each
other."
Her most unforgettable experience

was during a visit to Sarajevo in early
1993. It included a brave concert
Hendricks performed in a helmet
while the city was being shelled. The
act was done for the benefit of
Sarajevo's people - so that they might
have "a small flame of hope that they
have not been totally forgotten."
"The Sarajevo conflict was brought
home to us through communications, the
media - but to witness that kind of bar-
barism so close, the fact that we allow it
to go on - these arc events that most
touched and marked me," she continued.
"Being in Rwanda after the genocide, (I
went to talk about forgiveness), hearing
their own stories. was very humbling for
me."
Hendricks' current efforts are being
directed towards Bosnia for an open city
project to "help cities with their prob-
lems of unemployment and infrastruc-
ture. Reconciliation is very slow and
very, very tough work, once the fighting
has gone and these people have wit-
nessed some of the worst things that can
be seen. It's not impossible, but it's very.
very difficult because of money and
human life to try and put lives back
together"
Understandably. Hendricks prefers
performing in old, traditional concert
halls as opposed to outside concerts

amid raining bullets. "The most impor-
tant thing about place is acoustics." she
said. "Better acoustics means better
freedom - there is a much larger
range of dynamics, you can sing some-
thing softly. I like the atmospheres of
old theaters, I like to know if there
have been people that have conie
before me. I like to know of their ener-
gy and spirit so it becomes a part of my
performance."
Hendricks, one of the best-selling
classical music artists in the world,
chose to perform in Ann Arbor for rea-
sons besides the theater's atmosphere.
"When I was asked, I agreed because
the University of Michigan has a very
strong musical tradition - its music
school is known to be very good. I was
very happy to come because of the
very strong reputation and tradition of
music. And I always love the atmos-
phere on college campuses. I like stu-
dents' openness and curiosity, I enjoy
the learning atmosphere."
This openness and curiosity is the
only requirement Hendricks asks of
her audience "to come equipped with"
when they attend her concert. Her
choice of Brahms, Wolf, Faure and
Richard Strauss for her UMS debut is
intended to provide a journey for the
audience not unlike Hendricks' own

take. After receiving her Bachelor of
Music from New York's Julliard
thool of Music, Hendricks debuted in
1974 with the San Francisco Opera.
She has since performed more than 20
operatic roles for various companies
and festivals, was recently seen in a
broadcast of Stravinsky's "The Rake's
Progress" on PBS and was the only

Courtesy of UMS
Soprano Barbara Hendricks will be accompanied by pianist Staffan Sheja.
career. The concert will "take the lis- lecture with Naomi Andre. professor
tener on a journey - not intentionally of music history and musicology,
a storyline - but through a program Saturday at 7 p.m. in the League's
with a variety of motion and color. Koessler Library.
constantly moving through the whole Tickets are $40 and $25 and can be
range of emotions that the listener can purchased biy calling UMS at 764-2538.
hear throughout the performance." Rush tickets for $10 are available
There will be a free pre-performance Fridav at the Union . Ticket Qffice.

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e-mail:
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