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Marcel Duchamp leads cultural fete

By Yang Yang (China Daily)

08:19, April 26, 2013

If you are a big fan of Marcel Duchamp, known as "the father of modern art", then be sure to visit Beijing's 798 Art District as the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art presents a large amount of the French-American painter's work on Friday.

The exhibition, in partnership with the Institut Francais de Chine, is the fanciest show of Duchamp's artwork in China to date.

"This is the first time that anything on such a large scale has been shown in terms of influence and tradition, and the impact of Duchamp's ideas about modernity and the contemporary," said Amanda Halliday, spokeswoman for the UCCA. As part of the 2013 Festival Croisements, the Duchamp exhibition will last to June 16.

The festival presents the dynamism and creativity of the French artistic and intellectual scene, covering such disciplines as the cinema, dance, music, painting, photography, literature and new media.

Aficionados in 23 cities on the Chinese mainland will enjoy 77 events and 160 performances.

One of the initiatives is promoting communication and exchanges between the two countries.

Created after the Franco-Chinese cultural years (2003-2005), the event has become the biggest French cultural festival abroad and the biggest foreign festival in China. The Duchamp exhibition is also the first time the artist's Boite-en-valise-a big red leather suitcase - is presented in China.

The box inside the suitcase contains a miniature reproduction of his key works, which are considered to be the touchstone of contemporary arts.

A total of 31 Duchamp's works and other copies of his masterpieces will be on show.

Meanwhile, the art center will also present works by 17 Chinese artists who have been influenced by Duchamp.

In addition to the Duchamp exhibition, the festival has also brought French chanson singer Keren Ann to a tour of performances in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing from April 10 to 14.

Chinese audiences say her voice is so warm and gentle that they were very touched.

Many of them liked the song Not Going Anywhere.

In addition, from April 20 to 28, two prestigious companies, Dangster in China and Metamorphoz in France will present three shows in Chengdu, Chongqing and Kunming.

One example is the dance Fengshui that combines traditional culture with hip hop.

By blending modern urban elements and the dances of Yunnan minorities, Fengshui invites the audience to rediscover the deep self and to free emotions by immersing in a music that mixes neo-contemporary rhythms and the inner peace of their hearts.

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