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UPDATED: June 4, 2012 NO. 23 JUNE 7, 2012
Tomb With a View
China's famed Terracotta Warriors conquer the Big Apple
By Corrie Dosh

THE DEBUT: A billboard outside Discovery Times Square advertises the opening of China's exhibition—Terracotta Warriors: Defenders of China's First Emperor—in New York on April 27 (IC)

The exhibition was created and produced jointly by the Discovery Times Square museum, the China Institute, the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau (SPCRB) and the Shaanxi Provincial Museum Association (SPMA). It was curated by archeology expert and historian Chen Shen, Vice President and Senior Curator at the Royal Ontario Museum. The exhibit is a multimedia, immersive experience, with films showing reenactments of ancient battles and dramatic lighting that creates a tomb-like experience.

"(The China Institute) has been enhancing the understanding of China in the United States since 1926, so (the exhibit) very much fits with our mission of teaching Americans about China," said McCalpin. Since the founding of the China Institute, interest in Chinese culture "has only grown," she added, and the U.S.-China relationship has become "the most important relationship of the 21st century."

"I believe that's the reason why there is such growing interest in Chinese culture, history and language," McCalpin said.

The China Institute has several current and upcoming exhibitions on Chinese art and culture, including a showing of tomb décor of the Jin Dynasty (266-420) from Shaanxi Province. New Yorkers will have the chance to see an exhibition of modern Chinese porcelain this fall, and an exhibition of artifacts from Dunhuang in Gansu Province in 2013.

With each exhibition, the institute hopes to advance its mission of giving Americans the chance to experience a little bit of China, McCalpin said. If the crowds at the Terracotta Warriors exhibit are any indication, interest in Chinese culture is at an all-time high.

"It's a great honor to have the opportunity to work with these legendary artifacts and craft a one-of-a-kind experience immersing visitors into a time that was so influential in shaping China's history. We are proud to partner with New York's China Institute, the SPCRB, and the SPMA to present these artifacts here in the heart of Times Square," said James Sanna, CEO of Discovery Times Square, in a release.

The author is a freelance writer living in New York City

Email us at: liuyunyun@bjreview.com

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