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Shanghai Daily: Art festival celebrates beauty of autumn's fallen leaves
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Edited BY:Fang Shuaiyin

Students from the China Academy of Art have kept a tradition every December to turn fallen leaves into art installations. As the crunchy leaves gradually decay, the festival will last only about two weeks and end on December 31.

The Autumn Leaves Art Festival aims to celebrate the beauty of the leaves along Nanshan Road. As the road runs through the east and south of the West Lake, it boasts scenic spots which attract an endless stream of visitors every day.

When students were creating the works, tourists helped them gather the leaves. Apart from artworks, a creative fair on the roadside offers a range of handicrafts and postcards that adhere to the festival’s theme.

This year the event is themed on “Infinite Vitality” and shows 13 installations in front of CAA’s Art Museum.

“Symbol’s World” is a work by Hu Mingxi and Zhang Qinyi. They deconstructed the symbols from Zao Wou-Ki’s paintings and combined them into a scene of man walking through the water.

About 200 of Zao’s works are on display inside the museum. Visitors are advised to spend some extra time admiring the master’s paintings after taking pictures of the art installations.

The 19th Asian Games is definitely the highlight of 2023 in the city. Hu Yifan designed a volleyball player jumping to smash the ball. The integration of natural materials and images of human shows the vitality of life and the infinite possibility of the future.

Another work “Stay” was created by Wu Yue. The student constructed a cute elf, with its arm reaching out to shelter passers-by. From far away, it appears as though someone is gently patting people on the head with affection.

Zhou Xiaoqi and Li Yanju put up huge mushrooms and named them “Puhpowee.” It is a Potawatomi word referring to the unseen energy that animates everything.

The word could be used to describe the force that propels a mushroom out of the ground overnight. Therefore, the students transformed the fallen leaves into the flourishing power that occurs naturally in the world around us.

Lin Tong pays tribute to Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) by transforming leaves into an installation, which reminds people of Giacometti’s sculpture titled “Three Men Walking.” The walking man theme was a common subject of interest for Giacometti.

In addition to modernism, the Chinese ink-wash painting genre is also shown through the fallen leaves. Yang Yangqingzi and Jiang Yichen transformed the leaves into the scene portrayed in the 12-meter-long landscape painting “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains” by Wang Ximeng during the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127).

The entire piece is deployed in scattered perspectives and painted in horizontal-format with poetic ambience. Now, the installation turns the two-dimensional view into three dimensional structures with natural materials.

To welcome the approaching Year of the Dragon and farewell the Year of the Rabbit, students have set up installations of the two zodiac signs. The roaring dragon was designed by Yu Chaozhuo and the adorable rabbit was constructed by Hu Lu, Guo Kailiang and Meng Ziyi.

The lush phoenix trees along Nanshan Road provide shade from the blazing sun in summer. In late autumn the golden leaves start to fall, bringing a sense of tranquility to the city. People often take a stroll down sun-dappled paths as their feet scrunch through the fallen leaves.

Early December around Hangzhou is known for its kaleidoscope of colors. Phoenix trees, ginkgo, and maple paint the city in a mix of yellow, orange, red and gold. The CAA has celebrated the natural beauty for 17 consecutive years by hosting the leaves art festival.

In addition to the installations displayed in the museum, others are showcased in the subdistricts of Hubin and Qingbo, the Xianghu Lake, Deshou Palace, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Hangzhou Fashion Center, and Yinzhou District in Ningbo City.

If you go

Date: Through December 31

Admission: Free

Address: 218 Nanshan Rd


Source: Shanghai Daily