Tue, September 14, 2010
China > Mainland

Shanghai landmarks lit up in celebration

2010-09-14 06:01:21 GMT2010-09-14 14:01:21 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Panda patterns appear on the Lupu Bridge of Shanghai, the second-longest steel arch bridge in the world, with a span of 550 meters. The light art marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Switzerland. Gerry Hofstetter, a light artist from Switzerland, turned the bridge into a dazzling display of lights by using projected light effects. The light installation combines elements of Chinese and Western culture. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese characters depicting China, Switzerland and friendship are shown on the Lupu bridge of Shanghai, the second-longest steel arch bridge in the world, with a span of 550 meters. [Photo/Xinhua]

Projected light effects are shown on the Lupu bridge of Shanghai, the second-longest steel arch bridge in the world, with a span of 550 meters. [Photo/Xinhua]

Gerry Hofstetter (R), a light artist from Switzerland, turns the bridge into a dazzling display of lights. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHANGHAI - A Swiss artist has illuminated iconic Shanghai landmarks such as the Lupu Bridge and the Bund to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and China, which falls on Tuesday.

The "Swiss Night of Colors" by world-renowned Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter runs from Monday to Wednesday.

Inspired by the beauty and symbolism of the Lupu Bridge, Hofstetter dressed it up with images representing the close bond and profound friendship between the two countries.

At 6:30 pm on Monday, images from the two national flags - Swiss crosses and Chinese stars - as well as the figure "60" and the Chinese characters for "China Switzerland Friendship" danced dynamically up and down the bridge, turning it into a piece of art. A Swiss band also played music along the riverside to commemorate the moment.

In the following two days, Hofstetter will work with a much larger canvas, illuminating the Swatch Art Peace Hotel as well as the Fairmont Peace Hotel on Tuesday and the Pudong Development Bank on Wednesday from 11:30 pm until 12:30 am, according to the Switzerland Pavilion.

A multitude of different images representing Swiss culture, history and friendship, as well as the Chinese characters for "Thank you China" and "Friendship" will be projected on Bund facades.

"Light represents hope and the future. I'm very proud to create this light art extravaganza to celebrate this special moment for China and Switzerland," said Hofstetter. "I feel honored that my debut in this country is for such a significant event."

Blaise Godet, Swiss ambassador to China, said they started planning this historical moment one year ago and wanted to present an unforgettable gift to the people of Shanghai and other parts of China.

"We're very excited that iconic Shanghai is dressed in Swiss colors for a moment," Godet said.

"We invited Hofstetter because he not only represents the creativity of the Swiss people, but also many of his themes reflect our country's commitment to environmental protection," said Manuel Salchli, director of the Switzerland Pavilion.

Hofstetter said he is considering creating more illumination projects in China after his debut in Asia. His solo exhibition "Light, Art, Visions" showcasing his wonderful artworks, such as projections on the Egyptian pyramids, Washington National Cathedral, Paris' Arc de Triomphe and the Antarctic glaciers, will open to the public from Sept 17 to Dec 31 at Galerie Junger Shanghai.

Before the artist's projections on the Lupu Bridge and the Bund, the Switzerland Pavilion had given visitors a chance to guess the contents and design of the light projects and win prizes in a lucky draw.

Every morning from last Monday until this Monday, quizzes were distributed to visitors at the pavilion. Completed quiz forms were put into a lucky draw and 10 prizes were drawn daily.

The winners could get a free "Snow Pavilion" - a crystal snowball with a mini replica of the Switzerland Pavilion inside. Participants were also allowed to receive a discount coupon for the Pavilion restaurant and souvenir shop.

In addition, the Switzerland Pavilion has created a commemorative stamp for Expo visitors. The commemorative stamp was issued in honor of the 60th anniversary, featuring the national flags of Switzerland and China.

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