Spotlight: San Francisco Art Museum celebrates Chinese New Year with colorful activities

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-19 16:47:20|Editor: pengying
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- One of the largest museums of Asian art in the United States held various events to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year on Sunday, with programs for the general public, particularly children.

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, a U.S. city on the West coast which houses one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world, offered various programs for visitors to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dog.

As a starter, the museum arranged a story-telling tour for a large crowd of children from kindergartners to middle school students and showed them around the museum, where more than 18,000 art works collected from major Asian countries were displayed, with some of them being as old as 6,000 years.

Museum staff told the young visitors the stories behind the many artifacts that had come from South Asia, Iran and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea and Japan.

After the story-telling tour, the children and teens, accompanied by their parents, went on to attend a free hands-on art-making session organized by the museum, during which they painted one of the 12 zodiac animals with color pens and pencils on pieces of paper.

Their "art works," whether finely painted or scribbled in sketches or doodles, were made into badges at a "button-making station," to the great delight of the children.

"It's a pretty dog," a five-year-old girl said excitedly after she was handed a badge with a dog icon she had made.

A person operating a mini button-making machine told Xinhua that she had made, in two hours, more than 300 badges with the zodiac animals of traditional Chinese culture, such as the dragon, snake, pig, rooster, and of course the dog, the favorite animal of this year.

"My arm got a bit tired, but it's worthwhile," she said smiling, with her head still bent over the button-making machine.

In an auditorium on the second floor of the museum, which was fully packed with about 1,000 visitors, an acrobat was performing Chinese acrobatics on the stage, thrilling the audience with a contortion performance.

The audience clapped enthusiastically after the acrobat finished his performance, during which he squeezed his body into a small bucket.

Some youngsters were even invited onto the stage to learn how to beat drums during an ensuing interactive session, amid cheers and joyful laughter from the audience.

Sunday's events organized by the museum, including other programs such as "Having your name written in Chinese calligraphy," "Lunar New Year of Story Telling" and "Zodiac animals with Amy Ma," were part of the extensive celebrations of the Chinese New Year in San Francisco.

Last week, a mini-procession that included lion dancers, giant walking puppets, costumed stilt walkers, drummers and dancers was staged in the city's Chinatown, together with a two-day Flower Market Fair, the very beginning of festivities which is held annually.

On Friday, San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and former Mayor Willie Brown attended a "Dragon Eye-Dotting" ceremony in the city's famous Chinatown to kick off the celebration of the Chinese New Year, which began on Feb. 16.

A large-scale Chinese New Year parade with gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, a lion dance, and drum performance will be held on Saturday in the city to highlight the diverse and splendid Chinese traditions and culture that have taken root in this part of the United States.