Happy 25th birthday to China's first international grand theater
Shanghai Grand Theater, the country's first international comprehensive grand theater, is celebrating its 25th birthday by showcasing the mural painting "The Goddess of Art."
Created by Chinese-American painter Ding Shaoguang in 1998 for the opening of the landmark theater at People's Square, "The Goddess of Art" has been stored in the Grand Theater Gallery since 2002.
To mark the venue's 25th anniversary, Shanghai Grand Theater has tailored a replica of the 7.4m x 4.4m mural painting, and placed it in its main entrance hall.
Eighty-four-year-old Ding Shaoguang attended the unveiling ceremony on Sunday morning.
"It was the largest painting I ever made," said Ding. "There was no computer science support at that time, so the creative process was challenging."
He added: "The Grand Theater is for people to get to know the art and culture of the world. I hope the painting will arouse visitors' respect and esteem for art".
The painting was inspired by the Flying Apsaras of the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD386-534). The theater has collaborated with the Shanghai Animation Film Studio and created a short animation of the painting to better introduce it to the younger generation.
The original work will continue to be stored under constant temperature in the theater's gallery, which is open to the public for free through September 10. Reservations are required.
Shanghai Grand Theater is presenting 58 stage productions in 480 performances in its 2023-24 season, covering opera, classic concert, musical, dance and drama.
Zhang Xiaoding, general manager of Shanghai Grand Theater, added that there is renovation work going on.
"We narrowed the ticket lobby to spare more space for public use, so that audiences can spend more time in the theater when they pay a visit," she said.
Zhang said a new café area will be set up near the entrance of Shanghai Grand Theater's 575-seat Buick Theater. There will also be an art exhibition area and some new decorations. The renovation is due to be completed by October.