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Take Me There: China Welcomes Two New Chinese Artists-in-Residence

By Grant Goshorn, Take Me There Gallery Coordinator, Interpretation

A Renaissance person is someone who is an expert in several different subject areas. But what is the modern Chinese version of a Renaissance person? In the Take Me There: China exhibit we call them Cynthia Yuan and Aili Yao, our two new multi-talented Chinese Artists-in-Residence! In a partnership with the Confucius Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Aili and Cynthia will be working in Take Me There: China exhibit for the next year sharing their interests in music, calligraphy, tai chi, dance, and teaching Mandarin. Aili and Cynthia are students from Sun Yet-sen University in China who volunteered to take a year off of studies to go abroad teaching Chinese-as-a-second language. However, they were assigned to The Children’s Museum due to their other talents. 

Aili Yao is a talented guzheng player (the long traditional Chinese stringed instrument found in the Take Me There: China exhibit), but also plays the erhu (2-stinged traditional Chinese instrument played with a bow) and dabbles on the xun (a clay flute shaped like an egg). She is also quick with a joke. 

Cynthia Yuan is an accomplished Chinese calligrapher, focusing on Xing Shu, or the running script style of writing Chinese characters. She can also play a mean hulusi (a flute made from a gourd and bamboo), native to her home in the Yunnan province in Southern China. Cynthia’s passion is tai chi though, so look for some new tai chi programs over the next year. 

What are Cynthia and Aili going to add to their repertoire of talents while in the States? They would like to find out how American families interact and learn, and find the best way to share China’s stories with other cultures. Cynthia and Aili would also like to learn to make American foods, figure out American football (by watching it, not playing it!), and practice their English. 

So stop by and witness the many talents of Aili and Cynthia. Who knows, you might find that you are talented at the guzheng, Chinese calligraphy, erhu, or tai chi as well!

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Categories: China
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