introimage

Nicola Faganello

Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles From classical music to architecture, Nicola Faganello, consul general of Italy in Los Angeles, is a fervent arts connoisseur, and his passion finds a perfect... read more

introimage

Eisenhower Medical Center

Utilizing the arts as a means of healing is a growing trend among health care institutions nationwide. An outstanding example of this trend is the Arts in Healthcare Department at Eisenhower Medical... read more

introimage

Adam Weinberg

Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art Career Highlights Adam D. Weinberg has been the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum since October 2003. From 1999 to 2003, h... read more

introimage

The Kitchen Of The Future Kicks In

GE’s Paul Klein opens up about designing a kitchen for the Information Age   The future has changed, and definitely for the better this time. Forget the old future with its Buck Rogers pajamas, ro... read more

introimage

Creative Environments

The swimming pool: quintessential icon of L.A. living, a liquescent monument to luxury, relaxation, and enviable climate. Picture a swimming pool adorning a lavish residence designed by Paul William... read more

introimage

The Clark House

THE CLARK HOUSE MONTY DANNER BRINGS BACK STORIED INN WITH
JACK MCCULLAGH’S CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD ARTIST’S TOUCH ... read more

introimage

Mondavi Family Winemakers

21st-Century Napa: A Look At The Players Leading The WIne Capital of North America Into The Next Decade and Beyond When you’ve been making wine as long as the Mondavi family has, it’s not just busi... read more

introimage

Masters of Giving Back

At the annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters, chefs, vintners and others contribute their talents and services to a good cause: fighting cystic fibrosis. For eighteen years, more ... read more

introimage

Hotel Sacher Vienna

ELISABETH GüRTLER, OWNER The Hotel Sacher Vienna’s old-world charm and modern conveniences have been welcoming guests for more than 100 years. “We are not just full of tradition, we are young at he... read more

introimage

Cheng Li, George Koo & Edmond Pi

CHENG LI, GEORGE KOO & EDMOND PI   PRESTIGIOUS CHINESE AMERICANS MAKE A DIFFERENCE ... read more

introimage

Creative Partners Inc.

Otis College of Art and Design, Mattel, and Nike are a party of three Not every art school in the country can claim its success is due, in part, to a Barbie doll or a pair of sneakers, but then not... read more

introimage

George Benson

Ibanez Signature Guitars Capture Benson’s Legacy In Motion     Jazz guitarist George Benson’s busy year has included a nine-city tour to such countries as Dubai, Russia, Armenia, and Italy, where... read more

Category: Performing Arts

Sherwood Hu’s Shanghai Pavilion dazzles with a new multimedia experience

 

“Shanghai is the most modern city in the world,” proudly proclaims Sherwood Hu, creator of the Shanghai Pavilion for Expo 2010 Shanghai.

Born in Shanghai, Hu is a respected filmmaker, theater director, television show host, and a professor at the Shanghai Theater Academy. “It’s a big honor to be asked to design the Pavilion,” he asserts. “It’s almost as if you are doing a big thing for your hometown.”

It was just the end of last July when Hu received a phone call asking if he had any ideas for the pavilion. The multitalented creator consulted with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to find out what the city had in mind: something that captured the speed and history, and future of the world capital. Then, he was named the artistic director of Shanghai Pavilion.

At the Shanghai Pavilion, Hu uses vehicles, which he explains “take us on a 157-year journey from past to present and future.” The exhibit takes place in an oval theater, with simulators and film images making up the whole space. “The audience first walks into the Shanghai Pavilion into emptiness,” he details. “They get on a boat and see nothing. The audience is dropped into the ocean and is then pulled into different environments and vehicles.”

At that point, the experience kicks into gear. “All of a sudden, they feel waves and hear the sounds of the waves. Then, live actors come into play and images come up. The visitors feel like they’re in a big ocean, and the waves start to move. Then, they are taken to the streets of Shanghai. They are on the horse race track, then on a trolley car, and an airplane. The audience experiences all kinds of excitement of the evolution of transportation change.”

It all culminates with a trip on the Shanghai Maglev Train, a journey into the deep water of Hungpu River and, finally, a jaunt into the future on a flying saucer.

Simulators allow members of the audience to experience each form of transportation as if they were on the vehicle. “You feel all kinds of excitement through the transportation change,” says Hu excitedly.

The exhibit captures the old and new parts of the city—both the historical Puxi side of the Huangpu river and the 21st-century, ultramodern Pudong.

Hu had nine months to create the Shanghai Pavilion, which is housed inside the China Pavilion. The eight minute and twenty second experience was shot on five cameras and takes ten simultaneously used projectors to make the images come alive. The simulators, according to Hu, are probably the most advanced simulators in the world—“Bigger than Disney and Universal Studios,” he exclaims.

Hu considers his creation a brand new genre of entertainment. “It’s an experience that’s more than theater, film or a ride, which are all elements. The dome theater makes it more than a 360-degree experience,” he reveals. “You see actors, you can smell the flowers of the city, and you can feel rain, snow, bubbles, wind. A little girl blows bubbles, which go everywhere. At first, the audience thinks the bubbles aren’t real, but then they can feel them.”

The Shanghai Pavilion has gotten a great deal of attention, which could mean future opportunities for Hu. “Lots of people want to duplicate it in their city,” says the fervent creator. The London Olympics office has contacted him, and Hu plans to form a company to develop this art form. He’s also doing the prep work on an upcoming film.

Currently, some 4,000 visitors a day are experiencing the Shanghai Pavilion, and there could be life after the expo for the sensory extravaganza: Mayor Zheng wants to move the exhibit next to City Hall when Expo 2010 closes at the end of October.