TAICHUNG, Taiwan—Renowned Taiwanese landscape artist Yu Chuanchi follows ancient Chinese virtues and principles to create his works. On April 6, these values, which Mr. Yu has so dearly cherished, came to live on stage in Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Enriching the Present with the Past
Although it is artist Yu Chuanqi’s third time watching Shen Yun, he never ceases to be amazed by the caliber of the performance. “Shen Yun’s artistry is constantly reaching new heights,” he said. “From their choreography to the story lines, color themes, costumes, and music, Shen Yun astounds me with their ability to create new content. I see something different every year.”
Mr. Yu says that the most unique aspect of Shen Yun is their “absorbing from the past to enrich the present.”
“They take the essential elements of traditional Chinese culture and bring it to life through modern means and technology,” he explained. “It is difficult to turn an abstract artistic conception into tangible performance, but Shen Yun does it.
“In the dance “Poets of the Orchid Pavilion,” for example, we see the embodiment of traditional Chinese concept of dualism—yin and yang, black and white, emptiness and fullness—through the calligraphy movements. It makes for a very unique choreography.”
As an artist, Yu praised Shen Yun’s use of bright hues and colors in their performance, remarking that he sees color themes reminiscent of those in traditional Chinese artifacts.
“There’s the zhongcai art of the Song Dynasty, and the glazed glass and the sancai (Chinese pottery painting) of the Tang,” he said. “All of these colors, when used in the performance, help to exhibit the style and elegance of Chinese culture.”
He said the artistic design of the performance was “multi-layered and multi-faceted in its color, contrast, and strata. The designs were inspired by the classics, but they also evoke the spirit of the modern day, which is a very difficult feat to achieve.”
‘Truth’ is the Purest Value in all of History
Mr. Yu said Shen Yun’s performance “exhibits the moral standards of the divine land.”
“Shen Yun talks about truth, compassion, and forbearance,” he said.
“This ‘Truth,’ is the purest value in all of history; it has a special symbolic meaning. After you have Truth, you work toward reaching ‘Compassion.’ This is the ideal of the Chinese people, to reach a state where human nature is at its best. With ‘Forbearance,’ you have world peace. The values of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance are thus very important in artistry.”
A Long-Lasting Relationship with the Universe
Mr. Yu said he admired Shen Yun’s efforts of 10 years to promote beauty and compassion to audience members around the world through traditional aesthetics. He compared Shen Yun’s perseverance to the Chinese legend, “Jingwei Fills the Sea,” where a drowned girl’s soul transforms into a bird called Jingwei that continuously drops pebbles into the sea, determined to fill it up so that others will not perish as she did.
“This is the kind of determination that Chinese people have believed in since the ancient past,” he said. “The results of hard work build up little by little; if something cannot be achieved by one person, the next generation will continue it, and the next generation, and the next. This is an example of having a long-lasting relationship with life and with the universe.”
A Symbol of Righteousness
Mr. Yu says that Shen Yun’s accomplishments cannot be summed up by merely saying they have reached the heights of artistry or that they are the representation of traditional culture; “The most important thing is that they have become a symbol of righteousness in the world.”
“There are traditions that have been lost in China after its modernization, including the ideas of righteousness and loyalty,” Mr. Yu explained. “Shen Yun is able to turn people back to the right way of thinking.”
He expressed his hope that Shen Yun will be able to perform in mainland China, saying that “these values originated in China and though they have blossomed overseas, they have not been allowed to return and settle where they came from.”
“If Shen Yun can go to China, their inspirational influence will be astounding.”
Reporting by Virginia Wu
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.