Artist Enchanted by Depth of Culture in Shen Yun

January 18, 2014 Updated: January 18, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore.—”I’m very, very enchanted with the depiction of the history of Chinese culture,” said artist Ann Bullwinkel after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Keller Auditorium in Portland, Jan. 18.

As an artist, Ms. Bullwinkel has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and she’s been featured in 17 corporate art collections including for Adobe Systems, Kaiser, Chevron, Pronghorn, 1st Community Bank, and Cushman Realty. She has sold around 350 pieces, most of which include depictions of Oregon’s classic landscapes on large canvases.

Ms. Bullwinkel has also travelled to China six times, but said she sensed a part of the culture in the New York-based Shen Yun she had not found in the present day China.

“I sensed there was a much deeper—much more meaning to the whole country,” Ms. Bullwinkel said. “It’s very rich and very penetrating.”

She added that the entire performance emanates “the feeling, tone and the beauty, just sheer beauty of the history.”

China was once known as the land of the divine, with principles like justice, benevolence, and respect for the heavens making up the core of the culture. These values, which come from the ideals of Buddhism, Taosim, and Confucianism, are present in its ancient art forms like classical Chinese dance.

However, the civilization of 5,000 years was once nearly lost under the current regime, and Shen Yun is not a performance that can be seen in China today.

The traditional values, like good-versus-evil, are present in the stories told through Shen Yun’s mini-dramas as well. Ms. Bullwinkel said she particularly loved the stories told through dance and found them delightful.

An added bonus is Shen Yun’s use of a digital backdrop, which allows the performers to move instantly from stage to screen, and the audience to transport through time and space.

“That was beautifully performed, and the way the people drop off and go into the heavens is very, very well done,” Ms. Bullwinkel said. “It’s beautifully staged, beautiful costumes—the choreography and the dancing.”

“The whole way the performance is put on is just magnificent,” Ms Bullwinkel said.

Reporting by Chen Si and Catherine Yang

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.

The 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.