Slowly slowly, it’s time for the Gartel Museum blog to start having some fun. Not that we aren’t always having fun, but I mean one must have certain treats in life. Well, as some of you may know we have been well connected with the artistic world in China. Had some great trips over there and met with some of the most creative minds that the world has seen today. For some it may sound contradictory, how such a repressed country can blossom such creativity. For us, who have visited the country so many times already we do not wonder at all. In the west you have so called freedom, which is then dummed down with TV, media, and other outlets such as commercials. It’s sometimes hard to breath in a western society but in China it’s not the commercials that air pollutants. There you have real physical problems with the air quality, especially in the city of Beijing which is one of our favorite destinations. So you may ask, why do we even bother to go to such a far away country to learn about art. The answer is simple, there is no substitute!
In these posts we wil be introducing some of the most amazing artistic creations China has seen and explain about the reasons why such individualism is abundant in such a social orientated country. And getting back to the fun, that’s what China is a lot about.. but not just any kind of fun because it’s often enough hard to put your words down when experiencing things like the Golden Mask Dynasty Show in Beijing. This absolutely fantastic and thrilling performance is such an artistic creation that we wonder if the creators themselves realise. On top of that the Chinese government has praised the show several times because of it’s originality and success amongst not just Beijing visitors but locals as well. For those who do not know, the dynasty of the “Golden Mask” is a historical period in China. It’s filled with magical stories and beautiful traditions. But it’s not just that which makes us think deeply about the artistic meanings of the show.
Like many projects, it started from a media artwork that was on display at the 798 art zone in Beijing. It was a series of sculptures that represented the dynasty and it’s golden years. On display was a real golden mask that was both valuable and one of the biggest highlights of the whole art exhibition. Little did they know that the whole concept of the “Golden Mask Dynasty” would turn into a show that is now known in various parts of the whole, including all over the massive country of China.
Of course, in one of our travels we had the honour of visitng the very show that was created many years before. Over time the performance has gotten bigger and louder, with confidence pouring from the top of the OCT Theatre building. The theatre itself is adjacent to the Happy Valley in Beijing, a well known amusement park that’s suitable for the whole family. While the location is not the most suitable for artistic theatre goers, it is no reason to think less of the venue itself. In fact, the show id really top of the class in terms of theatre productions not just in China but on a global scale.
What’s artisticly interesting about the Beijing show, is the fluidity of a story that has no speech, no naration, no nothing. And it’s not just to cater to tourists who don’t speak languages, such as Chinese. It’s because the story is so beautiful without words, it’s full of dance, ballet, acrobatics and emotions. Of course there is a love story, but most of all it’s a battle over the existance of the people who battle for the existance of the Golden Dynasty and the mask the holds the power of the history of China. It’s really something that almost makes you cry, but with such majesty and greatness as the story is told.. it’s no wonder that these complex emotions are expressed through the big stage performance. Now with a huge success, they have also largely invested into the wardrobe which is as magnificent as ever. I would say that now is the best time to go and see this production before it gets too popular. Even now sometimes it’s hard to get tickets, but look out for advanced booking from their website.
Lucky for us, a picture can explain more than a thousand words. Which is why we present to you some shots we have managed to take with the camera. Still it’s nowhere close, but certainly close enough. It’s really a beautiful experience that makes us take deep breaths and think about our existance in the world that’s filled with the most stunning artistic theatre.
Also do check out the official Golden Mask Dynasty Show Trailer in the embed below!
Hope this inspired you and people to make more amazing shows. Beijing, we love you. Hold on to the golden mask, it’s important for the future of your artistic culture and soul. Thank you.
Gartel Museum –Mike Gartel