Washington D.C.

(BEIJING, November 29) — The Beijing Olympic landscape sculpture exhibition opened at George Mason University in the U.S. on November 29, 2007.

The purpose of the exhibition is to publicize the Beijing Olympic Games to the world, show the concept of “People’s Olympics,” and popularize the Olympic spirit.

The Chinese ambassador to the U.S., Zhou Wenzhong, made a speech at the opening ceremony, saying that the Olympics are the bonds that link Beijing and the world. The exhibition will deepen the American citizens’ understanding of Beijing. It provides another opportunity for cultural exchange between the Chinese and American people.

Zhou hopes people around the world will join the Chinese people to make efforts to popularize the optimistic, vigorous, healthy, and hard-working Olympic spirits.

Since BOCOG began to collect Olympic landscape sculptures globally on August 8, 2005, artists and sculptors from nearly 80 countries and regions, including the United States, submitted works.

The exhibition has been staged in Los Angeles and Chicago, attracting coverage from mainstream American media such as NBC and CBS.

 http://en.beijing2008.cn  Official Website of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

By Catherine Ferraro
The Mason Gazette

(Washington D.C., Nov. 27) — It is not unusual to see statues or sculptures gracing the green lawns around the Fairfax Campus. However, beginning today, dozens of new pieces will be installed on the campus. The 51 sculptures by artists from around the world will represent the Olympic spirit.

Mason was chosen as the only university in the world to be an official host site for the 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture International Exhibition. The sculptures at Mason, which make up about half of the entire exhibition, will be on display from Thursday, Nov. 29, through Friday, Dec. 7, on the plaza between Mason Hall and the Center for the Arts.

A ribbon-cutting opening ceremony will take place on Thursday, Nov. 29, at noon on the plaza, followed by a reception in the Center for the Arts lobby. Traditional Chinese dances such as the lion dance, dragon dance, WuShu and other performances will be featured.

A delegation of representatives from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Committee will attend. Guang Yuan Liu, minister of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the highest ranking member of the Chinese delegation, will participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mason and the New World Bilingual Institute are sponsoring the exhibition. The New World Bilingual Institute provides resources and opportunities to enrich the lives of all ethnic groups and to help people of all ages to learn, understand and appreciate the Chinese and English languages and cultures.

“With the excitement of the Olympic Games coming up next year, hosting the exhibition is an interesting opportunity to call attention to our strong relationships with China,” says Mason Provost Peter Stearns. “The university is very pleased to be involved. This will provide the Mason community and the wider public an opportunity to view the interesting sculptures and think about the Olympics and China.”

The Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games organized an international competition in 2005, inviting artists from around the world to submit sculpture designs depicting themes of the Olympic Games – peace, friendship, competition, harmony and progress.

An international panel of 17 experts from Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States chose 110 sculptures from more than 2,400 entries submitted from 90 countries. Made from bronze, iron, aluminum, stainless steel and other materials, the sculptures were each copied three times so the exhibition could go on simultaneous tours around the world.

A nationwide tour began on June 23, 2007 – International Olympic Day – in Beijing. Then the exhibition started its international tour in London, host city of the 2012 Olympic Games. The sculptures have since travelled to cities that have already hosted the games, such as Athens, Seoul, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Barcelona and Sydney.

“Serving as a host site for the Olympic sculptures is yet another example of George Mason University putting itself on the world map as becoming a leader in the areas of culture and the arts,” says Terry Wang, president of the New World Bilingual Institute. “As the only university in the world to host the exhibition, Mason will have the opportunity to be involved in a historic event.”

During the international tour, visitors will be able to vote for their favorite sculpture symbolizing the games of the XXIX Olympiad. These votes, together with those of the committee of art experts, will determine the best 29 out of the 110 sculptures.

At the end of this year, the sculptures will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals and will be displayed around the Olympic venues in Beijing.

To view images of the sculptures, visit the New World Bilingual Institute web site.