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A Sculpture Garden Grows in Guangzhou

The Cao Chongen Sculpture Garden, a creation of Fine Arts Professor Cao Chongen with funds raised by himself, was recently completed and opened to the public in Xiaozhou Village, Haizhu District, Guangzhou, in south China's Guangdong Province. It is the first of its kind in China.

A sculptor and professor of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts who has been engaged in teaching and artistic creation for over 40 years, Cao is known for his character stone-carving and theme creation. His several hundred excellent works of different styles have brought him fame in artistic circles at home and abroad.

When asked why he had built such a sculpture garden, Cao said he wanted to show his sculpture to a wider range of people.

"It's a pity that so many sculptures are being put away in storerooms with nobody to appreciate them."

The garden, covering an area of 5,000 square meters (5,979.93 square yards) with an investment of about 10 million yuan (US$1.21 million), is distinguished by handsome sculptures in an orchard setting. Here people can see figures in stone of Deng Xiaoping, Sun Yat-sen, Lu Xun, Huo Yingdong and former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch.

The garden also includes some of Cao's theme works: "Return of the Pearl", reflecting Hong Kong's return to the motherland; "Mother and Son" reflecting the friendship between peace-loving Chinese and Japanese people; "Snuggling", remembering a Taiwanese earthquake; as well as a work memorializing the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

"With limited financial resources, this individual sculpture garden was built on a small scale, but with good quality," said Professor Cao. "In the future, the garden will collect representative works of domestic and foreign sculptors for permanent exhibition. We will build it into a cultural park for the study of both art and Chinese history to educate people about China."

(People's Daily by Zhang Guofang, translated by Li Jingrong of www.china.org.cn December 4, 2001)

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