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UTAR: AN ARTISTIC INTERACTION WITH ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS


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First row from left: Dr Toh, Dr Wong, Dr Xu, Wu, Liu, Zhang, Prof Chuah, Prof Chen, Tan Sri Hew, Datin Hong, Datuk Hong, Prof Choong with the UTAR staff and students during the interactive session

 
UTAR Kampar Campus was called on by a delegation of eminent artists and musicians from Shanghai, China on 4 January 2019.
 
The delegates included Shanghai Chinese Orchestra’s (上海民族乐团) National Class-A (top class) musician-cum-Shanghai Conservatory of Music (上海音乐学院) Adjunct Professor Liu Bo (刘波), Shanghai Maritime University (SMU) Xu Beihong Art College (上海海事大学徐悲鸿艺术学院) Deputy Dean Dr Xu ChengXing (许承兴), Shanghai China Art Academy (上海中国画院) Painter and National Class-A (top class) artist Wu MingYao (吴明耀), and Shanghai Wenshi Research Hall (上海文史馆) Member and former Shanghai Jiao Tong University Professor Zhang Yuan (张淵).
 
Receiving the delegates was UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik. Also present were UTAR Council Member Ir Academician Datuk Hong Lee Pee and spouse, UTAR Planning and Development Committee Advisor Tan Sri Hew See Tong, Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programme Assoc Prof Dr Wong Wun Bin, ICS Department of Chinese Studies Head for Kampar Campus Dr Toh Teong Chuan, ICS Visiting Professor Prof Dr Chen ChuanXi, and Division of Community and International Networking Deputy Director Dr Chen I-Chi.
 
Speaking on UTAR’s enduring ties with universities in China, Prof Chuah introduced, “The University currently has collaborative ties with over 200 local and foreign universities with more than 50 of them are from China. For universities in Northern China, we have ties with Beijing Jiaotong University and others; whereas in Southern China, we have collaborations with Guangxi University, Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine and many more.” He also pointed out that UTAR places great emphasis in Chinese studies as reflected by ICS’s high number of academics as well undergraduates and postgraduates, thus making ICS the largest Chinese studies institute in the country. Also shedding light on UTAR’s initiatives as a not-for-profit private university with a heart for the community, Prof Chuah added, “The University is currently building a hospital in this campus where treatments of both modern medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine are available.”
 

Prof Chuah (left) introducing UTAR’s background while Liu look on

 
Liu expressed her admiration and utmost respect to the forerunners who had dedicated their lives to the betterment of education and also by establishing a not-for-profit institution of higher learning like UTAR. Also an accomplished ruan expert, Liu briefly shared the history of the traditional Chinese plucked string instrument and its evolution over the years.
 
Also impressed by UTAR’s prodigious growth as a comprehensive university, Dr Xu briefly introduced SMU. He said, “SMU is well-known for its specialisation in maritime, shipping and transport education. These areas are gaining more importance following the boom of logistics in China.” The academic also expressed keenness to team up with UTAR in identifying certain projects for collaborations.
 

Liu (left pic) and Dr Xu extending their appreciation to UTAR for its warm hospitality and wishing the University the best in everything

 

Prof Chuah presenting souvenirs reflecting the Malaysian identity such as the instruments of traditional Malay music as well as games to (clockwise from top left) Liu, Dr Xu, Zhang, and Wu

 

Dr Xu presenting framed Chinese paintings and a publication on the collection of picturesque Chinese paintings to Prof Chuah

 

Group photo of the VIPs and delegates at the UTAR Gallery

 
UTAR staff and students also had an opportunity to witness the delegates’ talents through an interactive session which saw Wu and Zhang joining hands in completing a Chinese painting while Liu demonstrating her prowess in playing the ruan.
 

Wu started the ball rolling by laying the foundation of the painting

 

Zhang then picked up the baton to complete the painting while Dr Xu (left pic) wrote a poetic message along the side to match the theme

 

Dr Xu (left) and Zhang displaying the partially completed painting

 

Xu adding the finishing touches to the painting

 

Liu giving a brief introduction of ruan and its significance in Chinese history

 

Liu performing a score and then an encore upon the request by many

 
Three members of the UTAR Kampar Campus Chinese Orchestra Unit (COU), namely Computer Science student Chin Kai Yue, Business Administration student Choh Chin Sing, and Marketing student Yuen Mun Kit were also invited to perform during the interactive session to enliven the atmosphere. Also a ruan player in COU, Chin received tips as well as pieces of advice from Liu on mastering the art of playing ruan professionally.
 

From left: Choh, Chin and Yuen playing the erhu (Chinese two-stringed bowed musical instrument), ruan, and guzheng (Chinese zither) respectively

 
The visit ended with a campus tour led by Prof Chuah.
 

The delegates listening to Prof Chuah’s explanation on Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s palatial architecture

 

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