Why did Shanghai, the largest city in China, become one of our 16 Sister Cities in 1979? Well, we should all thank former Mayor and current U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein:
“It was sort of a race between Los Angeles and San Francisco to establish a Sister City relationship with Shanghai and of course San Francisco won – and it was the first such Sister City relationship between an American city and a Chinese city.”
(Once again L.A. loses, of course(?) – thanks DiFi.) Now it turns out that our Big Sis is hosting a big party this year – it’s World Expo 2010. So, that’s a good excuse for a bunch of the Bay Area’s cultural organizations to represent, via the Shanghai Celebration featuring Honorary Chair and San Francisco First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum, confronting a media scrum after today’s announcement:
Check out the calendar of upcoming events all related to the Paris of the East – it’s packed, baby. Swan Lake featuring San Francsico Ballet Principal Dancer and Shanghai native Yuan Yuan Tan will kick things off from January 23-31 and then on February 12th comes the debut of the cornerstone of the Shanghai Celebration, a big exhibit at our Asian Art Museum simply called Shanghai. It’s going to be mega.
Just ask Jay Xu:
“The 2010 World Expo that opens in May is Shanghai’s coming-out party, the official debut as the city reclaims its position as a global powerhouse. The Asian Art Museum’s Shanghai exhibition was timed to coincide with this prominent international event. Only through understanding its tumultuous history, can one truly understand the progressive and stylish Shanghai of today.”
Our jet-setting mayor was on hand to cheerlead for San Francisco, a part of his job which I think everybody would agree he does well. He was dressed for rain today, with blue jeans, and a pair of brown shoes that he claimed were “ruined” by the wet:
More deets from the AAA:
“The Shanghai Celebration is an unprecedented, year-long festival presented by more than thirty San Francisco Bay Area organizations commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the sister city relationship between San Francisco and Shanghai.
Spearheaded by the Asian Art Museum, the Celebration runs throughout 2010, coinciding with the World Expo presented in Shanghai from May to October. The more than 50 Shanghai-related programs feature exhibitions, concerts, performances, films, lectures, book readings, artist demonstrations and other special events and cover topics such as Shanghai’s architecture, jazz, historic Jewish communities, Art Deco design, filmmaking industry, contemporary art, cuisine, high-rise urban planning and fashion.
The cornerstone of the Celebration is the Asian Art Museum’s presentation of Shanghai, a major exhibition examining the visual culture of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, scheduled for February 12-September 5, 2010.
For the Shanghai Celebration program calendar of events, and a list of participating organizations, please visit www.shanghaicelebration.com.”
Check the lengthy, lengthy sked, after the jump.