Hallerstein: exhibition opening in Shanghai - Dialogue between East and West

Shanghai, 12/05/2008

Shanghai Municipal Archives are hosting an exhibition on the renowned astronomer, Jesuit missionary, scientist, inventor, mathematician, cartographer and diplomat Ferdinand von Hallerstein - Liu Songling, born in Mengeš in 1703 and deceased in Beijing in 1774.

He lived in China for 35 years and became the Head of Emperor's astronomical observatory. The Emperor awarded him the title of Mandarin. In addition to observing the stars and creating the calendar, he was in charge of the creation of an astronomic instrument or "sphere displaying the starry sky" and of the "great armillary sphere" that was the largest such instrument at the old Beijing astronomical observatory. He also discovered a new comet in 1748.

His life story is the source of inspiration for the artistic concept and interpretations by the painter Huiqin Wang, titled Transfer Beyond Time. The exhibition is part of the Hallerstein project, supported within the EU Culture programme, and based on several years of successful cooperation between the State Archive Administration of China and the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. The exhibition includes copies of precious documents that are kept by the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia and the Archdiocesan Archives Ljubljana. The coordinator of Hallerstein project is ACE KIBLA, with several institutions from various countries participating in the project integrating cultural heritage, performing arts and new media.

The exhibition was opened by directors of the State Archive Administration of China, Shanghai Municipal Archives, director of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Matevž Košir and the exhibiting artist Huiquin Wang, the opening having been attended by representatives of Slovenian Embassy and some other embassies as well as numerous visitors at the elite location in central Shanghai. The exhibition revives Hallerstein not only as the bridge connecting Europe and China but also connecting the past and the present.

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