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In honor of a silver screen legend

By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-16 04:53
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Visitors attend the Charlie Chaplin exhibition at the Yuz Museum on West Bund, Shanghai. Gao erqiang / China daily

The Yuz Museum's move to collaborate with the Musee de l'Elysee came about in 2015 when Budi Tek, an Indonesian entrepreneur and founder of the Yuz, saw curators working on Chaplin's photographs during a trip to the Swiss museum.

Franck and her fellow curators from the Musee de l'Elysee have designed the exhibition to span seven chapters arranged in chronological order. Visitors to the exhibition will find more than 300 photographs and documents from the Chaplin's Archive, as well as two hours' worth of film clips and items that highlight the Englishman's influence on the international art scene.

At the opening of the exhibition in Shanghai, Franck said that the show aims to explore the way Chaplin saw the world he lived in, the unique bond he created with his audience, the way he revolutionized the industry that made him famous and how he created images that "condensed the short century like a message in a bottle for present generations".

"Very few filmmakers have been able to reach the heart of the human condition like Chaplin did. He left us with a number of iconic scenes that visually encapsulate the pursuit of happiness, the hunger, the wars, the alienation and the madness of the 20th century. Chaplin's vision transcended his time…just as his character continues to be the subject of contemporary art and representation," she said.

French designer Adrien Gardere created the layout of the exhibition, marking the fourth time he has worked with the Yuz Museum. Gardere explained that he has placed the manuscripts and pictures with the movie extracts in a way that creates a dialogue between them. Audiences are also encouraged to experience Chaplin's life and career through the film abstracts that are projected onto the screens in the central space of each exhibition hall.

The last chapter of the exhibition features creations by artists that were inspired by Chaplin. Some of those featured are the late Belgian poet and filmmaker Marcel Broodthaers as well as contemporary Chinese artists like Zhou Tiehai and Liu Silin.

The central hall on the ground floor of the Yuz Museum has also been transformed into a temporary cinema for the exhibition, with five of Chaplin's movies being shown: The Kid, Modern Times, City Lights, The Great Dictator and The Circus. Visitors can visit the museum's website to find out which film is being shown on the day of their planned visit.

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