Qiao Zhen (1942-), or Papa Qiao, a maestro film dubbing actor in China, recently saw a language art museum named after him rise on the Huangpu River bank near the Minpu No. 2 Bridge in his hometown in Minhang District.
The museum, in the shape of a giant radio, is situated at 105 Pujiang Road in Jiangchuan Road Subdistrict.
Qiao dubbed classic films including “Waterloo Bridge,” “The Bridges of Madison County” and “True Lies,” and dubbed for classic characters such as the love-struck Lieutenant Roy Cronin, the domineering Marcus Licinius Crassus and the plain and honest Tora-san in “It’s Tough Being a Man.”
“As long as my arms, though weak and fragile, are able to rise in the morning wind, I shall have the energy to sing, toward a sunward slope and a running canal, then the tender flower of my life blossoms…” the artist said as he recited the poem “A Little Grass’s Whisper” during the venue’s opening ceremony on November 9.
“I will keep on devoting the rest of my life to promoting and passing on the heritages of the Chinese language to the next generations,” Qiao added.
The language art museum, designed to highlight the concept of “voices of a dream-pursuing age,” has four floors and covers a floor space of 836 square meters. It is an essential component of the Huangpu riverbank cultural and innovation block.
The first floor has a coffee and tea booth. The second floor houses a multimedia hall for holding lectures, exhibitions, seminars and training sessions that will be related to language and culture. The third floor will be further adapted as a small television studio, while also serving as a vocal music training room. The fourth floor holds a reception room.
The venue, relying on Qiao’s art achievements, will launch recitations, dubbing, theater, painting and calligraphy, and quyi (storytelling) exhibitions and performances, while cultivating several recitation programs for residents to participate in.
“We hope to build the language art museum not only into a language art exhibition venue, but also a platform for exchanges and understanding,” said Qiao Yang, curator of the art museum and the son of Qiao Zhen.
The multifunctional culture venue graces the Huangpu riverfront Minhang section as well as the Grand NeoBay area, as another of cultural venue in addition to Chuanshangmeiji Street, a riverfront cultural and innovation street featuring industrial container elements.
With the Qiao Zhen Language Art Museum now open to the public, the Huangpu River Minhang section is transforming from a former industrial coast serving mainly navigational purposes to its current function as a greenbelt for the sake of public welfare.
Qiao Nianchun (1876-1938), Qiao Zhen’s grandfather, was a kind-hearted country squire who made contributions to public welfare and charities in his hometown of old Minhang, now Jiangchuan Road Subdistrict. He served as a deputy dean for the local Guangci orphanage for 20 years.
Qiao Zhen chose the site of his language art museum near the old residence of his ancestors’ family in remembrance of his ancestor and to demonstrate his commitment to further serve his hometown.