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Jarry as terra cotta warrior

Beginning today, Orange County’s Bowers Museum is making live “statue performance artist” Chi Chang Cheng -- known in the Western world as Jarry -- a daily participant in its special exhibition “Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor,” on display through June 22.

Jarry -- realistically costumed as one of the 2,000-year-old, life-size terra cotta figures from the vast tomb complex of Emperor Qin Shi Huang that are the centerpieces of the show -- entertained at the exhibition’s opening gala and a members’ reception earlier this month; now, the artist, who has performed for more than 10 years in his hometown of Taiwan and throughout China, will appear daily at the exhibition and offer special dance performances Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the museum’s John M. Lee Court.

His shtick: Jarry stands as still as, well, terra cotta for long periods, then slowly begins to stretch like a warrior awakening after two centuries underground. He then startles onlookers by offering to shake hands. Says Jarry: “The reward is tremendous when I make every child and adult feel happy.”

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-- Diane Haithman


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