Shanghai’s very own ‘art hotel’ celebrates Christmas 2007 with characteristic creativity and flair - and a boldly controversial take on the consumerism of Christmas.
Instead of starting Christmas dinners on December 24th as is traditional. The Radisson Hotel Pudong Century Park is throwing the city’s ‘First Christmas’ party on Sunday December 23 to take advantage of the fact that this is the first non work day of the Christmas period.
In keeping with the hotel’s artistic vision, it has also commissioned local pop artist Chen Hangfeng to create customised artwork and multimedia installations under the theme ‘Christmas by Design’ which will be on display throughout the hotel from November 25.
Chen’s works are festive but also provocative as he questions the consumer culture that dominates Christmas in China. His abstract Christmas trees and snowflake decorations are formed using the logos of famous international brand names in complex patterns which reference traditional Chinese paper-cutting techniques. Inside his Gift Boxes in the lobby, a video installation shows factory workers in a village of Zhejiang province that mass produces 50 per cent of the world’s Christmas gifts and decorations.
“Christmas is becoming a very important holiday in modern Chinese culture, a symbol of increasing purchasing power and growing consumer desire,” says the artist. “I hope to reveal an insight into Chinese consumer culture which provokes the question: “What is the true meaning of Christmas?” For many people in China it means producing toys and gifts for the rest of the world.”
Against this artistic backdrop, Radisson’s ‘First Christmas’ celebrations will be held on Sunday December 23, when families are free from work and school. A lavish party in the Magnolia Ballroom will feature a Christmas dinner buffet, live music and entertainment, and a Grand Lucky Draw with prizes including a luxury overseas holiday for two along with digital cameras, iPods, mobile phones, DVD players and more. Tickets are priced at RMB 888 net per adult and RMB 488 net per child, inclusive of unlimited red, white or sparkling wine, beer and soft drinks.
Also on December 23, Infinity restaurant will be serving a ‘First Christmas’ buffet dinner with live music and a lucky draw priced at RMB 688 net per adult and RMB 388 net per child, followed by a Christmas Eve buffet dinner accompanied by live jazz priced at RMB 488 net per adult and RMB 288 net per child, and a Christmas Day Brunch for RMB 268 net per adult and RMB 148 net per child.
Signature Chinese restaurant Yar Chi Ting offers a selection of festive menus throughout December priced from RMB 188 net for a minimum of two people, with special dinners on December 23 and 24, and a Christmas Day Dim Sum lunch for RMB 118 net per person.
For those wanting to make a night of it, guests who book the ‘First Christmas’ dinner on Sunday December 23 at Magnolia or Infinity will be entitled to enjoy the ‘First Christmas’ accommodation package for just RMB 688 plus 15 per cent surcharge. This includes one night’s stay at the trendy five-star hotel with 30 per cent discounts on food and beverage, use of the gym, sauna and tennis court, complimentary in-room broadband internet access and wireless in public areas, free admission to the Zendai Museum of Modern Art and late check-out until 4pm.
Kicking off the seasonal festivities, a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held in the hotel lobby on Sunday, November 25. This event also promises to light-up the faces of 20 young children from a rural primary school in Shanghai’s Baoshan district. In an effort to spread festive cheer throughout the local community and remember the real reason for the season, the children have been invited to assist the hotel’s GM, Mr Gerhard Fasching in lighting the tree and celebrate the occasion with dinner and presents. More parties follow in the lead-up to Christmas, including a ‘First Christmas’ Press Cocktail on November 27, a Corporate Thank-you Party for 250 clients on November 29, and an Artists’ Launch Party on December 8.
A selection of traditional Christmas goodies will be available at Bytes Deli, from brandied Christmas pudding to mince pies and chocolate liquors. Bytes Deli also has deluxe hampers filled with Christmas treats and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne that make wonderful gifts for friends or associates.