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Cultivating character through Confucius

September 21, 2008 |  7:01 am

ConfuciousIt’s been nearly a month since the closing ceremonies in Beijing and the Olympics said zaijian (goodbye) to China. Names of heroes such as Nastia Liukin and Ryan Lochte may have faded into our distant memories, but the renewed interest in China is still going strong: The spotlight shines on Confucius at a new exhibit at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.

Confucius, a teacher, philosopher and political thinker, believed it was of utmost importance to master the art of calligraphy, poetry, music, literature and painting, as it was how a man cultivated his character, intellect and morality. (Such virtues seem to be lost on modern-day politicians, which is rather unfortunate because an entire section of the exhibit is devoted to fortuitous rulers.)

Adding a bit of regional flavor to the exhibit are photographs of Confucius in various venues throughout California, such as the statue of Confucius at Overfelt Park in San Jose and in the Confucian Hall interior at the Chinese Temple in Oroville. There will also be a video at the end of the exhibition with locals discussing how they perceive Confucius and how his teachings affect their lives.

“Confucius: Shaping Values Through Art” will be on display through Jan. 11, 2009.

— Liesl Bradner