Awakening the Spirit of the King Tree at Amanyangyun

Amanyangyun Grand Opening Celebrations held on 28th April, 2018

Amanyangyun, Aman’s fourth destination in China, a project 16 years in the making, is now complete, and on the 28th April celebrated its Grand Opening.

Located just outside downtown Shanghai, Amanyangyun is a unique forest village of modern and historic Ming and Qing dynasty dwellings, tranquil gardens and an enriching Aman Spa. It is the result of a monumental 16-year conservation initiative which saw 10,000 camphor trees and dozens of Ming and Qing dynasty homes painstakingly transferred 700 kilometres to Shanghai from the Jiangxi Province in eastern China, where the construction of a reservoir threatened their continued existence. Breathing new life into history, Amanyangyun is a celebration of nature, an astonishing feat of human endeavour, and a sanctuary to stir the soul.

Er-hu Master Mr Gao Shaoqing
Opera Singer Ms Huang Ying 

The Grand Opening Celebrations, attended by 600 distinguished guests, commenced with an emotive drum and dance performance by U-Theatre. The internationally renowned group has performed their Zen-inspired drumming around the world for three decades. To celebrate Amanyangyun’s Grand Opening, U-Theatre’s stirring performance was choreographed around, and paid respect to, the resort’s eldest tree, the cherished ‘King Tree’, which sits at the heart of the resort, as a poignant reminder of the journey in the creation of Amanyangyun, which now safeguards priceless natural and cultural treasures.

Kunqu Opera Singer Mr Zhang Jun

As the drums played to awaken the spirit of the ‘King Tree’, 18 drummers slowly made their way out of Nan Shufang, Amanyangyun’s cultural complex, towards the tree, thus closing the chapter of the relocation and reconstruction that took place over the last 16 years. This scene illustrated the reunion of the antique houses and trees which once stood together in Fuzhou, Jiangxi, and now together stand safely at Amanyangyun where they will keep on recounting their remarkable journey and story for generations to come.

A key moment in the performance saw each of the drummers nourish the King Tree with water, culminating in a scene where one artist bowed down to the tree, and carefully placed both hands at its base. His ethereal voice reverberated between the trees, and spoke to the spirit of the King Tree. With it, a pulse of light shot up and suddenly connected earth, tree and man, illustrating the harmony that must exist between man and nature. The performance was a poignant reminder of the importance of nurturing the past to enrich the future.

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