Horacio Pagani in Shanghai

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The opening of the exhibition “The Shape of Air: from Leonardo da Vinci to Pagani Utopia” took place last Monday, March 4, 2024, at the Shanghai Museum. The collaboration between the Consulate General of Italy, the Italian Institute of Culture in Shanghai, and the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani continues, bringing the exhibition project to the Shanghai Museum, linked to the exhibition “Who is Leonardo da Vinci?”, organized by the Museum itself. The exhibition will be open to the public until April 14, 2024.

The event was inaugurated by the Consul General of Italy in Shanghai, Tiziana D’Angelo, in the presence of the General Director of the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani, Massimo Bray, and the Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Shanghai, Francesco D’Arelli. In her speech, the Consul General launched Italian Design Day 2024, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation annual showcase dedicated to Italian design worldwide. Bringing the studies and products of Pagani’s design to the Shanghai Museum, within the context of the dialogue initiated by the exhibition on Leonardo, is a concrete testimony presented to the Shanghai public of Italy’s ability to design, create, and enhance human ingenuity.

Horacio Pagani, the founder and chief designer of Pagani Automobili, revealed the strong artistic inspiration that Leonardo’s Renaissance art had in the birth of his creations. Visitors will thus be able to see firsthand the philosophical and design evolution of Pagani’s automotive design, immersing themselves in an authentic experience that integrates art and science.

The Director of the Shanghai Museum, Chu Xiaobo, stated that this is the first time in over 70 years of the Museum’s history that an automobile is exhibited in its halls. “The shape of Air” adds a chapter to the exhibition “Who is Leonardo da Vinci?”, inaugurated last December 10, 2023, and demonstrates the close artistic and scientific connection between Leonardo’s thinking and drawings and the creations of Pagani Automobili.

By fostering numerous exchanges with international cultural and museum institutions, including Italy as a protagonist, the Shanghai Museum aims to enhance and promote an understanding exchange between different civilizations and traditions. “The Shape of Air” fits perfectly within this cultural program. To perpetuate and promote the dialogue between East and West, between art and science, between tradition and modernity initiated by the exhibition project on Leonardo at the Shanghai Museum, the chapter “The Shape of Air” opened with the presentation of a new work, a dragon inspired by the Song era (960-1279), painted on the visible carbon hood of Pagani Utopia. The work, created by Yan Xiaojun, a young artist from the Department of Painting and Calligraphy of the Shanghai Museum, seals the natural convergence of friendship between two cultures, the Italian and the Chinese, the result of ancient and precious roots.

The conference by Horacio Pagani took place last Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in the Dark Room Lecture Hall of the College of Design and Innovation (D&I), Tongji University, Shanghai. The event was an integral part of the program organized and promoted by the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Shanghai on Italian Design Day 2024.

Just as Leonardo’s insights inspired the creativity of Horacio Pagani, the event provided an opportunity for significant reflections on the relationship and interaction between art and science. The conference fostered a rich dialogue between the founder and chief designer of Pagani Automobili, Horacio Pagani, and the Vice President of Tongji University, Prof. Lou Yongqi. In an exchange of opinions, the dialogue between the two stimulated the audience and design students at Tongji who had the opportunity to interact with the creator of Pagani Hypercars.

Prof. Lou expressed gratitude to Horacio Pagani, as his presence at Tongji conveyed to students the experience of Pagani de

sign: curiosity and dedication, continuous study, and hard work, accompanied by a healthy discipline. Setting these as undisputed foundations of Pagani Automobili’s artistic and technological growth process, the chief designer shared his personal experience to emphasize the importance of being open and receptive to new stimuli to create something truly original and expressive of one’s personality.

For Pagani, inspired by Leonardo, cultivating curiosity and a thirst for knowledge is fundamental. In a constantly evolving technological and artistic world, where rhythms are fast-paced and competition is strong, both speakers agreed that, to stand out, one must be willing to take risks and think creatively, pushing always and constructively beyond one’s limits. Through these words, Pagani wished all the students present to embrace and express their individuality and creativity.


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