All of us at China Insight hope you had a great holiday season and are managing to cope with the exceptionally frigid weather we are experiencing. We are excited to resume our regular publishing schedule after taking a month off. We are reenergized and proud to begin our 16th year of publishing. We continue to be committed to focusing on promoting cultural and business understanding between the U.S. and the Peoples Republic of China, along with serving the Chinese community of the Twin Cities.
As most of you may know already, Chinese New Year 2017 will occur on January 28. We wish all our friends in the community a Happy Chinese New Year (Gung hey fat choi) as we prepare to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, which 2017 will be year 4715, other rooster years are1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005.If you were born a Rooster, you will often find success when you allow yourself to be led by your instinct. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year's Day.
CAAM Chinese Dance Theater celebrates 25 years of bringing the finest Chinese dance to St. Paul, the Twin Cities and the Midwest with one of its most dazzling shows to date: “Keepsakes: A Chinese Love Story” on 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, and 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 29 at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul.
Artistic director and celebrated choreographer Lili Teng works her magic once again in this world premiere of an original dance drama that invites audiences to enter a world of Chinese rituals, celebrations and matchmaking, where romantic love is pitted against ancient tradition.Add a comment
For the first time ever, Park Square and Mu Performing Arts will join forces to co-produce the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Flower Drum Song.” Based on the 2002 book adaptation by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly,” “Yellowface,” “Chinglish”), the production will be directed by Mu Artistic Director Randy Reyes. Previously produced by Mu in 2009, this will be a fully reimagined production featuring new and familiar faces. “Flower Drum Song” takes audiences to the vibrant world of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1950s to Club Chop Suey, a nightclub owned by a Chinese-American family. Old World tradition clashes with New World trends as two generations, father and son, struggle to honor and protect their cultural traditions while adapting to the changing times.
Phase I of the Hsiao-Ho Chinese Garden Path is now complete and has been open to the public as of Sept. 22. The path, stairs, and viewing platform are accessible. Three large scholar stones were donated to this project from a university in China.
Phase II should be completed spring 2017. This will include a moongate, a path from the platform to the northwest end of the pond where a pavilion will be constructed. A garden with a Tree Peony display along with complimenting plants will be in the area. Phase 2 design planning is beginning for moon gate and contemplative pavilion. Many architectural firms attended the information session for submitting designs that was coordinated by University of Minnesota capital construction.
As part of the community advisors for the Chinese Garden, artist/University of Minnesota instructor Hong Zhang has agreed to help with the artistic naming of the places and calligraphy, an essential part of any important Chinese Garden and artist Yudong Shen has agreed to assist with placement of some critical elements coming to the Garden. Dr. Carol Brash, director of Asian studies at St. John's University, has also been assisting in the development of our garden. She is currently writing a book on Chinese Gardens of North America.
Liu Dan, born 1954, is one of China’s most renowned living artists, translating his fastidious observations of the world around him into ink through fresh ideas about composition and original brushstroke techniques. This expansive selection of his recent paintings — meticulous and unexpected landscapes, rocks, and still-lifes — showcase both his technical virtuosity and unrestrained imagination.
Reimagining the Lystra Scene, 2016 - Ink On Paper - Collection of Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Uniquely classical yet refreshingly contemporary, Liu’s paintings blend his deep appreciation of the Western art canon with the 2,000-year-old heritage of Chinese painting. Artistic traditions become a point of departure as Liu resists schematized brush techniques and stagnant notions of great art in favor of a new visual language all his own. “Ink Unbound” captures Liu’s remarkable contributions to contemporary Chinese ink painting while also offering a contemplative experience for all viewers. The exhibit will be on until Jan. 29, 2017, at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.
By Greg Hugh
Visiting Minnesota for the first time, Hong Lei, consul general of the Consulate General of The People's Republic of China in Chicago, spent several days here recently. His schedule included diverse schedule of events: a luncheon with the business community, a meeting with the University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, a reception with 70 Chinese visiting scholars, a campus lecture primarily for Chinese students and a dinner reception at Mall of America.
More than 250 students from China currently attending the University and other invited guests attended Hong’s speech, “Let History be Guidance to Future: Jointly Building A New Type of Major Country Relationship between China and US is the Historic Trend,” was delivered in English at the University’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.Add a comment
By Michael Anthony | 09/16/16 This article by Michael Anthony was originally published in MINNPOST and is being reprinted with their permission
Photo by Cory Weaver - San Francisco Opera's production of "Dream of the Red Chamber."
“Who would have thought that this little group from Minnesota would have generated a major world premiere? It’s unbelievable.”
Kevin Smith, president of the Minnesota Orchestra, was speaking to 119 guests at a banquet last Friday, Sept. 9, in the suburban town of Millbrae just south of San Francisco. The banquet, during which an army of waiters delivered a seemingly limitless round of Chinese delicacies – deep-fried milk, sea cucumber, bird’s nest soup, Peking duck – was a prelude to the main event the next evening, the premiere of “The Dream of the Red Chamber,” an operatic treatment by the San Francisco Opera of one of the landmarks of Chinese literature with music by Bright Sheng and libretto by playwright David Henry Hwang.
The seed money for this ambitious $3 million production, which will travel to Hong Kong in March, was raised by the Minnesota-based Chinese Heritage Foundation in an effort to introduce Western audiences to Chinese culture and in the process to promote mutual understanding.
“The great novels of Chinese literature are virtually unknown in the United States, outside of small communities of academics and Chinese speakers,” said Hwang, a Chinese-American best known in the U.S. for his play and subsequent film “M Butterfly,” which received the 1988 Tony Award for Best Play.
“I, too, as a native-born American, had never read ‘Dream of the Red Chamber,’ even though my plays and musicals are often set in China. Particularly because the evolution of the U.S.-China relationship is likely to determine much of the 21st century, this opera presents a valuable opportunity to expose audiences to a work that expresses the essence of China’s history and national character.”
The project arose out of a conversation between two friends, Pearl Bergad and Linda Hoeschler, in Minneapolis in 2001. Born in Vietnam of Chinese parents, Bergad, a retired molecular biologist, is executive director of the Chinese Heritage Foundation. Hoeschler, a long-time arts patron, is the former executive director of the American Composers Forum.