By Pearl Lam Bergad, Chinese Heritage Foundation, contributor
On the afternoon of March 31, the Chinese Heritage Foundation’s Sunday Tea Series presented photographer Wing Young Huie in a talk on his career and his new book, “Chinese-ness, The Meaning of Identity and the Nature of Belonging.”
Huie had invited us to meet at his studio, the Third Place Gallery, located in the heart of south Minneapolis. Fifty of us were seated in a semi-circle, bathed with natural light from the studio’s store-front windows and surrounded by Huie’s large photographs on two long brick walls. `
Huie began his presentation by talking about his father, who first came to this country from Tan- Shan, Guangdong Province in China when he was very young. He worked very hard, saved his money, returned to TanShan to marry and came back to work hard again. It was only after many such cycles before he was able to finally bring his wife and children over here. Wing Young was the only one of his six children who was born in this country.Add a comment
By Bill Waddington, owner, TeaSource, contributor
There are more than 3000 types of teas in the world, most of them from China, where tea dates back almost 5,000 years. Legend has it that the emperor Shen Nung discovered tea in 2732 B.C. when some tea leaves blew into his pot of boiling water. It is said the resulting brew with its pleasant aroma and sweet taste invigorated both his body and spirit.
Amazingly all 3,000 types of tea come from one plant that is native to China, Camellia sinensis, the tea plant. While there are many hot herbal drinks like mint and hibiscus, all true tea comes from this one plant.
[SAN FRANCISCO] -- Steely-eyed eagles perched on pines, sea spray churning against a rocky shore, the knowing gaze of a well-fed monk, and — what’s this? — a tiny car in the corner of a vast mountain range, chugging along as peaks loom in mists above. All the drama of life contained in eloquent strokes of ink. “The Bold Brush of Au Ho-nien,“ an original exhibition at the Asian Art Museum on view from May 31 to Aug. 18, 2019, will showcase 22 scroll paintings from the decades-long career of the Au Ho-nien, beloved master of the Lingnan school.
Lingnan means “South of the Mountains” in Chinese, and the Lingnan school of painting originated in the Guangdong area in the south of China at the end of the 19th century. The founders sought to advance the conservative tendencies of late Imperial ink painting by incorporating unconventional influences from around the world. Now centered in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as many places across the mainland, Lingnan painters have always been proud of their southern, regional identity as measured against classical Chinese painting.
“The Bold Brush” includes nine new artworks created especially for this exhibition in 2018, demonstrating how Au, a living legend now in his eighties, continues to innovate across a range of subjects: from animals and landscapes to expressive figures plucked from millennia of Chinese literature and history. This is the first solo exhibition of Au’s work at the Asian Art Museum.
“Au Ho-nien embodies the best of what the Lingnan school represents, skillfully combining the humanistic spirit and techniques of traditional Chinese fine art with Western aesthetics to create what scholars describe as an ‘eclectic fusion,’” says Dr. Jay Xu, director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum. “Visitors to ‘The Bold Brush’ will be the first to see many fresh works from Au, who is easily one of the most celebrated living ink wash painters and continues to surprise and delight his audiences in new ways.”
By Sam Cleveland, contributor
Is the United States Department of Justice targeting ethnic Chinese in economic espionage cases? If so, is such targeting justified, or does it represent yet another noxious instance of American authorities using racial or ethnic profiling? Is the government targeting Chinese people at all, or are ethnic Chinese just more likely to be caught up in economic espionage?
These were just some of the many thorny and difficult-to-answer questions addressed on the evening of April 4 at the event titled “Pitfalls for All STEM Professionals in a New Era of US-China Relations” at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus. This program was co-sponsored by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, the Federal Bar Association’s Minnesota Chapter, University of Minnesota China Center, and Kingsfield Law Office.
The evening began with a reception of approximately 200 attendees, half of whom appeared to be of Asian descent, including many recognizable leaders of Minnesota’s Chinese community. Guests mingled with the panelists, speakers and moderator in the McNamara Center’s foyer over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. One could hear many tongues, proof of the diversity of the attendees.
Americans know April 15 as tax day. But 107 years ago, it was a day that shocked the world.
At 2:20 a.m., April 15, 1912, the largest and most luxurious ocean liner of the time (and considered “unsinkable” by many because of its compartmentalized hull construction), sank into the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the 2,200 people on board, eight were Chinese. Of the 706 who survived, six of the eight Chinese made it.
These six Chinese survivors of the RMS Titanic tragedy disappeared soon after their arrival in New York.
There has been much coverage of the Titanic story by the global media, but nothing was reported of the Chinese passengers. Of the hundreds other survivors who were interviewed by the press for their survival tales, none paid attention to the six Chinese.
Cabin fever setting in? Make an outing to Phalen Regional Park in Maplewood and see the beauty of the Xiang Jiang Pavilion in the snow, which is based on the famous Aiwan Pavilion in Changsha, Hunan Province built in 1792 under the reign of the sixth Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong.
The pavilion is named after the Xiang River that runs through the heart of Changsha. The Xiang Jiang Pavilion stands 35-ft. tall and 23-ft. wide and is in the style of Changsha architecture with sweeping eaves (unlike the Beijing style with straight eaves). Its granite columns are from Nanyu, Hunan Province, and weigh 10 tons each. Its glazed roof tiles are from the Qu Fu Tile Factory in Shandong Province.
The beautifully carved couplets on the two front columns on both the Xiang Jiang Pavilion and Aiwan Pavilion are identical. They mean, “Along the mountain path, a red sunset unfolds, Blossoms of 500 peach trees burst forth, Jade green clouds descend over the mountain cliffs, A pair of red-crowned cranes await their bamboo home.”
Visits are free and open year-round. (Photo and pavilion facts: Linda Mealey-Lohmann)
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By Greg Hugh
The Harbin Municipal People’s Government of China recently held the 2019 An Appointment with Winter in Harbin to celebrate over 40 years of sister-city relationships established with more than 36 cities in 28 countries. A 12-member delegation representing the City of Minneapolis (Sister City of Harbin since 1992). The delegation included Minneapolis City Council members Kevin Reich and Steven Fletcher; members of Meet Minneapolis, Mark Andrew, Melvin Tennant, William Deef and Courtney Ries; Leah Wong, Minneapolis Downtown Council; Ken Lau, US-China Peoples Friendship Association-MN Chapter; Jill and Sky Li Griffiths, China Champions Program-University of Minnesota; Greg and Linda Hugh, China Insight.
Living up to its theme, 2019 An Appointment with Winter in Harbin, many sister-city conference-related events were held and since it also took place during the 35th Harbin China International Ice and Snow Festival, delegates also had the opportunity to visit many festival events during the sister-cities conference.
Upon arrival in Harbin, our delegation was greeted at midnight by Robert Song, chief liaison officer for Harbin’s foreign office department, along with two college student volunteers, Abby and April, who would be our tour guide and interpreters during the conference with whom the group bonded during our three-day visit. A personal transportation van for our group was also provided. Fortunately, our delegation was staying at The Songbei Shangri-La Hotel was the conference headquarters and we were glad to be checked in after the long flight. Later we learned that some of the other 400 other delegates from other cities from all over the world were staying at three other hotels in Harbin.Add a comment
With President Donald Trump’s signature on Dec. 20, 2018, the "Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act," became law, making it official that this group of Chinese Americans will finally be recognized for their loyalty, patriotism and service to the United States during World War II. (Final version of signed bill)
By the start of the war in 1941, more than 100,000 Chinese and Chinese Americans had made a life for themselves in the U.S. Chinese Americans faced major challenges, including racial discrimination, under laws such as the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which limited Chinese labor immigration, the size of their population and their ability to build thriving communities. Nevertheless, almost 20,000 of these brave men and women served in the armed forces in every theater of battle and every branch of service, earning citations for their heroism and honorable service.
The Chinese Americans is the only U.S. minority group that has not been recognized for their service. Native Americans and Navajo Code Talkers, Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, Women Air Force Service Pilots, Japanese Americans and Filipino Veterans have all been recognized for their service during World War II with Congressional Gold Medals — the highest honor that Congress can bestow.
By Greg Hugh
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Minnesota Chapter recently observed National Philanthropy Day by hosting a celebration to honor individuals and groups whose philanthropy has improved our communities and the world. More than 400 guests attended this event held in the grand ballroom of the JW Marriott at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The following were recognized at this year’s celebration: Outstanding Philanthropists, Bill and Teri Popp and David and Patty Murphy; Outstanding Professional Fundraiser, Mort Naiman; Outstanding Philanthropic Organization, Federated Insurance Company and Jennie Hsiao, Outstanding Philanthropist.
According to the biography presented in the program booklet on each honoree, Jennie Hsiao was described as follows:
“Jennie Hsiao has been an active and recognized leader in Minnesota’s Chinese-American community for more than 60 years. She is described as a shining example of generosity, honesty, initiative, leadership, and dedicated involvement in causes she cares deeply about. A native of Hunan Province, she came to Minnesota in 1958 to marry Feng ‘Fred’ Hsiao, who co-founded Shaw-Lundquist Associates, Inc., the largest minority-owned construction firm in the Midwest, where until recently, Jennie served as a director.Add a comment
By Greg Hugh
The Community Room of Grammercy Park in Richfield, Minnesota, was filled to capacity when Chinese Heritage Foundation (CHF) recently held its 14th annual open house. The CHF was established in 2004 by members of the local Chinese community to preserve and promote the understanding of Chinese history, culture and tradition among all Minnesotans. In 2008, the CHF Friends (CHFF) was established separately to support the mission of CHF through educational and cultural activities, community outreach programs and fund-raising projects.
Prior to the start of the program, Margaret Wong, CHFF Board chair, welcomed the gathering and encouraged everyone to register and mingle with each other. Also, as is custom of most CHFF functions, guests were treated to a luncheon put together by Yin Simpson, event planner extraordinaire and CHFF Board member. Evidently, this was a very popular part of the open house since the gathering devoured the tasty offerings, which prevented most of the volunteers an opportunity to partake of the food prepared by a few CHFF board members and other volunteers.
Wong introduced Carol Barnett, composer of “Mother,” which was sung by mezzo-soprano Clara Osowsky, to make a few comments.
Representatives from previous CHF/F grant and fellowship recipients were then introduced to provide remarks. These included Source Song Festival, History Theatre, Theater Mu, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden and the Department of History at the University of Minnesota.Add a comment
By Greg Hugh
Prior to the curtain raising at Northrup Auditorium, a small group of invited guests gathered at Legendary Spice Chinese Restaurant for a reception with organizers and performers from “The Greatest Spirit,” which would be presenting its overseas premiere. During the reception, representatives from various organizations along with a few political dignitaries, including the Deputy Consul General from the Consulate General of The People's Republic of China in Chicago provided some brief remarks followed by refreshments, including spirits.
Then it was onward to Northrup Auditorium to watch the show. Several speakers welcomed the gathering.
True to its advance billing, “The Greatest Spirit” presented poetry, music and dance in mural-like story scenes, telling the tale of the Chinese spirits (liquor) culture, and highlights the grandeur of traditional Chinese operas, the exquisite beauty of the costumes of past Chinese dynasties and the unique styles of Chinese ancient architecture.
While the show visually lived up to its advance billing, the full impact may have been lost on those that could not read Chinese since most of the 11 different performances was accompanied by an explanation in Chinese that was projected onto the stage. It would have been helpful if this were also provided in English, as in the program booklet. Providing the English translation would have enabled the entire audience to understand and appreciate the show much more while viewing an artistic production that demonstrated Chinese traditional rituals and etiquettes of spirits -- spirits and famous individuals, spirits and poetry, and spirits and philosophy in an artistic, poetic and dramatic manner.
The enthusiastic audience gave the performers a standing ovation.
The organizers of this event have pledged to donate all the proceeds to support the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society.
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[ST. PAUL, MN], Sept. 27. 2018 – Hosted by Governor Mark Dayton today at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence, Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders signed a letter of intent to purchase millions of metric tons of soybeans from farmers in Minnesota and Iowa over the next two years. The Taiwanese Agricultural Trade Goodwill delegation plans to purchase up to $1.56 billion of Midwestern soybeans in 2018 and 2019. Taiwan is Minnesota's sixth-largest export market, and a key trading partner for the state's agricultural products.
"Minnesota's trade relations with countries around the world, including Taiwan, are critical to helping our farmers sell their products in the global marketplace,” said Governor Dayton. “With the USDA predicting the largest U.S. soybean crop ever, these export opportunities are vitally important.”
The Taiwanese delegation, led by Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association Chairman Mr. Yau-Kuen Hung, plans to purchase between 3.2 million and 3.9 million metric tons of soybeans between 2018 and 2019, valued at an estimated pledged maximum of $1.56 billion. Taiwan is a growing consumer of vegetable oils. Soybean oil accounts for more than 50 percent of the overall vegetable oil market.
"The U.S remains one of Taiwan
's largest trade partners for agricultural products,” said Chairman Hung. “The Goodwill Mission plays an important role in strengthening the trade relations between our countries and ensuring Taiwan is able to purchase high quality soybeans grown in Minnesota.”
“We have worked hard to establish relationships with the people of Taiwan,” said Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Those relationships are paying off in the form of market opportunities for Minnesota’s farmers which are critically important given our current ag economy.”
This afternoon’s visit is the result of a recent trade mission by Minnesota agriculture officials to Taiwan last month, and meetings with Chairman Mr. Yau-Kuen Hung.
Taiwan and Minnesota have a strong history of agricultural trade agreements. In January 2013, Commissioner Frederickson led a mission to Taiwan to personally extend an invitation to the 2013 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission to visit Minnesota and sign letters of intent to purchase soybeans. Goodwill Missions have been organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1998.
By Pat Welsh, contributor
This language corner is a new series designed for people who are interested in learning Mandarin. In China it is called “Putonghua” (The “common language”) of China. Before the 1950s, the terms “Kuoyü” and “Guanhua” were used to identify this national language.
Since the early 19th century Chinese has been classified as one of the many Sino-Tibetan languages. My own experience tells me that that this is really a catch-all grouping. Tibetan, Burmese and related minority languages are nothing at all like any Chinese dialect. Not only are there vast vocabulary differences, there are also significant differences in sentence structure and grammar.
Before I delve further into the language itself, perhaps a little introduction to China’s overall language situation is in order. In 1970 I began to earn a Master’s degree in Oriental Languages and Literatures at the University of Kansas. My first class was Readings in Chinese Political Writings. I arrived early to the classroom and greeted my professor Chichou Huang, who was unknown to me. I greeted him with the word “Zao” thinking that it meant “Good Morning.” He winced and invited me to take a seat. I was a little perplexed. What I did not realize was that in Beijing Mandarin, my version of the word “zao” sounded much like the Beijing version of the F-word. The tones between the Beijing and Chngqing subdialects were very different.
Those who attended Paul Kwok’s exhibit “In and Out of Tradition” on opening night got a bonus: a reception that was not lacking for food and beverages. Kwok’s approach to his landscape watercolors combine the eastern aesthetic with that of the west. As noted by Robert Jacobsen, chair, Asian Art, curator of Chinese Art, emeritus, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, “Paul Kwok produces extraordinary abstract landscapes that encompass not only quest for artistic identity but also display a synthesis of eastern and western pictorial values, namely traditional Chinese ink painting and authentic self-expression." Over forty paintings are on display. In addition to enjoying the great company of all in attendance, great refreshments and food, the group included members of the Chinese Heritage Foundation Friends who also celebrated a milestone birthday for Kwok’s partner, Pat Hui. The exhibit continues until Sept. 28 at his gallery, Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts, Studio 120, 250 Third Avenue North, Minneapolis, and is free and open to the public.Add a comment
Join in the celebration of the construction of the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden at Phalen Park. Three structures fabricated in Changsha, the Xiang Jiang Pavilion, the Hmong Heritage Wall, and the West Entrance Arch, will arrive around June 30. On July 10, twelve artisans will arrive from Changsha to supervise the installation of the Xiang Jiang Pavilion, the sister-city gift from Changsha. Come and celebrate the official Ceremonial Groundbreaking and Sister-city 30-year Anniversary on July 14, immediately following the opening ceremony of the Dragon Festival at 10:30. Join the lion dancers parade at the Dragon Boat area along Phalen Lake to the construction site to see the progress and take photos of Mayor Melvin Carter and other dignitaries breaking ground. This will be followed by a celebration at the Amphitheater next to Changsha Master Lei Yixin’s "Meditation" sculpture of cultural performances and making new friends. Follow: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofthePhalenParkChinaFriendshipGarden/
Website: http://mnchinagarden.org/Add a comment
by Greg Hugh
In the spirit of full disclosure and complete transparency, I am letting you know that I am writing this as a proud grandfather By Greg Hugh
after several staff writers had schedule conflicts. This is an article about Lauren Hugh’s career development and ultimately decided that I was actually the most qualified to write about her. Naturally, I need to refrain from being overly biased in reporting the facts here since there is a good possibility that some of this material may make it into a future issue of Playbill!
Lauren’s first exposure in the spotlight occurred when she was only 2 years old -- she appeared in an ad for Huggies Diapers (See front page) and ironically, she was posed sitting at a piano, an instrument she learned to play later. Her grandmother Linda (my wife), had heard about a casting call for models, so Lauren’s mother, Patty, took her for an audition and she was selected. Did Kimberly-Clark have a premonition of Lauren’s future?
Looking back on her childhood, Lauren along with her older sister Megan, loved to put on shows and perform since they always had a captive audience, their family. While she may have enjoyed an average childhood raised in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, she managed to earn a black belt in Tae Kwon Do classes she took with her father, Brian. Because she loved to sing, her mother decided to enroll her into the Chanhassen Dinner Theater (CDT) summer musical theatre camp when she was only 8 years old. At first, Lauren resisted; but now admits that had she not gone to those camps, she would probably not be in theatre today.
The Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society announced that the respective gifts between the sister cities of Saint Paul and Changsha, China, have been shipped and will soon be installed in their permanent homes in Saint Paul’s Phalen Regional Park and Changsha’s Yanghu Wetland Parks.
Phalen Regional Park in Saint Paul will be receiving a replica of the famous Aiwan Pavilion in Changsha’s Yanghu Wetlands Park in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the St. Paul-Changsha sister city relationship. Chinese artisans will travel to Saint Paul later this summer to install the pavilion designed in the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty.
In exchange, Saint Paul is sending five Peanuts characters to Changsha’s park with artwork by Hmong artist Kao Lee Thao, Chinese artist Yudong Shen and TivoliToo, the company that has made hundreds of the statues around Saint Paul. Statues sent to China include Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Snoopy’s Dog House with Minnesota state symbols such as a loon, lady slipper, pine and butterfly. Shen painted the dog house.Add a comment