October 28, 2012, through January 20, 2012

An exhibition of rare works of art from one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of our time arrives at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) this fall. “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy” features more than 120 astonishing objects excavated from the magnificent tomb complex of Qin Shihuang (259–210 BCE) and other sites, now housed in more than 13 Chinese museums. Chief among these works are ten examples of the “Ghost Warriors,” terracotta sculptures meant to protect the Emperor in the afterlife.

In 1974, Chinese farmers were drilling a well in a location almost one mile from the First Emperor’s tomb mound in the present-day Shaanxi. They were astonished to discover fragments of terracotta figures. Shortly thereafter, Chinese archaeologists excavated three pits containing more than 7,000 terracotta warriors of different ranks, together with horses and chariots. The works of art have been subsequently shown in Chinese museums, and several touring exhibitions, but the excavation continues and new finds are emerging every day. Unlike previous exhibitions, which focused primarily on the terracotta army, “China’s Terracotta Warriors” emphasizes the importance of the most recent archaeological discoveries from the tomb complex and other sites. Artifacts in the exhibition, excavated in 2005, include a group of four bronze water birds--a crane, a swan, and two geese--all life size.

By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

Cast of FOB, (L to R), Maxwell Thao, Katie Bradley  and Yefei JinHennepin County Library celebrated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month last month by holding its Spice & Slice series of events at selected libraries throughout its system.  The series was produced in collaboration with Mu Performing Arts which presented a number of interactive and humor-laced productions which highlighted the “good, the bad and the truly ugly” of the Asian American experience.

The series included the premiere of American Bamboo and other productions such as Japanese Taiko, FOB, Hmong Tiger Tales and Korean Adoptee Stories.

Unbeknownst to this writer who decided to attend the performance of FOB, this was a play written by David Henry Hwang in 1978, which earned an Obie award in 1980. Since then, Hwang has risen to prominence as a preeminent Asian American dramatist.

The play’s title, FOB, is explained by the character Dale in the first lines: “F-O-B. Fresh Off the Boat. F.O.B.,” which are also the play’s closing lines. Dale continues his speech by describing the characteristics of F.O.B.’s, Asian people who are recent immigrants to the United States. He calls them “clumsy, ugly, greasy” and “loud, stupid, four-eyed.” Dale himself is an A.B.C., an “American Born Chinese,” and traditionally the relationship between A.B.C.’s and F.O.B.’s has been anything but pleasant.

The 2012 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival will be April 12 to May 3. One of the films included in the Festival is a documentary from China, Together (2010), by director by Zhao Liang.

By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

China's most celebrated dancer, Jin Xing, and her company Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai, recently performed at the Orpheum Theatre as part of Northrop Dance.  Jin Xing's courage, fighting spirit, and beautiful artistry have contributed to her great success as a dancer and owner of China's only independent dance company, which is the resident dance company at the Oriental Arts Theater in Shanghai. Her choreography is graceful, subtle, and filled with visual appeal. Jin Xing is also an accomplished film actress and she is known her support of human rights, artistic freedom, and community activism in China.

hotel-of-bitter-and-sweet

Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (New York: Ballantine Books, 2009). 290 p.  ISBN 9780345505330

This is a story that deserves to be told and retold many times and in numerous ways.

Here’s the gist: soon after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that declared particular areas of the United States to be military zones, resulting in the removal of Japanese and Japanese-Americans from the West Coast to so-called “relocation camps.” Most of the relocated were American citizens, many of them born in the United States. And the “relocation camps” were in fact prison camps in the most austere surroundings. Indeed, some of the camps consisted of nothing but barren land and barbed wire. The internees, known euphemistically as “evacuees,” had to build their own prisons.

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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