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By Elaine Dunn, February 2021



Typical couplets pasted on doorway for Chinese New Year

     Feb. 12 will be start of the Year of the Ox, which, according to Chinese tradition, is a symbol for wealth.  So … here are a few tips on how to ring the year in the Chinese way.

NYChinatown      While air travel is still risky health-wise and lockdowns are common, here is a chance for us to “travel” and see New York City’s Chinatown. 

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and the Center for Jewish History (CJH) are co-hosting a new online exhibition, “An Unlikely Photojournalist: Emile Bocian in Chinatown,” at

By Judy Hohmann, contributor


The fall season brings many Minnesota traditions, old and new.  Why not make fall a reason to celebrate Chinese culture, too? 


Start with the tradition of a changing Minnesota landscape, as it transforms from green to brilliant displays of red, orange, purple and yellow.  Whether on paved walkways along urban lakes or wooded trails, you will feel the magic of Mother Nature’s most colorful season. Two serene spaces at opposite ends of the metro area infuse the beauty of Chinese culture: The new St. Paul-Changsha, China Friendship Garden of Whispering Willows and Flowing Waters at Phalen Regional Park — in an urban neighborhood of St. Paul; and the University of Minnesota-Shaanxi Provincial People’s Government, China Garden of Harmonious Beauty at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum — in the growing southwest community of Chanhassen, showcase distinctive interpretations of the classic Chinese garden design.  Each garden prominently features gifts from Chinese government partners, ranging from a gilded pavilion to three mountainous rocks. The harmony with nature in the form of water, rocks and plants will uplift your mood and cultural pride. 

  pagoda arboretum

Red pagoda at the Landscape Arboretum, Chaska


 ArtsCulture BrushPainting OldGuy[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.” 

USPS Year of Dog Stampby April Xu, Sing Tao Daily, Jan. 10,2018

The following translation is a condensed version of a story about Kam Mak, the New York-based designer behind the new Year of the Dog stamp.  The story was written by April Xu and appeared in Sing Tao Daily:

The U.S. Postal Service is slated to unveil its Year of the Dog stamp on Jan. 11 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year.  It is the 11th of the second set of the Chinese zodiac series of stamps that USPS has issued annually since 1993.  Kam Mak, born in Hong Kong and a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology who has designed this and other stamps in the set, shared the story behind the stamps with Sing Tao.

The first set of 12 zodiac stamps, designed by Chinese-Hawaiian designer Clarence Lee, was first introduced in 1993 and issued for 12 consecutive years.  Since 2008, USPS has been working with Mak to launch the second set.

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