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Past, Present, Future – Chinese Language Acquisition and Society Conference Speakers (17th June)

Image of Past Present Future

Join us here at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance in celebrating 10 years of the department.

We will be marking the occasion with an exciting period of talks and seminars from eminent guest speakers from around the globe as they explore the evolution of Chinese language acquisition techniques and present research material relating to Mandarin Chinese teaching and learning techniques.

The Past, Present, Future Forum offers a platform for interdisciplinary discussion and critical engagement.

The conference is free and open to all, please register your place here.

Meet our guest speakers…

17th June, Lower- Ground Floor LG01, Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths campus, New Cross

Wei Jin

2.20pm, 17th June 2022

Talk: Teaching and Learning Material

Wei Jin

Wei Jin, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 17th June 2022

Jin Wei is a lecturer with many years experience. She is currently the Teacher Training & Professional Development Coordinator at UCL Institute of Education where she lectures on the PGCE programme and works on the Mandarin Excellence Programme at the UCL Institute of Education; she was formerly a lecturer in Chinese language at Goldsmiths and SOAS, University of London and at the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Yangguang Chen

2.50pm, 17th June 2022

Talk: The Rise of Chinese as a Globalising Language in the UK

Image of Yangguang Chen

Yangguang Chen, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 17th June 2022

Dr. Yangguang Chen is Professor of Education in Goldsmiths Education department; she joined the department in 2006 after 20 years of experience in academia at China’s universities. Her research interest includes comparative education, curriculum studies, and citizenship education. She won the Overseas Research Scheme (ORS) Award and registered her PhD study in Educational Studies at Goldsmiths.

Dr. Chen has since extended her research into the field of educational bilingualism and focused her research on educational policy particularly with reference to issues of social inclusion and ethnic minority achievement. She also works on the BA in Education, Culture and Society programme, MA in Education: Culture, Language and Identity, PGCE (Secondary) MFL programme and the MPhil/PhD programmes at Goldsmiths. She is a member of the Centre for Language, Culture and Learning at Goldsmiths.

Jing Fang

3.45pm, 17th June 2022

Talk: Online Tools and Resources to Assist Chinese Language Teaching and Learning

Image of Speaker Jing Fang

Jing Fang, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 17th June 2022, Image Credit: University of Oxford univ.ox.ac.uk/

Jing Fang graduated from Beijing Normal University and the University of Edinburgh. She is a lecturer in Chinese Language at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University where she has taught for more than 20 years.

Ms Jing Fang is a Lecturer in Chinese with many years’ experiences teaching Chinese literature and language. She formerly taught at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing) and the University of Edinburgh.

This practical session introduces some online tools and resources which can assist Chinese language teaching and learning. It aims to make teaching preparation easier, teaching more effective, and student learning more independent.

Chenjin Ying

4.45pm, 17th June 2022

Talk: Methods of Grammar Teaching

Workshop: Mock Teaching of Directional Complement 

Image of Chenjin Ying

Chenjin Ying, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 17th June 2022

Chenjin Ying is currently a Mandarin lecturer on the undergraduate Chinese studies programme and Mandarin credit courses at Goldsmiths; she is on secondment from Capital Normal University in Beijing. She studied Chinese Linguistics and language and literature education at Peking University and Zhejiang Univeristy. Chenjin has taught Mandarin learners and trained Mandarin teachers at universities in Germany, Belgium, and USA.

Past, Present, Future – Chinese Arts Practice Conference Speakers (17th-19th June)

Image of Past Present Future

Join us here at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance in celebrating 10 years of the department.

We will be marking the occasion with an exciting period of talks and seminars from eminent guest speakers from around the globe as they explore Chinese art, book culture, language acquisition, social sciences, film, dance, theatre and philosophy and an array of other disciplines relating to Chinese culture, language and society.

The Past, Present, Future Forum offers a platform for interdisciplinary discussion and critical engagement.

The conference is free and open to all, please register your place here.

Meet our guest speakers…

Dr. Shaolin Ou

17th and 19th June

Opening Speeches

Shaolin Ou

Dr. Shaolin Ou is Chinese Director of Goldsmiths Confucius Institute

Dr. Shaolin Ou is Chinese Director at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute. She is an artist, researcher and producer, her areas of research and teaching cluster around Chinese Dance, Chinese Aesthetics, Performing Arts and Art Criticism.

Past, Present, Future – Chinese Arts Practice and Society (Friday 17th June)

17th June, LG01, Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths campus, New Cross

Dr. Martin Albrow

10:05am, 17th June 2022

Talk: Confucius and the West

Image of Martin Albrow

Martin Albrow, Guest Speaker presents his Book
Image Credit: Xinhua News

Professor Martin Albrow is an eminent globalisation theorist and international sociologist. He is noted for his works on globalization, the theory of the global age and global civil society.

Professor Albrow was appointed as the first full-time sociologist at Reading University in 1963, and subsequently worked at the University College Cardiff, where he was Head of Department, and at Roehampton University. He has also held visiting or guest positions at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the London School of Economics, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the Beijing Foreign Studies University, and the University of Bonn.

In his career spanning more than half a century, he has been a pioneer of the globalization theory, former President of the British Sociological Association and founding editor of the prestigious academic journal, International Sociology. In recent years he has written extensively on China’s place in the world today.

Jessica Harrison-Hall

10:35am, 17th June 2022

Talk: Curating China

Image of Jessica Harrison-Hall

Jessica Harrison-Hall, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 17th June 2022, Image Credit: asianartinlondon.com

Jessica Harrison-Hall is Head of the China Section, Curator of the Sir Percival David Collections of Chinese Ceramics, and of Chinese Decorative Arts and Ceramics at the British Museum.

She is a curator with experience of leading curatorial and research teams in the delivery of exciting and complex projects which reimages China’s histories and global relationships through visual and material culture. She has delivered significant exhibitions, galleries and other interpretation projects and has substantial experience of co-curation and collaboration internationally.

Jessica Harrison-Hall is currently Principal Investigator of a major UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project with Professor Julia Lovell of London University and an international team investigating diverse aspects of Cultural Creativity and Resilience in Qing China 1796-1912.

Jessica led the China team, curating, researching and developing content and narrative for the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia at the British Museum (2015–2017) and for a broad public wrote China: A History in Objects (Thames and Hudson 2017).

Mei-Xin Wang

11:05am, 17th June 2022

Talk: Tradition and Innovation – New Acquisitions from China

Mei-Xin Wang is China Resource Specialist at the Department of Asia at the British Museum. She has an MA from SOAS in Chinese Art and Archaeology.

Mei-Xin’s research interests include Chinese seals, Chinese lacquer and early 20th century Chinese ceramics. Her conference paper, Chinese Seals as Status of Power, was published in the British Museum Research Publication in 2018.

Mengyan Luo

11.50am, 17th June 2022

Talk: The End of Life; The Beginning of Hope (Chinese Funeral Culture in Artistic Works)

Mengyan

Mengyan Luo, Guest Speaker on 17th June 2022

Mengyan is an artist from Xiamen, Fujian in China. Mengyan was formerly an interior designer and is due to obtain her Graduate Diploma in Art from Goldsmiths this summer.

Frances Wood

12.00pm, 17th June 2022

Talk: Sir Hans Sloane’s Collection of Chinese Books (collected in the 17th and 18th centuries)

Image of Frances Wood

Frances Wood with the Tangut scholar Ksenia Kepping during her last visit to the British Library. Photo Credit: British Library Blog https://blogs.bl.uk/

Frances Wood is an English librarian, sinologue and historian with a wealth of experience and known for her writings on Chinese history. Following her undergraduate studies in Chinese at Cambridge University, Frances went on to undertake further studies in Chinese at Peking University in 1975–1976.

Frances joined the staff of the British Library in London in 1977 as a junior curator, and later served as Head Curator of the Chinese collection until her retirement in 2013. She is also a member of the steering committee of the International Dunhuang Project, and the editor of the Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society. Frances has written extensively on China, publishing books in subjects such as Marco Polo, the Forbidden City, the first emperor of China and the Silk Road.

Aveta Shakespeare

Image of Aveta

Aveta Shakespeare, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 17th June 2022.

12.30pm, 17th June 2022

Talk: Past, Present, Future of Chinese Musical Development and Short Workshop

Aveta received her MA in Musical Theatre Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland following a first class distinction from Sichuan Conservatoire of Music with a BA in Pop Singing. Before taking up a position as lecturer of Musical Theatre at the Sichuan Conservatoire of Music, Aveta enjoyed a stage career in theatres, films, TV, adverts across China and the West End including CATS, Avenue Q, Glee’Don’t Stop Believin’ as well as winning the distinguished Chinese Ministry of Culture 13th national singing competition and being a finalist in a host of national talent shows.

Aveta is currently working as a teacher of music and drama in an outstanding secondary school in the UK, alongside private tuition. She is a member of the Chinese Musicians Association and Sichuan Provincial Musicians Association, Project manager for MTC musical China media company.

Past, Present, Future – Chinese Arts Practice and Society (Sunday 19th June)

19th June, Lower- Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre, Whitehead Building, Goldsmiths campus, New Cross

Yiyun Li

11.05am, 19th June 2022

Talk: Intercultural Dance Performance

Talk: Experience sharing of Underwater Dance Practice

Yiyun Chinese Dance Teacher

Author: Yiyun Li,
Chinese Dance Teacher at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance

Yiyun Li is a professional dance practitioner, experienced dance teacher and creative choreographer who has worked in Chongqing No.47 College as a specialised dance teacher and for 5 years at Chongqing Broadcasting and Television Station as a choreographer.

Yiyun obtained the Gold Award of a performer in a professional group and Silver Award in performance for her self-choreographed dance piece Taste of Sichuan in the Third Shaanxi Province Lotus Dance Contest. She was also awarded the honour of Excellent Choreographer in 2012. Yiyun teaches on the departmental Outreach for Schools programme as well as our Asian Contemporary Dance and Chinese Folk Dance and Chinese Fan Dance short courses here at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute.

Monica Yu

11.15am, 19th June 2022

Talk: Chinese Classical Dance and Actor’s Physical Training

Image of Monica Yu

Monica Yu, Guest Speaker on 19th June 2022, Photo Credit: Guildhall gsmd.ac.uk

Monica is an actor trainer and coach who oversees the Acting Studies Programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Monica was trained in the Acting Programme at Central Academy of Drama, Beijing. On finishing the degree, she joined the National Theatre of China and worked as a professional actor. Later, she came to London for enriching her acting skills and practice experience. Meanwhile, Monica took an MA in Actor Training and Coaching at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Recently, Monica is doing a part-time Ph.D. degree at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, her research is about developing an actor’s training system with integrating Chinese performing arts practice. Monica joined the Acting Studies Programme when it started, acting as a “bridge” between teachers and students, and a “connection” between the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Monica administers her professional knowledge to develop the international actor cultivation. Also, she applies her artistic experience into intercultural theatre-making and acting creation.

Bo Ning

11.25am, 19th June 2022

Talk: Contemporary Creation of Chinese Traditional Performance Art through Online Sharing.

Ning Bo

Bo Ning, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 19th June 2022

Bo received his BA in Dance Choreography and MA in Creation of Dance and Drama from Beijing Dance Academy in China. He has worked as an associate professor of choreography and MA supervisor in the Dance Department of Xian Conservatory of Music with his own independent body troupe. His research focuses on the practice of dance theatre, involving 3 aspects, namely research on creation of dance with ethnic elements, dance theatre in folk context and dramatic research on body language.

Christopher Bannerman

11.45am, 19th June 2022

Talk: ArtsCross/Danscross 2009-2022: A Decade of Dance and Dialogue

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Chris Banner – Guest Speaker on 19th June 2022

Christopher Bannerman had an international career as a dancer, choreographer and arts education worker before becoming Professor of Dance and Head of ResCen Research Centre at Middlesex University. He has served on panels for the Prudential and the Olivier Awards for the Arts, as well as on the Drama, Dance and Performing Arts Panel for two Higher Education Research Assessment Exercises, and as a Specialist Assessor for the Quality Assurance Agency.

He has also served as Chair of Dance UK, Chair of the Arts Council England’s Advisory Panel for Dance, Chair of the National Dance Coordinating Committee, Chair of London North Creative Partnerships and as a member of the Dance Forum of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). He has also been co-facilitator of Rural Retreats, an international intensive seminar series, aimed at current and developing leaders in the arts and has directed studio based research projects internationally.

In 1999, he established ResCen Research Centre at Middlesex University, London, an innovative, multi-disciplinary, artist–focused research initiative designed to be a bridge between academia and the practices of professional performing artists. With Joshua Sofaer and Jane Watt, he contributed to and edited Navigating the Unknown: The Creative Process in Contemporary Performing Arts (2006) followed by ‘Dancing Transcultural Dialogues’, a dedicated edition of Choreographic Practices (2016). He is currently developing dialogues with international producers creating resources as part of a project supported by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council called The Producers Toolbox: The Way/Dào of the Producer.

Zhibo Zhao

11.45am, 19th June 2022

Talk (co-presenter): ArtsCross/Danscross 2009-2022: A Decade of Dance and Dialogue

Image of Zhibo Zhao

Zhibo Zhao, Guest Speaker, 19th June 2022

Zhibo Zhao is a highly-trained Chinese dance artist now based in London for her PhD study at Middlesex University and has been a dancer, choreographer and teacher at Beijing Dance Academy (BDA) since 2003. She has received many awards internationally and was awarded the title of National First-Rank Dance Artist, the highest rating given to Chinese artists by the Chinese government. She currently serves as one of the ambassadors for Advancing Women’s Aspirations with Dance, UK.

She has worked as a leading dancer with the BDA Resident Dance Company, performing in over 40 countries worldwide. During this time, she published her autobiography The Thirty Years Old Dancer and translated the classic book on dance improvisation: The Moment of movement: Dance Improvisation into Chinese, the only book in mainland China focusing on dance improvisation. Since 2009, she has been involved as the only ongoing dancer in the international dance research project called ArtsCross/Danscross, collaborating with dance practitioners and scholars from around the world.

Through dance and dancing, her vision is to communicate with artists from different cultures and backgrounds, to promote exchange and dialogue between Chinese dances and the world, and to support the development of a younger generation of Chinese artists.

Han-Lin Hsieh

1.20pm, 19th June 2022

Talk: What is on that shelf? Not only books… Chinese collections in the British Library

Han-Lin

Han Lin Hsieh, Guest Speaker on 19th June, Photo Credit: British Library, bl.uk

Han-Lin is a curator for the Chinese Collections at the British Library in London. Han-Lin completed a BA in Biology in Taiwan and an MSc in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Before joining the Library in 2018, she worked in various museums and cultural institutions, in the fields of exhibition, education and collection management. Han-Lin is also a trained teacher of Science. Her current duties in the Library include the management of Chinese collections, with focus on cataloguing, conservation and assistance to readers. Han-Lin is particularly interested in science and technology, Buddhism, and education.

Prof. Michael Dutton

1.50pm, 19th June 2022

Talk: Teaching in China, Learning in China

Michael Image

Prof. Michael Dutton, Guest Speaker on 19th June 2022

Michael Dutton holds a joint professorship with the Faculty of Literature at Beijing Capital Normal University and the Department of Politics at Goldsmiths. Dutton’s work circles around his principle of intellectual interest (social theory) and his principle geographic archive, China. Increasingly the distinction between archive and interest, however, has become blurred.

Michael’s earliest major work, Policing and Punishment in China (Cambridge UP 1992), explored the way various Chinese governments disciplined the subject, while his second major work, Streetlife China (1998 Cambridge UP) looked at the popular responses to governmental disciplining. His third book, Policing Chinese Politics (Duke UP 2005) —for which he won the 2007 Levenson Award for the best book on modern China from American Asian Studies Association— explored the underlying dynamic propelling the Maoist revolution while his last book, Beijing Time (Harvard UP), co-authored with former students, revealed another sometimes hidden side to life in the Chinese capital.

Dr. Xiaoying Zhang

2.20pm, 19th June 2022

Talk: Chinese Philosophy – Understanding Chinese Society through Daodejing 《道德经》

Image of speaker Xiaoying Zhang

Dr. Xiaoying Zhang, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 19th June 2022

Dr. Xiaoying Zhang is a professor at the School of International Journalism and Communication, at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China and she is currently also the Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Tirana, Albania.

Her research interests include international communication and cross-cultural communication; some of her notable academic papers include, The Economist’s Construction of Globalization (1985-2010): A Narrative Analysis with a Chinese Perspective; Chinese Media Micro Communication, Annual Report on International Influence (co-author, first author); and translator of the book, What Can America Learn from China? She has written several English commentary articles for newspapers, such as, The Guardian and has published more than 50 papers in academic books and periodicals.

Alice Qianhui Sun

2.40pm, 19th June 2022

Talk: The Influence of Chinese Mythology on my Artistic Practices

Alice Qianhui Sun, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 19th June 2022, Photo Credit: hARTslane, instagram.com/h.artslane/

Alice Qianhui Sun is an artist studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths whose work takes on many forms, including, ceramics, painting and printwork, and aims to express inventive interpretations of emotive and psychologically troubling subjects like the politics of birthrights and gender representation. Alice Qianhui has recently exhibited at Espacio Gallery, Peckham Safe House and local New Cross gallery, hARTslane.

Alice Qianhui Sun – Instagram

Past, Present, Future Online Forum – Chinese Arts Practice, Language Acquisition and Society (16th June)

Image of Past Present Future

Join us here at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance in celebrating 10 years of the department.

We will be marking the occasion with an exciting period of talks and seminars from eminent guest speakers from around the globe as they explore Chinese art, book culture, language acquisition, social sciences, film, dance, theatre and philosophy and an array of other disciplines relating to Chinese culture, language and society.

The Past, Present, Future Forum offers a platform for interdisciplinary discussion and critical engagement.

The conference is free and open to all, please register your place here.

The online forum on the 16th June will be conducted in Mandarin Chinese.

Meet our online guest speakers on the 16th June…

Dr. Shaolin Ou

16th June

Opening Speeches

Shaolin Ou

Dr. Shaolin Ou is Chinese Director of Goldsmiths Confucius Institute

Dr. Shaolin Ou is Chinese Director at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute. She is an artist, researcher and producer, her areas of research and teaching cluster around Chinese Dance, Chinese Aesthetics, Performing Arts and Art Criticism.

Past, Present, Future – Chinese Language Acquisition and Society (Thursday 16th June)

9am – 11:30am UK Greenwich Mean Time, Online, Microsoft Teams 

Prof. Yuling Yang

9.20am, 16th June 2022

Talk: Fusion Chinese Dictionary and Chinese Acquisition

《融媒汉语词典和汉语习得》

Yuling Yang

Prof. Yuling Yang, Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Dr. Yuling Yang is professor at Beijing Language and Culture University and a doctoral advisor and Vice Director of Research Institute of Chinese Language Education.

Prof. Yang received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Peking University in Modern Chinese Linguistics; she has over 20 years’ experience and has lectured and conducted research in the U.S., Germany, Holland, Chile, Ukraine, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines. Dr. Yang currently oversees the M.A. program at Middlebury College; her previous course offerings include Chinese Grammar, Chinese Pedagogical Grammar, Introduction to Linguistics, Teaching Chinese Vocabulary.

Yang’s research concentrates on Modern Chinese Grammar and Teaching Chinese as a foreign language.

Dr. Tiangang Hui

9.50am, 16th June 2022

Talk: Cultivation of Chinese Language Sense for Young Learners

《低龄学习者的中文语感培养》

Tiangang Hui,

Prof. Tiangang Hui, Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Dr. Tiangang Hui is Professor of the College of International Education at Capital Normal University (CNU) in Beijing. He holds a PhD in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, he has served as Member at Large at the Chinese Association for Minority Education and the Research Association for Bilingual Education for Chinese Minorities.

Dr. Hui’s research specialism addresses language education and teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages, with a particular focus on Chinese language and culture communication. He was a visiting professor at Hanba University, South Korea, and the Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota, USA.

Dr. Bingzhen Li

10.20am, 16th June 2022

Talk: Research and Teaching of Chinese Function Words

《汉语虚词的研究与教学》

Bingzhen Li

Dr. Bingzhen Li, Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Dr. Bingzhen Li is associate professor and deputy dean of the College of International Education, Capital Normal University, and a member of the Learning & Teaching Steering Committee at the University. Currently, he focuses on Chinese grammar research and teaching. In addition to having published over ten academic papers in prestigious journals such as Studies of the Chinese Language and Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies, he also hosted a project of the National Social Science Fund that has been completed.

Dr. Yanan Li

10.50am, 16th June 2022

Talk: The overall framework and level description system of International Chinese Language Education Chinese Proficiency Standards

《国际中文教育中文水平等级标准》的整体框架与等级描述体系

Yanli Li

Dr. Yanli Li, Guest Speaker 16th June 2022

Dr. Yanan Li is Assistant General Manager and R&D Director of Chinese Testing International Co., Ltd. She is one of the core members and drafters of the Chinese Proficiency Grading Standards for International Chinese Language Education project team.She is mainly responsible for the research and development of Chinese examinations and the CTI Foundation of Scientific Research Projects of Chinese examinations , as well as the publication of test-related teaching materials and the development of teaching assistance resources.

Her research interests include second language testing, the international Chinese language education standard system construction, Chinese phonetics and phonetic teaching, etc

Xinmeng Kong

11.20am, 16th June 2022

Talk: Chinese Story – Sowing the Seed of Cultural Exchange

Xinmeng

Xinmeng Kong, Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Xingmeng Kong is a Chinese literature teacher in Shenzhen. She obtained her Masters in Chinese International Education from Renmin University in China, she has many years teaching experience and has previously worked as a teaching assistant the UK at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute.

Past, Present, Future – Chinese Arts Practice and Society (Thursday 16th June)

12.30pm – 1:40pm UK Greenwich Mean Time, Online, Microsoft Teams 

Yiteng Ding

12.35pm, 16th June 2022

Talk: Contemporary Chinese Theatre Directing

Yiteng Ding

Yiteng Ding, Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Yiteng is a director who has been hailed as a ‘pioneering young theatre director of the new generation in contemporary China’ and ‘the most popular young director in Chinese theatre today’; The US journal, International Cultural Arts Magazine termed Yiteng ‘the shining artist of his generation’.

Yiteng’s absurdist performance style, with its explosive power, has received universal acclaim from the theatre directing master Eugenio Barba of Denmark, the Italian scholar Nicola Savarese, the well-known U.S. actress-critic Lissa Tyler Renaud and the Chinese theatre director Meng Jinghui.

Yiteng’s directing works, such as Frankenstein: Paradise Lost in Darkness, Frankenstein: The Dream of Ice and Fire,Injustice to Tou O, Dream of a Drunk Poet, and Macbeth and Fleance, all reflect the merging of the quintessence of artistic traditions and contemporary forms, in addition to blending Eastern and Western cultures. By interpreting classics so that they express our own time,Ding has become an impossible-to-ignore, fiery force in China’s theatre landscape. Ding Yiteng, the Post-Doctor at the Peking University, the PHD at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, the MA in Performance Making at Goldsmiths,University of London.

He is an invited actor of Odin Teatret in Denmark for its classic plays The Chronic Life and The Tree and is the only Asian actor of the international theatre group ‘Bridge of Winds’ in Denmark. He is also an actor of the male troupe “2D1X” under the former Meng Jinghui’s Theatre Studio. He won the ‘New Prominent Chinese Director’ award of the year 2018 with Injustice to Tou’O and Dream of a Drunk Poet. He won ‘The Best Actor’ of 2017 Fangyu ART Festival with Dream of a Drunk Poet. He was a two-time nominee of ‘The Most Prominent Young Chinese Theatre Artist of the Year’ in 2015 and 2016.

Ding Yiteng with his works has been invited to Southbank Center: China Changing Festival in London in a project in collaboration with Goldsmiths Confucius Institute to perform Injustice to Tou’O. As well as to Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium Festival, Odin Festuge in Denmark, Human Mosaic Festival in Goleniow(Poland),Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Romania, Brazil International Scene Festival (Cena Brasil Internacional) in Rio de Janeiro, Wuzhen International Theatre Festival, Beijing Fringe Festival, XiXi International Arts Festival in Hangzhou, Contemporary Theatre Biennale in Shenzhen and other famous events at home and abroad.
Directing Works: I Didn’t Kill My Husband, New romance of the west chamber , Frankenstein: Paradise Lost in Darkness, Frankenstein: The Dream of Ice and Fire, Injustice to Tou’O, Dream of a Drunk Poet (collaborated with the Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium), Macbeth and Fleance, the Rite of Shanyang, and the Rite of Spring.

Performing Works: The Tree, The Chronic Life (Odin Teatret in Denmark), Tea House, To Live, The Conquest of Happiness, The Maids, I Love XXX, Two Dogs, The Last Clown, UR NAT, Freaks (Bridge of Winds in Denmark), etc.

Monica Yu

12.50pm, 16th June 2022

Talk: Chinese Classical Dance and Actor’s Physical Training

Image of Monica Yu

Monica Yu, Guest Speaker on 19th June 2022, Photo Credit: Guildhall gsmd.ac.uk

Monica is an actor trainer and coach who oversees the Acting Studies Programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Monica was trained in the Acting Programme at Central Academy of Drama, Beijing. On finishing the degree, she joined the National Theatre of China and worked as a professional actor. Later, she came to London for enriching her acting skills and practice experience. Meanwhile, Monica took an MA in Actor Training and Coaching at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Recently, Monica is doing a part-time Ph.D. degree at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, her research is about developing an actor’s training system with integrating Chinese performing arts practice. Monica joined the Acting Studies Programme when it started, acting as a “bridge” between teachers and students, and a “connection” between the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Monica administers her professional knowledge to develop the international actor cultivation. Also, she applies her artistic experience into intercultural theatre-making and acting creation.

Bo Ning

1.00pm, 16th June 2022

Talk: Contemporary Creation of Chinese Traditional Performance Art through Online Sharing.

Ning Bo

Bo Ning, Guest Speaker at Goldsmiths on 19th June 2022

Bo received his BA in Dance Choreography and MA in Creation of Dance and Drama from Beijing Dance Academy in China. He has worked as an associate professor of choreography and MA supervisor in the Dance Department of Xian Conservatory of Music with his own independent body troupe. His research focuses on the practice of dance theatre, involving 3 aspects, namely research on creation of dance with ethnic elements, dance theatre in folk context and dramatic research on body language.

Xiaowen Tang

1.10pm, 16th June 2022

Talk: Experience of Teaching Chinese Dance in the UK over 4 years

《我和我的四年》

Xiaowen

Xiaowen Tang, Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Xiaowen Tang is a an experience performer and teacher and has taught in both China and the UK. She formerly taught at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute as a Dance Teacher. Xiaowen graduated from Beijing Dance Academy and obtained her Masters from Trinity Laban.

Jiaolong Ma

1.20pm, 16th June 2022

Talk: Sharing my Phenomenon while Teaching in the UK

Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance Teacher and Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Jiaolong Ma is a Dance Teacher with Goldsmiths Confucius Institute on secondment from Beijing Dance Academy. He is one of China’s most acclaimed Chinese classical dancers. He has excelled in a wide range of dance categories, coming in first place at the Hehua Dance Competition 2015 and third place at the Tao Li Bei Dance Competitions of 2006 and 2009. He is a skilled performer and teacher of Chinese classical dance, contemporary dance, the Shen Yun dance technique and tai chi.

He is also a specialist in theoretical dance pedagogy having published research papers on such topics as The Value of Strength in Dance Performance.

Song Qiao

1.30pm, 16th June 2022

Talk:  My knowledge and understanding of Chinese Han and Tang classical dance (as developed by Mr. Sun Ying)

《我对孙颖先生所创中国汉唐古典舞的认识与理解》

Song Qiao

Song Qiao, Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance teacher and Guest Speaker on 16th June 2022

Song Qiao is a Dance Teacher with Goldsmiths Confucius Institute on secondment from Beijing Dance Academy. Song is a dancer, actor and teacher who specialises in Chinese Han and Tang classical dance. His dances performed during the school years led to him receiving many awards. Qiao Song has a wealth of teaching experience having taught at our partner university in Beijing, Beijing Dance Academy, for 15 years.

He currently overseas Chinese dance short courses with the department and performs and teaches as part of our Outreach for Schools programme.

Evolution of the Art of Chinese Ribbon Dance

Chinese water sleeve dance is a typical sort of Chinese classical and folk dance, as well as the foundation of today’s Chinese Ribbon Dance. In ancient China, People used to wear a kind of clothes with big baggy sleeves, which was known as Han Fu (汉服). 

An image of Hanfu – a type of traditional Chinese attire worn during the Han dynasty
Photo credit: sjfzxm.com http://www.sjfzxm.com/global/en/296616.htmlhttps://www.sohu.com/a/227619467_388741

Wearing this long silky traditional attire led naturally to spontaneous flowing dance movements and the development of Chinese water sleeve dance. Many literary records about this dance form can be found in Chinese historical documents. Instances of an early form of long silk dance known as Bo Wu (帗舞) appeared as far as the Rites of the Zhou (周礼), Six Small Dances during the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC – 256 BC).

This dance form played a vital role in ancient sacrificial ceremonies and is also regarded as the origin of Chinese water sleeve and long silk dance. Some stone portraits from Han Dynasty (202 BC ~ 8 AD) show rich images of early Chinese folk dancers with long silks elegantly formed into different shapes.

The first emperor of the Han Dynasty, Emperor Gaozu Han (born Bang Liu) favoured Chinese folk singing and folk dance thus these arts were introduced into the palace and flourished under his reign. One of his descendants, the seventh emperor of the Han Dynasty, Wudi Han (born Che Liu) set up Yue-Fu, which was an official institution specialising in the management of music and dances and incorporated music and dance into diplomatic activity at the time.

After many years performing this art form on national and international levels, Chinese silk dance slowly became influenced by neighbouring countries and cultures and was gradually given religious overtones. One of the most well-known forms of Chinese Long Silk dance is Dunhuang dance, which is also known as Chinese ribbon dance. This dance is represented in the 1000-year old Buddhist murals that appear in the Mogao Caves located in a desert along the former Silk-road in Dunhuang in northwestern China. The ancient Mogao Cave murals show many depictions of Feitian, a type of ethereal flying god that is depicted dancing with long colourful silk ribbons.

Feitian – Depictions of flying gods with ribbons painted onto the Magao caves

Images of Feitian that influenced the Chinese ribbon dance of today

Image of Feitian from the Dunhuang murals (Magao caves) depicted with long silk ribbons

Based on the images of the Dunhuang murals, dance experts in todays China have developed Chinese Ribbon Dance further and made it a major genre of contemporary Chinese classical dance.   

In 2019, here at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute, we began the department’s very first Chinese ribbon dance short course in order to introduce this art form to Goldsmiths staff and students and the local community here in Lewisham. 

In April 2022, Yiyun Li appeared on ITV’s Big Zuu’s Breakfast Show in order to introduce this art form on a national level.

References: 

1《周礼·春官》 

2 <The Art of Chinese Scarf and Silk Dance>, Luo Xueting 

3 Technique Presentation of Long Silk Flying Apsaras and Aesthetic Research, SHI Min, WANG Xue 

4 A Test of the Time of Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty, LONG Wenling 

5 On the origin and characteristics of the Han nationality long silk dance, XU Li 

Yiyun Li is a professional dancer, experienced dance teacher and creative choreographer who has worked in Chongqing No.47 College as a specialised dance teacher and for 5 years at Chongqing Broadcasting and Television Station as a choreographer.

Yiyun obtained the Gold Award of a performer in a professional group and Silver Award in performance for her self-choreographed dance piece Taste of Sichuan in the Third Shaanxi Province Lotus Dance Contest. She was also awarded the honour of Excellent Choreographer in 2012. Yiyun teaches on the departmental Outreach for Schools programme as well as our Asian Contemporary Dance and Chinese Folk Dance and Chinese Fan Dance short courses here at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute.

Yiyun Chinese Dance Teacher

Author: Yiyun Li,
Chinese Dance Teacher at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance

Comparison of Chinese Health Qigong and Hatha Yoga 

Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Qigong Short Course Teacher, Chengmei Liang

What is Health Qigong? 

Health Qigong is a traditional sport which integrates body movement, breathing (Tu’Na) and psychological adjustment as a major form of sport. It is an integral part of China’s time-honoured traditional culture. 

What is Yoga? 

Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India. The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root (yuj) of India, meaning oneness, union and harmony. Yoga is to control the volatility of the mind. (“Yoga is the cessation of mind”) Yoga ― Brahman as one. 

Chengmei Liang practices qigong surrounded by nature

Similarities between Health Qigong and Yoga

1. Holistic view of Health Qigong is Connected with the “Brahman as one” of Yoga. 

The overall concept of harmony between man and nature is one of the important theoretical foundations of Health Qigong. The holistic concept believes that the human body is not only an organic whole itself, but also inseparable from the natural world, and changes in the outside world affect the movement of the body’s qi and blood at any time. For example, the practice method of “moving the whole body by pulling one start”(牵一发而动全身) is the embodiment of the overall concept. 

The idea of “Brahman as one” also attaches great importance to the unity of nature and humans, and regards the experience of Brahman as one as the goal of yoga practice. However, this view stays more on the speculative level of philosophy. 

2. Meridian Theory and Chakra Theory. 

The meridian and viscera of the human body emphasized in Health Qigong. The theory of meridian is a theory of Chinese medicine that specializes in the study of the composition of the human body’s meridian system, its circulation and its physiological functions, and pathological changes, and guides clinical practice. In the process of practicing Health Qigong, the function of health maintenance and rehabilitation is achieved by unblocking the meridians. The Three nadis and seven chakras in yoga theory are closely related to the functions of various organs of the human body, human emotions, spiritual consciousness and thinking activities.  Both reflect the subtle structure of the human body. 

3. Body Conditioning including Bionic Movements. 

For example, Health Qigong Wu Qin Xi is created by imitating the five animals of the tiger, deer, bear, monkey and bird, and combined with the theory of Chinese medicine. The cat stretching pose and snake pose in yoga asana are also developed by imitating animal poses. 

4. Similar Breathing Methods

Both Health Qigong and Yoga emphasize the coordination of breathing and movements. Both emphasize that the purpose of health and rehabilitation is achieved through breathing. Both use chest breathing and abdominal breathing. Beginners use natural breathing, and focus on abdominal breathing when they become more proficient. 

 5. The mind regulation of Health Qigong is similar to the meditation of yoga. 

Both of them belong to the category of psychological adjustment, and both emphasize the use of psychological adjustment to achieve inner peace and eliminate complicated thoughts. 

Chengmei Liang undertakes qigong for health and wellbeing throughout the seasons

Differences between Health Qigong and Yoga: 

1. Different Theoretical Basis. 

The theoretical basis of yoga is Yoga Sutras and Ayurveda Medicine (Art of Longevity). The theoretical basis of Health Qigong is The Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor and Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

2. Different Practice Methods. 

Yoga uses more sitting posture and yoga mudras. Health Qigong uses more standing postures and Daoyin movements. 

3. Different Breathing Techniques.

Both of them are use natural breathing ,deep and long breath. But Health Qigong are also use a lot of reverse abdominal breathing. For example, Health Qigong Liu Zi Jue ( Six healing sounds Qigong). 

4. Different States of Practice 

The practice state of yoga is being relaxed and natural attention to energy flow. The practice status of Health Qigong is Being relaxed and natural attention to qi-blood movement. 

Author: Chengmei Liang: Mandarin and Chinese martial arts teacher

Chengmei teaches Tai Chi and Qigong short courses at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute. She also undertakes performances and teaching as part of the departmental Outreach for Schools programme.

 

Goldsmiths Confucius Institute «呼吸 » Hūxī Respiration Exhibition

From 11th February to the 13th February 2022, Goldsmiths Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance hosted an exclusive 3-day exhibition exploring respiration in relation to the Chinese characters «呼吸 » hūxī.

After several years of a world pandemic, «呼吸 » hūxī – literally meaning ‘to breath’ – is a fitting theme for a time when the concept of respiration has shifted from a mere biological necessity into a form of meditation, escapism and even expression of tension.

The exhibition was the first of its kind hosted by the department and integrated ancient Chinese pictographic writing systems into contemporary artistic practices that reflected not only modern experiences but the human experience itself. 

What is «呼吸 » Hūxī?

«呼吸 » hūxī signifies the experience of being simultaneously inside and outside the act of respiration, both shifts recalibrate the self, the other and the properties and subjects involved with them. Like a syntactical reinvention, «呼吸 » hūxī is a sonic entanglement. It is a call and response beckoned by ideological impulse and social sound that travels across disparate life forces.

‘Inhalation and exhalation are seen as opposites and equals at the same time, influxes and effluxes show how movements oscillate between porous extremities and radiating interiorities.’ – Jiaying Gao, Curator

Exploring 《呼吸》Respiration in Modern Artistic Practice

From physical installations, writings, paintings, sculptures and ceramics to digital experiences, live performances and interactive resources, the project examined the concept of influxes and effluxes in relation to the Chinese characters 《呼吸》 hūxī through different artistic mediums and investigated the importance of respiration in creative practice and the challenges of being resistant. 

The project reflected a distinctly collaborative approach as contributing artists included Goldsmiths Art, Design, Computing and Theatre and Performance students as well as external students and professional artists  from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Yet with many Chinese contributing artists, the department also provided a glimpse into contemporary Chinese culture. The interplay of works by Chinese, British and international artists gave an explorative insight into varying cultural interpretations of the significance of respiration in connection with traditional Chinese culture and its pictographic writing systems in a modern context. 

Antiquity and Modernity Intertwine

Set within the imposing walls of Goldsmiths’ historic Great Hall, the institution’s symbolic centre is a Grade II listed building with colonial connections and an unlikely venue to accommodate an exploration into respiration in connection with the culture of an ethnic minority in the UK.

Yet the exhibition incorporated the very fabric of the building and its purpose into the artistic exhibited displays. From its plaster mouldings and arches to the pianos it houses, the hall’s grandeur is an ever-present reminder of the influxes and effluxes it has both witnessed within its walls and inflicted outside its walls, which ties these contemporary reflections of modern experiences to a historic past and acted as a perpetual reminder of respiratory experiences old and new. Every breath and act of «呼吸 » hūxī looks back to the past and forward to the future.

 The carefully construed placement of artworks within the exhibition space allowed the different characteristics of each artwork to be fully stimulated. Although the internal respiratory system of each work differed, the overall expression was the exhibition’s own respiration. The same sense of breathing resonated between each piece, but at the same time confronted itself.

‘In the process of urbanization, the population of Gufang is becoming less and less and the ancient village is dying out. But people are still swimming and breathing happily in the water, keeping the village alive.’ – Xiaoli Liu

《水生》Breathing in water, Gufang village, Jinhua, Zhejiang province  Photographed by Xiaoli Liu as part of the《呼吸》 Hūxī Respiration exhibition

 

Tiao Xi 调息 – Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Martial Arts Teacher, Chengmei Liang

This photograph was taken when I was practicing Zhanzhuang (Tai Chi style standing meditation). Tai chi and qigong both require us to focus on breathing, body relaxation and finding inner peace.’ – Chengmei Liang, Goldsmiths Confucius

‘Our life exists between inhaling and exhaling. Our lives began with breathing and will end with its cessation. This shows how important breathing is.

The Chinese character “Xi息” means breathing or breath. Consisting of two words, 息Xi‘s upper half is “Zi自”———meaning oneself, and the lower half is “Xin 心” ———the heart.

The ancients said: “One inhalation and one exhalation make up one Xi(breath).” The Chinese character “Tiao 调” means adjustment and exercise.“Tiao Xi调息” means breathing regulation – inhalation and exhalation. When we practice Tai Chi and Qigong, we need to regulate our breathing “Tiao Xi 调息”. ‘ – Chengmei Liang

Underwater Water Sleeve Dance – Yiyun Li, Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Chinese Dance Teacher

This image of Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Chinese Dance Teacher, Yiyun Li, as she practices the ancient art of Chinese Water Sleeve Dance – 水袖 shuǐxiù featured within the exhibition.

The ancient art of Water Sleeve Dance – incorporating silk extensions of garment sleeves – first appeared in Chinese Opera and theatre in the Ming Dynasty. The effect of the sleeves was said to appear like water rippling. Here, Yiyun gave a traditional art form a modern twist by practicing it in an underwater setting.

‘This photograph was taken when I was practicing underwater dance movement. It shows a moment when I cannot freely breath, which reminds me how important but easily overlooked breathing is.’  – Yiyun Li, Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance Teacher

Inner breathing – Jiaolong Ma, Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance Teacher

‘When at rest, it is also a kind of inner breathing.’ – Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance Teacher, Jiaolong Ma

Performance Programme List

Chengmei Liang – Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Martial Arts Teacher

Flower & Life  – Xuyang Su & Jane Gao (Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance Teacher)

Coherent – Song Qiao (Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance Teacher)

Counting – Freddie Churchill

Memory – Yiyun Li (Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Asian Contemporary Dance and Chinese Fan Dance Short Course Teacher)

Vow – Chengmei (Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Qigong and Tai Chi Short Course Teaher)

Qi – Jiaolong Ma (Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Chinese Classical Dance and Chinese Sword Dance Short Course Teacher)

Contributing Exhibitors:

Alicia Torres Simón

Anna-Lou Latham

AOI/Meng Xie

Chaoming Zheng

Duanqing Wang

Elisabetta Antonucci

Guadalupe Ferrandez Tari

Henryk Terpilowski

Hristo Yoradov

Irfaan Nahaz Masroor

Isobel Scott-Malden

Kaibing Zhang

Kyrin Chen and Vi Trinh

Masha Chelova

Nigel Bristow

Philip Kinshuck

Shaohan Tang

Qianru Zhang

Qidi/Didi Su

Qike Shi

Xuemei Huang

Zhiyu Lu (Lucy Meeber)

Zhiyuan Xue

Zoe Armit

Breathe 2021 Oil on canvas 20×20 – Zhiyuan Xue
Photo: Noshin Begum

Chaos of Colours 2022 Oil on canvas – Irfaan Nahaz Masroor; Photographer: Noshin Begum

Untitled 2021 Installation Soil, clay, ready-made buddha statue size variable – Xuemei Huang

Cells and Things 2021 Digital art – Qike Shi

Possess 2022 Adjustable size China Bed sheet, Glass Tank, Rust, Plastic Sheet, Iron wire – Duanqing Wang

We Need Trees 2021 Digital Print of generative drawings A1 format 594 x 841 mm – Hristo Yoradov

Elisabetta Antonocci Medusa, 2020 Experimental film

Isobel Scott-Malden The roses had the look of flowers that are looked at, 2021 Oil on board 35 x 45.7 cm

Alicia Torres Simón 

The pieces that I create are based on the field of sculpture and installation, solving questions of a spatial nature. The work investigates the chemical reaction produced by the mixture of gold leaf and acrylic resin, resulting in pieces that are characterised by their transparency, malleability, blue and green tones. Therefore, it allows me to vary their shape to adapt them to the space where they are exhibited, sometimes outdoors where they wave together with the architecture in a practice that converges both aesthetic languages. 

The installation of those pieces aim to generate an immersive experience that makes the spectator re-think about the concept of field and its spatiality through the experience of feeling the movement and sound. The resin and its liquidity creates a rhythm in the space to feel involved in the track of a plastic-environment. It is a practice of coexisting and dealing with the dialogue generated between pieces, space and spectator.

 http://aliciatorresartist.com

 https://www.instagram.com/aliciatorres___/

Anna-Lou Latham  

Anna-Lou Latham explores experience through the poetic word, vocal dispositions as well as drawing and visual mediums. Anna is studying with the Department of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

‘limb – o (the lie of hope): Poem, 2022. Vocal disposition: Soundscape with poetry and drawing, 2022.titan 0: soundscape and film, 2021 Dimensions variable

 https://soundcloud.com/anna-latham-1

AOI/Meng Xie 

Artist, singer, telecommunication engineer, former science student, anime lover, and a lot more… … Meng loves to explore different genres of all categories of art rather than only one.

It’s always hard for me to say what’s my favorite art or my favorite song. Keep calm and be curious. 

Exchange 1.0 Digital graphic art. 2021

This piece originated from one of my ideas for an installation work, which couldn’t be realized yet. It aims to talk about the relationship between person to person through breathing in and out the substances in this world, especially in this pandemic situation. As humans, we have Carbon based lives, we are exchanging substances like carbon and other elements in and out of our bodies, and through those we become a part of each other, and so to spread disease in worse case. as a pandemic special version, one of the head is covered by mask. So to show how aggressive the air flow is without a mask and how the mask can protect us. the 2 heads actually are at same distance on the left and right, but you will see the red one more aggressive by it’s color and how far the air flows, and the whole image feels unbalanced.

https://www.instagram.com/welkin_aoi/

Chaoming Zheng

Chaoming Zheng (Sadie) is an artist based in Shanghai and London. She received a BA in English Literature from Fudan University and is currently studying in Royal College of Art, while also working as a freelance designer and a tattooist.

Building her own artistic world around satire, grotesque, and epiphanic features, she tries to balance between the narrations of a story-teller and the passions of a poet. Her art hinges on embodiment and reproducibility, discussing how the attachment to wounds can influence one’s state of existence.

Artwork 1. two pieces from a painting series Life-painting I — acrylics on canvas, 10 x 10 cm, 2021. Life-painting III — acrylics on canvas, 10 x 15 cm, 2022. 

Artwork 2. moving image Orthodontics, 4′ 59” , 16:9, colorful, PAL 

https://vimeo.com/653511027

During the pandemic, what we were accustomed to has melt into air, like a prolonged disturbance to the normal breathing pattern. The disturbance is the association I hope to present in these works. The paintings are embracing glitches as a refusal to conventional tranquility, while the moving image is a pieces discussing how one bounce back and forth between the social state of ‘being normal’ and ‘being an outcast’, echoing the experience of some of us during this time of changes. Perhaps they are not usual ways of respiration, but rather, forms of panting or gasping.

chaomingzheng.net

https://www.instagram.com/_s_zhen/

Duanqing Wang

Duanqing is a student of University of Arts London who makes use of a variety of materials from bed sheets to iron wire to produce his works.

Possess 2022 Adjustable size China Bed sheet, Glass Tank, Rust, Plastic Sheet, Iron wire, 

The work attempts to show the process that the third nature of matter is constantly changing due to the continuous transformation of subjective and objective values in human behavior and cognitive process. In practice, this concept is shown as follows: the change of individual subjective conditions and objective conditions of the environment to which they belong affects people’s perception of “things that can be owned” and “the range of things occupied”. 

These changes are reflected in the changes of the audience’s viewing Angle, position and way, which lead to the changes in the relationship between the internal elements of the work and between the audience and each element. Rust stains are the negative feelings of the artist as a result of this change, or the emotional traces he left behind when he experience this change. “The physical stillness of things does not prevent the eternal bias of human instinct due to limited cognition.” 

https://www.instagram.com/wanduanqing/

Elisabetta Antonucci

Elisabetta is an artist from the woods. She makes work about picnics, and the prejudice she faces as a stuffed animal. She is currently collaborating with a group of underprivileged birds living in South East London.

Elisabetta Antonucci Medusa, 2020 Experimental film 2min50s 

https://vimeo.com/562232684

Lockdowns and solitude forced me to work with what I had: a good mobile phone, time, desolate surroundings to explore. My daily ritual became walking and looking carefully for a friendly presence, a message, a meaning. I keep collecting short videos and recording encounters with tiny nonhuman metaphorical presences. I don’t modify anything; I film what I meet as it is. Time is the most decisive element. This is my personalised form of self-healing, meditation and spiritual practice. 

The landscape is my leading creative partner, but I always look for friends. My archive is called Looking for a Friend, which is metaphorical, and not. I explore the flow between things that may be considered “binary opposites” and how their combining may create new ways of seeing and feeling, especially around the dichotomy life/death. My obsession with death and sacrifice is sweetened when I contemplate ecosystems and nature circularity.

https://vimeo.com/user95120257

Guadalupe Ferrandez Tari

Guadalupe Ferrández is a Spanish multidisciplinary creative currently based in London. Who has a background in Fashion and has recently graduated from an MA in Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her writing practice, although still in development, focuses on exploring and capturing quotidianity through words (in an almost abstract manner). Aiming to trigger different sorts of emotions and feelings on the reader (at the center of the production of the piece). She likes to experiment with themes that can help us explain who we are, as humans, and how we interact, feel and life lived through the lenses of time. Furthermore, she is interested in exploring how narratives can become more immersive and multi-sensorial thanks to the use of multimedia formats. 

Existing [in the background] 2022 Written piece 

www.guadalupeferrandez.com

https://www.instagram.com/guadalupeft97/

Henryk Terpilowski

Henryk Terpilowski studied Three Dimensional Design at Wolverhampton Polytechnic, and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. After moving to London he worked for Harvey Nichols display dept., designing and producing some of their famous window displays. He has worked as a decorative artist and prop maker since, specialising in ‘faux marbling’  In recent years, using some of the skills and processes from these fields, he has directed his talents to ‘fine art’. He produces work ranging from painted abstract compositions to 3D sculptures and installations, most recently experimenting with  unconventional sheet materials, mixed media and light. He uses an experimental approach with materials, processes, ideas and emotions. When successful this leads to a ‘perfect storm’, an intuitive conclusion, an end result that, be it visually or conceptually, resonates with him and hopefully the viewer.

Breathless Mixed Media 160cm x 40cm x 40cm

Description – “Breathlessness or a tight chest can be a symptom of a physical lung (or heart) problem eg covid, and it can also be a sign of stress and anxiety. Respiratory problems can then also lead to further anxiety. With this work I aim to illustrate and explore the dichotomy between these physical and psychological states, and how they manifest as an emotional whole.

Quote from a covid victim:

“I lost my power to be able to do anything. I couldn’t stop coughing and my lungs felt like as if someone was squeezing them. Squeeze Squeeze Squeeze! The hyperventilation forced my four limbs to curl up and the non stop squeezing deprived my consciousness. My lungs felt like they were being hanged on the execution rope waiting to be executed!”

https://henryk.crevado.com/

https://www.instagram.com/henrykterpart/

Hristo Yoradov 

Hristo Yordanov is a contemporary visual artist and designer currently based in London. He works across a broad range of mediums such as installation, video, collages, digital art and design, relevant to the deep understanding of the moments of life and hidden senses, by they existence or imaginary.

2 x digital prints/posters of generative drawings (each A1 format 594 x 841 mm, Titles: We Need Trees & Generative Deer, 2021

Dissection of Reality, Size: 50 W x 160 H x 50 D cm 

https://www.cosmopolitdesign.com/dissection-of-reality/

Dissection of Reality is a contemporary installation about human-environmental symbiosis that explores ecology subjects of Anthropocene epoch.

Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. By the visual inspection of series of generative 3D images composed from modified data using programming algorithm, the viewer can allow extraction of additional information layers. This can be done by illuminating specific glass panels using LED lights and buttons, choosing colour patterns and sequences of flashing. Through the audience interaction and play with the art piece, there are numerous encounters for dissection and interpretation of the reality.

https://www.instagram.com/cosmopolit/

http://www.cosmopolitdesign.com/

Irfaan Nahaz Masroor

Nahaz is a creative and talented young boy who has always had a passion for art. He is 11 years old and sees the world in an exciting way which translates in his artwork. Nahaz enjoys a range of drawing styles and attempts all themes of drawings such as animations, landscapes, and abstracts. He says his favourite hobby is learning something new from science, maths, or art.

Chaos of Colours 2022 Oil on canvas 

The Lover’s Lungs 2022 Oil on canvas 

Black White Night 2022 Oil on canvas

The Aliens Home 2022 Oil on canvas

Isobel Scott-Malden

‘I had my debut sell-out solo show in The Greenwich Gallery in September 2021. 

I am the winner of the Emerson Award for Young Woman Artist (2021) and the Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize People’s Vote (2021). 

My work was featured in The Russell Gallery winter show in 2021. 

I am a self-taught artist born and based in London. 

I had always wanted to paint but focused mostly on sculpture and other crafts until I studied art history. Now, taking inspiration from the old masters, nature, poetry and my imagination I try to create work that is detailed and meaningful and also has a dialogue with the past. My work is mainly figurative and influenced by Realism and Japanese art but with a contemporary sensibility. 

My style is detailed and labour-intensive so I take a long time to consider my compositions and each painting can take an average of one to three months to complete.’ 

The roses had the look of flowers that are looked at, 2021 Oil on board 35 x 45.7 cm

‘To respire is not just to breathe – to oxygenate our cells and keep us alive – it is also, crucially, to smell. It is possible to survive without a sense of smell but so much of the pleasure of being alive can be attributed to scent. The figure in my painting (who is partially obscured) smells the roses and has her own contained and individual experience with the flowers – that are beautiful for all to look at – but only if you go very close do you discover they are naturally perfumed. In her red dress she is one with the flowers and this absorption with the fragile and pleasurable natural world is juxtaposed with the potential danger of nature represented by the tiger hidden in the corner. Nature can provide life and pleasure and take it away just as fast.’

https://www.isobelscottmalden.com/

https://www.instagram.com/artistisobel/ 

Kaibing Zhang

Kyra tends to create highly interactive installation performance works. She regards the audience’s participation in the work and the atmosphere derived from it as the work itself.  Materials, objects, and placement in the work are all elements for creating atmosphere. The placement and presentation of works usually require the audience to take a specific action to complete the connection and communication between the work and the audience. The artist believes that the change from object to artwork can only be completed with the participation of the audience.

Title: I saw your breath at that moment (2021) Photography Documentation of airplanes

The gas produced by the airplane remains in the air for a moment as a long white line after the changes through the surrounding air. Like the momentary imprint of our breath on the glass, it is a momentarily visible breath. This work encourages the audience to see the airplane as a purely existing object, devoid of its definition and role in society. It only exists as an objective object, and these visible breaths are the traces of its existence.

https://kyrazhang.com/

https://www.instagram.com/kyra_zhang_/

Steam Bao Collective – Kyrin Chen and Vi Trinh

As a collective, Chen and Trinh (“Steam Bao Collective”) seek to subvert the dogma in interactive art through the medium of video games. Playing on the artworld’s expectations on the very potential of video-game mechanics and on the regular game-player’s expectations on interactive controls, the collective explores themes of agency and human connections. In their current work, they challenge audiences with the discombobulation between vision and sound and the Sontagian duality between violence and voyeuristic joys in a naïve and deceptively soothing manner . 

 Kyrin Chen is a MFA Fine Art student at Goldsmiths University of London. Prior to their postgraduate studies, Chen has been a multi-disciplinary artist with a primary focus on the ephemerality of sound, and have exhibited at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London and Cafe OTO, London. They have held residencies at Arts, Letters & Numbers, New York and Wait & Roll print studio, Shanghai. 

https://kyrinchen.com/

https://www.instagram.com/xxchecx/

Vi Trinh is a MFA Fine Art student at Goldsmiths University of London and a graduate from BA Visual and Media Arts Practice & Leadership at University of Richmond. Trinh has exhibited work at the Target Gallery, Harnett Museum of Art, and Digital U in England. Tirnh has held an artist residency at the Torpedo Factory of Alexandria and is currently a remote resident at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Trinh’s practice is concerned by the internet and the ethos of the internet as an illusionary space and the interaction with its interface. The internet as it appears; democratic, and free, and the reality of exclusionary design by the very few and the profits they gain from it.

https://vtrinh.net/ about/

https://www.instagram.com/v_trinh/

Steam Bao Collective Cloudbox, 2021 – 2022 Nteractive art / Video game Size: Dimensions variable, 5 – 25 min

Cloudbox Year: 2021 – 2022 Medium: Interactive art / Video game (with stereo sound / headphones) Duration: 5 – 25 minutes 

Instruction: Hold W,A,S,D / Arrow keys to move *Trigger Warning: Loud noises and explosions 

Link to download: https://steam-bao.itch.io/cloudbox

Masha Chelova

Masha Chelova is a performer and a visual storyteller across media. Her work explores relationships between physical bodies, communities and technology through movement and stillness. She also teaches yoga and meditation in SE London. 

Fresh London Air, 2022 aper, wood 53×32 cm

London Air, inspired by life in SE London, anatomy studies for yoga teacher training and a poem by Sara Dawood, aka ARAB(ITCH). 

https://www.mashachelova.net/art

Nigel Bristow

NG Bristow is a writer, director, artist and lecturer.  He runs the MA in Directing Fiction at Goldsmiths.  His latest work, A Week To Walk A Fortnight, a collection of geolocated audio stories, is available as a chapbook published by Sampson Low at tinyurl.com/jjdaxrj2

ELSEWHERE,2022 Experimental film Dimensions variable

https://walklistencreate.org/forums/users/ng-bristow/

Noah Merzbacher

An object full of fantasies like swallowing you (2022)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_J1Zr1BY88lbxp0tjvx0AHZ2zYUsAVUc/view?usp=sharing

https://www.instagram.com/noahmerzbacher/

Philip Kinshuck

Philip is a student from the Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London. He creates digital interactive art making use of machine learning techniques to track the body’s movement and using people to interact with digital visualizations.

Title: Digital Trails

Medium: JavaScript interactive art using pose net (ml5.js)

Year: 2022

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhVmk9ec3uo

Qianru Zhang

Goldsmiths MA Performance Making student. New to almost everything. Trying to be a good human being and make some art hopefully.

Qianru Zhang Title: Watch and See 2022 Photography 50 x 50 cm

The hand is touch, desire, connection; the palm is inclusion, liberation, giving and taking. I hope that one day, women’s red menstruation will no longer need to break through all these barriers to ‘be’ seen and discussed , but will break free, exist freely, and on its own, as natural as respiration that every human does.

https://www.instagram.com/summerlouder/

Qidi/Didi Su

ん八üㅜ3D (muted), time-based media (water from red cabbages, tomatos and tree branches, sewage, rain water, petri dish, body, eyes, worms, germs, snail, fungi and other living organisms), 4 minutes 11 seconds, 2021

https://youtu.be/oG9KZ-x8d6s

Qike Shi 

Cells and Things 2021 Digital art

https://vimeo.com/658768288

The word ‘cell’ can refer to both an enclosed room, as in a prison, as well as the most basic elements of plant or animal life, as in the cells of the body. The genitals wrapped in cell she refers to them simply as “things”. “Each cell deals with a fear. Fear is pain… each cell deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and being looked at.”

https://blueqiki.com/

https://www.instagram.com/qike777/

Shaohan Tang

China/1999 Isolation Gelatin silver print 20*25cm

https://www.instagram.com/m_parad0x/

https://youtu.be/QEzTL-n0CmQ

on Entering, audio-visual-generative animation (water from red cabbages, tomatos and tree branches, sewage, rain water, petri dish, germs, fungi and other living organisms), 1 minute, 2021

https://www.instagram.com/diddisuoo/

Xuemei Huang

Untitled Acrylic on canvas 80*65 cm 2022 

When Omicron was spreading in London in this January, I chose to release my energy by painting alone. Alcohol was consumed before painting to help relax and avoid rational thinking. The painting is not only an outcome represented here, but also a documentary of the flowing energy on that day. 

Civilization History 2022 Charcoal and pastel on paper 177*84 cm 

The huge dead trees are protecting the young from darkness, meanwhile constraining them by the space left in the roots and branches. Just like inhales and exhales are followed by each other, breaking through the constraints, which is usually ignored, is as important as inheriting in civilization.  

A bit of green suggests hope when the view is dominated by the old dead trees. 

Untitled 2022 Acrylic on canvas 80*65 cm 

When Omicron was spreading in London in this January, I chose to release my energy by painting alone. Alcohol was consumed before painting to help relax and avoid rational thinking. The painting is not only an outcome represented here, but also a documentary of the flowing energy on that day. 

Untitled 2021 Soil, clay, ready-made buddha statue size variable 

I dug soil from a garden nearby my flat and mixed it with clay, which is also from soil, to make the statue in the front. Although Buddha (Sykyamunni) himself was against icon worship, his followers have built an immense number of statues. We humans like to rely on something concrete, but the most important things are often invisible, like Buddha’s wisdom, like our breath. 

The project was done with bare hands to experience the feeling from the soil. An earthworm was digging in and out when I built the statue. Some root and stems came with soil are still visible. 

Meaning of Existence 2022 Handmade paper, staples, wall Size variable 

Civilization and the individuals. Mainstream values and the others. 

Are the staples only considered valuable when they are pinning a paper to the wall? 

https://www.instagram.com/blackblacktea/

Zhiyu Lu (Lucy Meeber)

Unpredictability of the body and its texture feeds the fascination for the unknown. Everything is interdependent and mutually influenced. Engaging with multi-sensory experiences guides me separately and simultaneously to a sense of existence both spiritual and physical. As with the spontaneity of book space, my practical work attempts to hunt interrelationships between the inner self and the languages of the physical and symbolic body through clues.

Trees obey their own rules of growth. The outer tree bark is dead, however, the underneath is still full of vitality.

When I assemble these pictures together, using Dragon Scale Bookbinding method, the recombination of partial textures reveals a noumenon of the subject, like a map.

 www.lucymeeber.com

https://www.instagram.com/lucy.meeber/

Zhiyuan Xue

Wanting to understand profound ideas and themes, I am also drawn to the trivial and easy everyday things and the shallow release of personality. Wandering between the two, trying to find the connections that exist between them and articulating them in calm, undirected, even playful language.

Breathe 2021 – Oil on canvas 20×20 

Breathing is the process of exchange between our muscles and the oxygen in the external living environment, which is necessary for the metabolism of living cells.

Translating the necessity of this exchange process to the exhalation of cultural life, the breathing between different cultures is the process of mutual exchange.

Mask 2021 – Oil on canvas 20×20 

Filtered exhalation and inhalation The mask rusts and stains Covering half of the face Breathing through the mask Surviving in the mask Inside the mask is your own world A universe of your own Hiding under this mask Sometimes it can also be a kind of disguise and escape

https://www.instagram.com/xuezhiyuan_/

Zoe Armit

Zoë Armit is a 23-year-old illustrator, animator and activist based in Cambridge, UK and Ålesund, Norway. The majority of her work is dedicated to and inspired by the understanding of and advocation for animals and animal rights. Using combinations of paint, pencils, irony and digital media, Zoë draws attention to the astonishing beauty and ability of the natural world, simultaneously commenting on the crudity of those who threaten it. She has recently received a 1:1 in her BA degree in animation, creating a hard-hitting animated film detailing the destructive nature of the animal agriculture industry. She is hoping to use the momentum of the film’s success to continue campaigning for those not often spoken for, intending that her work will contribute towards more considered moral beliefs and actions from her fellow humans. 

Behind The Jugular, 2021 Animation & Paintings 21×29.7 cm

https://gradshows.uca.ac.uk/showcase/zoe-armit-animation/

https://www.instagram.com/artfulandcrafty/

www.zoearmit.com

《呼吸》Hūxī Calligraphy Artwork

The Mesmerising Art of Underwater Chinese Dance

Dancing underwater

Yiyun Li practicing the art of underwater dance

One day whilst I was swimming in a pool, the waves coming from another swimmer nearby caused my body to involuntarily move up and down with the current. It was in that moment that I really felt inspired. I started to imagine just how interesting it would be if I could dance underwater. That is how my exploration into the captivating world of underwater dance began.  

What Makes Underwater Movement so Fascinating?  

The first reason for the fascination with for this art form is connected to our environment and the circumstances in which we as dancers habitually move. As dancers we are used to moving in a specialised space, such as a rehearsal room or a theatre, which has professional flooring and electronic equipment. However, this kind of space has not been available to many of us during the long period of COVID-19 lockdown. Thus, I started to bring my dance practice to new and different environments, such as my sitting room and even outdoors. It was during this process that I became interested in how different circumstances and environments can affect our body movements. 

When we talk of different environments, the ‘underwater stage’ is without doubt the most exciting one because of the feeling of weightlessness that we cannot experience on a normal physical ‘land stage’. What’s more, when we move our bodies or parts of our bodies underwater, we can experience the unusual sensation that water resistance brings to dance. 

What Genre of Dance Should I Choose for Underwater Dance Practice? 

Underwater dance is unlike traditional diving, where the main purpose is to explore rivers, seas, fish and tropical life; it is a new form of physical performance. Chinese dance, with its unique charm, was the ideal choice for my underwater dance practice. This is because the buoyancy of water can help to show the beauty of Chinese dance movements and poses. For example, you may have ever seen the mural paintings of Feitian (the immortals flying in the sky) in the Mogao Caves along China’s ancient silk road where images show the long silks Feitian seemingly floating and fluttering in the air, highlighting their freedom and grace. The buoyancy of water can help dancers to show this attractive quality indicative of the Feitian flying gods. 

The Effect of Dancing Underwater on the Five Senses

Yiyun dancing

The amalgamation of water and Chinese dance makes for mesmerising movements

Underwater dance is a combination of dancing and free-diving. In the preparation stage, I needed to not only complete a piece of choreography but also learn the basic theory and skills of free-diving. Thus, I first endeavoured to train in the sport of free-diving and successfully obtained the free-diver certificate (AIDA2). 

Dancing underwater proved to be a really tough and challenging experience. Firstly, underwater, I had to hold my breath, in other words, this meant that I had to try my best to suppress my most natural instinct to breathe. I had to overcome a strong sense of fear since I could not see clearly when I kept my eyes open without swimming goggles and after emerging from the water, it would take a long time (as much as several days) for my eyes to readjust to normal daylight levels. As my hearing was affected underwater, I also had to ‘play’ music in my mind. Lastly, it might be relatively easy to make certain movements on land, but because of the buoyancy and resistance of water, it was quite physically demanding to make the same movements underwater. Thus it is easy to say that the experience was somewhat of an assault on my senses!

“It was like being back in my mother’s womb. I would like to say that underwater dance is definitely a new form of interdisciplinary creation and a new field of dance that is worth exploring.” 

Although I encountered enormous difficulties during the learning process, I still value it as a precious and irreplaceable experience. Not only did the experience offer me an opportunity to learn professional diving but I also gained a strong sense of achievement. When I was dancing underwater most of my senses (sight, hearing, smell and taste) could not function normally, so my full attention turned to dancing itself, to my physical sensations. As I could not use most of my senses, I turned myself over to my tactile sense and imagination. It was like being back in my mother’s womb. I would like to say that underwater dance is definitely a new form of interdisciplinary creation and a new field of dance that is worth exploring.  

Yiyun Chinese Dance Teacher

Author: Goldsmiths Confucius Institute Dance Teacher, Yiyun Li

 Yiyun Li is a professional dancer, experienced dance teacher and creative choreographer who has worked in Chongqing No.47 College as a specialised dance teacher and for 5 years at Chongqing Broadcasting and Television Station as a choreographer.

Yiyun obtained the Gold Award of a performer in a professional group and Silver Award in performance for her self-choreographed dance piece Taste of Sichuan in the Third Shaanxi Province Lotus Dance Contest. She was also awarded the honour of Excellent Choreographer in 2012. Yiyun teaches on the departmental Outreach for Schools programme as well as our Asian Contemporary Dance and Chinese Folk Dance and Chinese Fan Dance short courses here at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute.

The Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Chongwu Festival(重午节), Dragon Festival, Zhengyang Festival(正阳节), Tianzhong Festival(天中节)and so on, originated from the worship of celestial phenomena and evolved from the Dragon sacrifice in ancient times.

Origin

It is said that Qu Yuan, a poet of Chu state in the Warring States period, jumped into the Miluo River on May 5 and killed himself. Later, people took the Dragon Boat Festival as a festival to commemorate Qu Yuan. There are also commemorations of Wu Zixu, Cao E and Jie Zitui. Generally speaking, the Dragon Boat Festival originated from the ancient ancestors’ choice of “flying dragon in the sky” auspicious day to worship the Dragon ancestors, pray for blessings and ward off evil spirits, and inject the summer season “disease prevention” fashion. In the northern Central Plain, or Zhongyuan, the Dragon Boat Festival was regarded as an unlucky day, and a saying developed there calling it “the evil moon and the evil day”.

Qu Yuan

Traditional Customs

The Dragon Boat Festival is a very popular folk festival in China. It is a traditional custom of the Chinese nation since ancient times. Due to the vast territory and many stories and legends, there are not only many different Festival names, but also different customs in different places.

  • Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon Boat Racing is an important activity of the Dragon Boat Festival. It is also a relic of ancient dragon totem worship. According to the first excavation report of Hemudu site, as early as 7000 years ago, the ancient ancestors had made canoes with single wood and rowed with wooden oars. The earliest “Dragon Boat Race” figure in China was found in Jia village, Yunlong Town, Yinzhou District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province. Dragon boat was originally a dragon shaped canoe carved on a single canoe, and later developed into a dragon shaped boat made of wood.

Dragon boat has a long history. It is a collective rowing competition, and it is divided into different parts. Before the dragon boat race, a grand sacrificial ceremony is usually held. First, the dragon and the God are invited. Before the Dragon Boat Festival, we should choose an auspicious day to get out of the water. After sacrificing to the gods, we should install the dragon head and dragon tail, and then prepare for the race. Fujian and Taiwan went to Mazu temple to worship. In the past, when people offered sacrifices to the Dragon God, the atmosphere was very serious. They prayed for blessings, good weather, evil spirits, calamities and good luck. In Zigui, the hometown of Qu Yuan in Hubei Province, there is also a ceremony of rowing dragon boats to worship Qu Yuan.

Dragon-boat Racing

  • Artemisia argyi and Acorus calamus

In the Dragon Boat Festival, there are many kinds of flowers and plants that can drive away evil and diseases, which have a long history. The most popular in the Dragon Boat Festival are Artemisia argyi and Acorus calamus. This is because Artemisia (moxa) is an important medicine plant, it can also be made into moxa velvet to treat diseases, moxibustion points, and insect repellent. In May, Artemisia argyi oil is the most abundant, so it has the best effect, and people are competing for it. A few wormwood plants are often hung at the door of the house. Due to the special fragrance of wormwood, people use it to drive away diseases, prevent mosquitoes and ward off evil spirits.

Hanging wormwood and Acorus calamus

  • Eating zongzi

Zongzi is a traditional Chinese dish mainly made of glutinous rice and stuffing. It is wrapped with Ruo leaf (or new leaf). It has various shapes, such as sharp angle shape, four angle shape, etc. Zongzi has a long history. It was originally used as a sacrifice to ancestors. After it was introduced into the north, it used millet (produced in the North) to make Zong, which was called “jiaoshu”. Due to the different eating habits of different places, zongzi has formed a north-south flavour. From the taste point of view, there are two kinds of zongzi: salty zongzi and sweet zongzi. The custom of eating rice dumplings during the Dragon Boat Festival has been popular in China for thousands of years. It has become one of the most influential and widespread folk eating customs of the Chinese nation, and has spread to Korea, Japan and Southeast Asian countries.

Zongzi

  • Herbal Lotion

Washing herbal medicine is one of the customs of the Dragon Boat Festival. It falls in the most effective time of the year for plants, and there is an abundance of natural medicines. Dragon Boat Day herbal lotion can cure skin diseases and remove evil Qi. During the Dragon Boat Festival, many places in China have the custom of boiling the medicine and bathing in herbal water, and the beneficial properties of herbal medicine play a vital role in the culture. Herbal liquid is the Mulan Decoction recorded in ancient books. The extensive written records about the custom of washing herbal liquid can be found in Xia Xiaozheng, the book of rites of the great Dai Dynasty, at the end of the Western Han Dynasty. It mentions an orchid, which is not a regular orchid, but the fragrant orchid of Compositae or herbal medicine. In Volume 22 of Sui Shi Guang Ji “Picking Miscellaneous Drugs” it is quoted: “on May 5, competing to pick miscellaneous drugs can cure all kinds of diseases.” 《岁时广记》卷二十二“采杂药”引《荆楚岁时记》佚文:“五月五日,竞采杂药,可治百病。”This custom still exists today and is widely popular. In Guangdong, children use bitter grass and wheat herbs or flowers such as Artemisia argyi, cattail, Impatiens balsamina, and magnolia to boil and wash in water, while men go to rivers and seaside to take a shower – a custom called washing dragon boat water to wash away bad luck and bring good luck. In Hunan, Guangxi and other places, they use Baiye, dafenggen, wormwood, Acorus calamus, peach leaves, etc. to make medicinal liquid for bathing, no matter men, women, old and young, the whole family.

  • Wearing scented sachets

Wearing sachets is one of the traditional customs of the Dragon Boat Festival. The sachet is usually filled with some Chinese herbal medicines with aroma, which have a variety of purposes, from air fragrance, insect repellent, anti-plague and disease prevention. The sachets are usually filled with spices, wrapped with five colour silk thread, or cotton, and mixed with chuanxiong, Baizhi, paicao, qincao, clove, shanai, Xixin, Gansong, Baizhi, Gancao, realgar powder and other traditional Chinese Medicine powder(川芎、白芷、排草、芩草、丁香、山艾、细辛、甘松、白芷、甘草、雄黄粉), and then worn on the chest.

Sachets can be of different shapes, and have become a common handicraft. In some cities in southern China, young men and women also use the sachets to express their deep love.

Sachet

  • Five-colour silk thread

In ancient times, five-colour silk threads were called “bibingza” (避兵缯)and “Zhusuo”(朱索). Tied on the mosquito net and cradle, they are also called Wanzhuan rope and Jiansheng rope. Ying Shao’s “Customs” says: “on May 5, five colored silk was used to tie the arms, named Changming thread, a Xuming thread, a Bibing thread, a wuse thread, a Zhusuo, a Bibing and a ghost, to protect people from disease and plague.”. In ancient China, five colours were revered as auspicious colours. Therefore, in the early morning of the festival, the first thing for adults to do when they get up is to tie five coloured threads on children’s wrists, ankles and necks. Children are forbidden to speak when tying the thread. In the traditional custom, red, green, yellow, white and black thick silk threads are twisted into colourful ropes and tied to children’s arms or necks. Since May 5, they have been tied up until the birthday of qiniangma on Qixi, and then they are burned together with Jinchu. It is also said that on the first rainy day after the Dragon Boat Festival, cutting off the multi-coloured thread and throwing it in the rain means letting the river wash away the pestilence and disease. It is said that it can remove the evil and stir up the disaster, which will bring good luck for a year.

The five colours of the five-colour silk represent the five elements, as well as the five directions. They interact with each other and have the mysterious function of removing evil spirits and welcoming good fortune. Cyan wood represents the East; Red is fire, representing the South; Yellow – soil – represents the Central; White is gold, representing the West; Black is water, representing the North. Marked by animals, green dragon is in the East, rosefinch is in the south, white tiger is in the west, Xuanwu (tortoise and snake) is in the north, and yellow dragon is in the centre. In fact, the symbolic meaning of five-colour silk is far more obvious than its actual function. In baopuzi(《抱朴子》)written by Ge Hong in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, there is also a description of the witchcraft of hanging five colour paper in the mountains to summon the spirits of the five sides. It is likely that the five colours also symbolize the spirits of the five sides to be protected.

Five colour silk is tied on the arm, or it is a tattoo custom. It used to be a popular festival custom to tie arms with five coloured silk threads. After spreading to later generations, it has developed into many kinds of beautiful ornaments, such as longevity wisps, longevity locks, sachets and so on. The production is becoming more and more exquisite, becoming a unique folk art of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Five colour silk thread

This note is just a brief introduction to the profound culture of the Dragon Boat Festival. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to share Chinese traditional culture with you next time.


Author: Wei Tianci

Wei Tianci is a graduate student of Beijing Dance Academy, majoring in Chinese folk dance. She also does Chinese classical dance of Han and Tang dynasty. Now, Wei is one of the artistic Teaching Assistants at Goldsmiths Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance. She hopes to be able to continue exchanging knowledge of the traditional culture of different places with international friends.

 

Six Schools of Zheng of Han People

Zheng or Guzheng is a traditional music instrument in China with over 2500 years of history. During the long time development of Zheng, there are 6 different schools of Han people established according to their regions and styles. So today, we’re going to talk about these brilliant 6 schools of Han Zheng.

Zhejiang School

Zhejiang School is mostly welcomed in Zhengjiang province, a southeastern province in China. Its music perfectly depicts the scenery of southeastern China and the lifestyle of people in this region: quiet, elegant and peaceful. The mostly known piece of this school is Gaoshan Liushui (High Mountains and Flowing Waters), through which we can get a glimpse of the beautiful sights of Zhejiang province.

Chaozhou School

Chaozhou school is popular in Chaozhou area, Guangdong province. The most spectacular features of this school are its notation system and tonalities. The notation system is referred to as Er’si Pu, marked by the Chinese character of numbers. And its tonalities are based on the notation system, giving the music various types of personalities full of changes.

Kejia School

According to different scholars with different taxonomy, we can also divine this school into Kejia school and Fujian school. Kejia people is a branch of Han people who in the past migrated from central China to the South. And Fujian is a province in southern China where many Kejia people live. Broadly speaking, these two schools share a common history, but when the people from middle China settled in different parts of southern China, their culture blended with different locals, so that the taste of these two schools are also a little bit different. But generally speaking, the musical styles of these two schools have preserved the presence of music of Han people in ancient middle China, so that we can still hear the voice of our ancestors from long time ago.

Shanxi School

Shanxi is a northeastern province of China, and this is highly probably the region where Zheng was born. The music here is quite distinguished from others, especially the ones with Kuyin scale (the scale of bitter). When you listen to the music in this scale, you can really hear the sound of sadness, cry and inner anger and bitterness of the people.

Henan School

Henan is a province in middle China, adjacent to Shanxi province. The Chinese traditional opera arts are highly developed here, so its music is largely influenced by that. In addition, the dialect here has also influenced its music largely, so the tunes of language people speak here are reflected in the musical pieces.

Shandong School

Shandong is a province located in Shandong peninsular, the music here embraces the temperament of nature, just like the Shandong people, honest and simple, warm and hearty. Shandong Zheng music owes its good reputation to a rich repertoire and varied performance techniques.


Author: Yuting Jiang

Yuting has been playing Zheng since the age of 7. Graduated from Xi’an Conservatory of Music in 2018, she now studies at Minzu University of China as a postgraduate, majoring in Historical Musicology with the focus on modern music of Western Countries. She also teaches Zheng in our short courses and participates in Goldsmiths Confucius Institute outreach activities.

Wen Ji Qi Wu (闻鸡起舞)

Wen Ji Qi Wu originally means to get up early and dance a sword. Later, it acquired the connotations of people wanting to serve their country rise up immediately. This idiom also comes from a historical story in China.

Zuti, a native of Fanyangqiu County in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (now Laishui, Hebei Province), was a man with a broad mind and great ambition. But when he was a child, he was a naughty boy who didn’t like reading. In his youth, he realized his lack of knowledge and felt that he could not serve his country without reading, so he began to study very hard. He read books extensively and studied history conscientiously, from which he drew rich knowledge and managed to make great progress. He had been in and out of Kyoto and Luoyang several times, and people who had contact with him said that Zuti was a bright talent who could help the emperor govern the country.

When Zuti was 24 years old, someone recommended him to be an official, but he didn’t agree. He still strived to study more and work hard. It was only later that Zuti and his childhood friend Liu Kun served as the governor of the state. He and Liu Kun shared deep feelings. They not only often lie in the same bed and slept together, they also shared the same lofty ideal: to make contributions, revive the state of Jin, and become the pillars of the country. Once, in the middle of the night, Zuti heard a rooster crow in his sleep. He kicked Liu Kun up and said to him, “do you hear the rooster crow?”. Liu Kun said, “it’s bad luck to hear the rooster crow in the middle of the night.” Zuti said, “I don’t think so. Why don’t we just get up and practice sword when we hear the rooster crow?” Liu Kun agreed. So every day after the rooster crowed, they got up to practice their swords.

The light of the sword is flying and the sound of the sword is sonorous. Spring comes and winter comes, cold comes and summer goes, it never stops. After a long period of hard study and training, they have finally become all-round talents. Zuti was appointed as the general of Zhenxi, realizing his desire to serve the country; Liu Kun became the general of Zhonglang in the northern expedition, and took charge of the military affairs of Bingzhou, Jizhou and Youzhou, giving full play to his literary talent and military strategy.

Through this story, we learn the worth of the struggle of living a down-to-earth life every day, doing a good job of every little thing in hand, avoiding procrastination and complaint, steering away from shirking and laziness. Every day, bit by bit, through strife and effort, leads you to where you want to go, takes you to complete your dream.


Author: He Zhong

He Zhong is a master of traditional sports in Beijing Sport University. She won the national second level athlete of Wushu and the national first level referee of Wushu routine. She loves martial arts, and hopes to carry it forward and share the love for the discipline with others, so that more people are introduced to, appreciate and practice martial arts.