Chinese American Poetry Dialogue
By Russell C. Leong
ShangyuanArt Museum, Beijing
Russell C. Leong, director of the U.S.-China Media Brief, talks on Chinese American poetry and Chinese poetry in a dialogue with Beijing poet Mai Mang (Huang Yibing) at the Shangyuan Art Museum. Recorded in the summer of 2009.
The following is a self-description from their website http://www.hudong.com/wiki/Shangyuan+Art+Museum:
"Some Chinese poets and critics speak of Shangyuan Art Scene as a utopia of art, which is to say that in a standardized, uniform society, Shangyuan Art Scene is searches for a certain kind of difference, whereby each individual, each creative self, every creative living entity is honored for the way in which they seek their value and meaning of life.
This utopia of art is the achievement of poet Cheng Xiaobei and a group of artists, poets, writers and architects. Beginning in 2000, they raised funds for themselves and searched for a suitable location north of Beijing, at the foot of the Yan mountains. After 7 years spent in site-selection, organizing, planning, and actual construction, the first stage of this modern architectural complex, with over 19,700 square meters of total floorage on 30,000 square meters of land was finished in late 2007. This complex, comprising 21 works of original modern architecture, includes a salon space, library, exhibition hall, open-air platform (from which you can see Yan mountains), video room, Liang Sicheng Memorial Exhibit Hall, cafe, writers' apartments, artists' studios, etc.
The Purpose of Shangyuan Art Scene:
1. Organizing communication among different art fields: To recover the tradition of Chinese intellectuals in which regular communication was held among poets, printers, calligraphers and musicians. We want to improve the situation in present China in which artists are addicted to their own art fields and often have little communication with people from other art areas.
2. Operating a Residency Program: To outstanding artists from different fields we offer free studio and apartments with peaceful and pure surroundings for their creative activity.
The Principle of Shangyuan Art Scene:
We encourage and promote art which 1) is done in an independent creative spirit, 2) possesses characteristics of creativity and poetic language, 3) relates to the artist's 'present' existence, 4) is stimulated by the artist's genuine life experience. We emphasize mutual encouragement and cooperation among artists from various art fields; we also attach importance to helping and supporting the growth of young artists. "
[keywords: Chinese Americans, poets, critics, Shangyuan Art Museum. art]
© Copyright 2009 UCLA Asian American Studies Center. This feature report is part of the work of the www.uschinamediabrief.com, (US-China Media and Communications Program) funded by philanthropists Walter and Shirley Wang, who established the nation's first program and endowed academic chair focused on U.S.-China relations and Chinese Americans at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.