Friday, September 26, 2014

Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration & Workshop, Talk by Mak Ming Chan

October Events

October 19th, 3:30PM, Bluelight Cinema, Cupertino:
Member Shirley Kinoshita informed us of the upcoming showing of TONGUES OF HEAVEN (60mins) which focuses on the questions, desires and challenges of young indigenous people to learn their mother tongue. Using digital video, four young indigenous women collaborate and exchange ideas about the impact of language on identity and culture. With 96% of the world speaking only % of the world's languages, what does it mean to speak your mother tongue? What do you lose when you lose your native language? These are just some of the questions these women explore.

Also on the 19th, join us for our monthly potluck! (Details to follow)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Zheng Brings Us Art and Inspiration

photos courtesy of Dia Zheng
Artist Michael Zheng spoke with our group at our September gathering. Originally from a small village in Fujian Province, he studied computer science at Tsinghua University and came to the U.S. for his masters degree at Marquette University. Before he’d even graduated, he was hired by Cisco. By his family and the village’s standards, he had made it. But he felt unfulfilled. When he was accepted to San Francisco Art Institute, he up and quit Cisco. He said it took him three months to tell his family—well, his older brother—and the reaction was as expected. “You idiot. What are you thinking?” He, however, continued to move forward (going back was not even an option.) His first attempt at painting in class—he was a novice never having received any kind of formal instruction—was met by an outsider wanting to pay 100 dollars for his piece. His professors mentored him, pushing him to where they believed he needed to be—a new genre of art called Performance Art.  Some of Zheng’s initial performances were linked to the clash of east versus west.  He did a piece on Personal Space, where he intentionally invaded people’s space to witness their reactions (from inclusion to anger). He did a piece on Public Display of Affection where he kissed and groped a woman in the lobby of MOMA for six hours. He did a piece on smiling—“only westerners smile so much”—coloring his teeth like a rainbow. “There is so much power in art,” Zheng said.  Zheng’s courage to follow his heart—wherever that takes him—was inspirational. (And the family not only eventually understood, but have become his greatest advocates.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Long Overdue Dedication to Fishing Village

On September 20, one of our past speakers, Activist and Historian Gerry Low-Sabado saw a  dream come true when the city of Pacific Grove unveiled  a stone commemorating the area as a former fishing village. Low-Sabado is a fifth generation descendant of the village, her great great grandparents having lived and fished the area from 1853 These villagers launched commercial fishing in the area and began the tradition of squid fishing. They helped grow the area into what it is today. But in 1906 the Chinese town was mysteriously burned, and the history forgotten until Gerry Low-Sabado came on the scene. Through her tireless efforts and persistence, as well as help from the local museums,  the village will now be fully recognized.  .  Dozens gathered, including Congressman Sam Farr, Mayor Bill Kamp,  and Assemblyman Mark Stone . Said Congressman Farr, “The Monterey Peninsula celebrates so much about how California began. It’s long overdue that we celebrate the richness that the Chinese brought to the area.”