January 11, 1997: Museum's First Year Anniversary and Chinese Kites Exhibit
In conjunction with the Museum's first year anniversary reception, an exhibit of kites from Weifang, Shantung Province, China was displayed. The folk art of kite-making from bamboo and hand-painted silk, was developed in China over 2400 years ago. In our museum, they took the shape of a phoenix, some owls, eagles, butterflies, dragonflies, human figures and an enormous dragon which ran the entire length of the museum. Shown through the Chinese New Year, the intricately constructed kites were popular among locals and tourists alike.
Mr. Tseng-Yao Sun learned the art of calligraphy, as a young child, from his father. From calligraphy, he developed his own style of wood-cutting seals from oak plywood and mounting them onto boards. The Museum had the opportunity to exhibit these works for only one weekend, but many visitors attended this exhibit.
A talented, young artist from Beijing, Cheng Bing, exhibited 47 sculptures. Working in bronze and marble, his modern, figurative, human forms are influenced by both Western and Chinese art styles. This was considered partly as a fund raising event and both the artist and the Museum were pleased that over half of his work was sold. Du Chun-mei, Cheng Bing's wife, also exhibited her colorful watercolors of flowers and figures. Her paintings have been shown and sold internationally. The works of this talented couple were on display for one and a half months.
The Museum commemorated the July 1 change-over of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China by presenting a pictorial tour of the region. The images and informative captions dated from the mid-1800s, during the Opium War, detailing Great Britain's century-long rule of Hong Kong, to the present. Several local TV stations visited the museum, some with live broadcast, to cover the Museum's commemoration of this historical event. The exhibit itself was available to the public for one month.
On loan from the museum of the Taichung Municipal Cultural Center in Taiwan are thirty-seven aboriginal artifacts from the Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911). Shown for the first time outside of Taiwan, these artifacts include clothing, cooking utensils, and ceremonial objects. These objects are highly treasured, and it is hoped that they will give some insight into the life, physical features, and living spirit of the Taiwan aborigines. This display was exhibited through the end of September.
On October 5, the Asian Business Association in conjunction with Pacific Bell and many other sponsors held a Pacific Rim Street Festival in Downtown San Diego. The museum acted as the center of historical and cultural exchange with displays featuring Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, and Pacific Islander groups. The exhibits were available for viewing through October 19.
On October 25, the museum featured three Southern California artists and their works: Kwan Jung and Yee Wah Jung of San Diego, and Jixiong Lao of Los Angeles. Over 150 art aficionados attended the event to enjoy the art work, interact with the artists and buy the beautiful paintings.
Since the Chinese Mission Building's dedication on November 22, 1927, the building has been transformed and relocated as the current Chinese Historical Museum. Among those present for the dedication were many who had attended services in the old mission building as well as Reverend Robert Fung who served the mission from 1950 to 1957. An accompanying exhibit, documenting the history of the Mission turned Museum, was displayed through the end of November.
This was the museum's second year of sponsoring a San Diego Chinese American Veterans Day luncheon in honor of those who served in World War II. Many former service men attended the event, representing a myriad of branches: the US Navy, the US Army, the US Army Air Corps, and the US Merchant Marine.
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