SACU Information

Here are some news and information stories, some from SACU's China Eye magazine sent out to members. If you have would like to publicise an event or promote an organization please use our contact form to let us know.

Brushstrokes in Time

We are pleased to invite you to a book launch of a newly published novel, 'Brushstrokes in Time', by Sylvia Vetta on Wednesday, 23rd November, which will take place in our bookshop, Arthur Probsthain, from 6.30 to 8 p.

The novel covers the ups and downs of the period in China's recent history from the Cultural Revolution, through the first popular movement in Tiananmen on the death of Zhou Enlai, to the late 1970s Democracy Movement and the creation of the Stars art group, the Tiananmen Uprising and beyond... The story is told through the eyes of 'Little Winter' who corresponds with her daughter and reminiscences about these dramatic political events through her own experiences.

Sylvia Vetta will be talking about her inspiration in writing this novel and discussing it with us. There will be a reception with drinks and light refreshments. We look forward to seeing you here. Please indicate if you intend to participate by replying to the bookshop at

Yangguizi to Laowai

Foreign presences in the People’s Republic of China
Talk by Richard Kirkby
The Meridian Society joint meeting with the SOAS China Institute.
Date: Wednesday, 30th November
Time: 7:00-9:00PM
Entry: Free
Venue: Room G3, Main Building, SOAS, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG

With brief reference to a former age, Richard Kirkby discusses his new book, Intruder in Mao’s Realm in the context of two recent works about the foreign presence in the People’s Republic of China.

Author of studies of China’s development, including the groundbreaking Urbanisation in China, Richard Kirkby’s memoir reveals how life was for the handful of foreigners in China during the dying years of the Cultural Revolution. The third generation of his family to live in China, he is kept up-to-date regarding the subject of his talk by his Sichuan-based son - who represents the fourth generation.

Pre-talk reception at Arthur Probsthain Bookshop: All are invited to a reception on the same day before the SOAS talk (Weds. 30th Nov., 5.30-6.30 pm), hosted by Arthur Probsthain Bookshop at 41 Great Russell St. WC1B 3PE (opposite the British Museum).

Contact for talk: Meridian Society at
Contact for bookshop reception only:

Oriental Silk: Bloomsbury Pop-up Silk Lover's Event

The Meridian Society is organising a visit to Bloomsbury Gallery's pop-up event in celebration of the richness of silks from the East with special documentary film screenings on Saturday 3rd December. The two short films, hosted in collaboration with the Chinese Visual Festival, examine how fashion is interwoven with Chinese people's cultural identity in contemporary society.

The order of the event will be:
16.30 meet at the gallery
17.30 meal
19.00 film Oriental Silk (Xiaowen Zhu)
19.30 film Mao's New Suit (Sally Ingleton)
20.00 Q&A

If a minimum of 10 participants sign up we will be able to purchase VIP tickets. These will be available at the following prices: - members £12.50 - associates £13 (including SACU members) - non members £14.50

The ticket includes entry to the gallery, free film screenings and a Chinese meal with a soft drink or glass of wine. The meal options are: - Chinese pancake with lamb, beef or chicken stew - vegetarian dumplings

Please let us know by Friday 25th November how many places you would like to reserve. Provided enough people book we will then request payment in advance to confirm your place(s). A workshop on painting on silk is taking place in the morning, for which we can also book places. Further details of the event are available on the notice board of the Meridian Society website

Michael Lindsay

SACU VP Jenny Clegg was in Dunhuang recently along with Jim Lindsay, son of Michael Lindsay who was mentioned by President Xi Jinping as an example of Anglo-Chinese support and understanding when he visited the UK last year.

“Lord Michael Lindsay, the late member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament, took an active part in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, helping China modify telecommunication equipment under extremely difficult circumstances and risking his life to deliver scarce supplies such as medicines and communication equipment to the Chinese army.” ( Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC)

Jim, an Australian, set up a website introducing Bold Plum’s (his mother’s) book, titled Bold Plum: With the Guerrillas in China's War Against Japan which Jenny says “has some great material countering claims that only the Kuomintang fought against the Japanese.”

Bold Plum also tells her story on YouTube .

Chinese Festivals

China, Chinese New Year is celebrated as the Spring Festival and is the most important festival in China. Each year is associated with an animal: the full sequence of 12 years is in this order; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (or Hare), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (or Goat), Monkey, Rooster (or Cock), Dog and lastly the Pig (or Boar).

2016 is the Year of the Monkey

Major Chinese Festivals in 2016 are:

1 OctoberNational Day
9 OctoberChong Yang

There will be two, 'Golden Week' holidays; the first one following the Spring Festival in February and the second following National Day in October.

*Recommended book on Chinese festivals are:-

  1. 'Folk customs at traditional Chinese festivals' compiled by Qi Xing, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing 1988.
  2. 'Chinese traditional festivals' by Marie-Luise Latsch, New World Press, Beijing 1984
  3. (Mainly for children, but interesting for adults as well), 'Origins of Chinese festivals' compiled by Goh Pei Ki, Asiapac, Singapore 2001 and 'Fun with Chinese Festivals' by Tan Huay Peng, Federal Publications, Singapore, 2000.

Other Organisations

Asia House

Holds talks and exhibitions about the countries of asia in general.

63 New Cavendish Street, London. W1G 7LP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7307 5445

The Chinese Arts Centre

The CAC acts as the national agency to promote contemporary Chinese art and interpret Chinese culture. It holds exhibitions, organises artist residency schemes, national education programmes, seminars and training events and acts as an agency for performers.

The Chinese Arts Centre housed in the Market Buildings in the Northern Quarter of Manchester city centre on Thomas Street-in between Shudehill and High Street and not far from the Printworks and Arndale Centre. It features a gallery, a Chinese teahouse, an education and resource suite, a souvenir shop and a project space/studio. The building is fully accessible.

The shop offers a unique range of goods influenced by traditional and contemporary art and culture. An extensive range of art books, catalogues and magazines are now in stock. They include Art Review, Art Monthly, That's Art, Art Asia Pacific, Frieze, Art Forum etc.

The Chinese teahouse is a calm quiet zone with an ever-changing good selection of high quality teas to choose form. The CAC offers hire and hospitality facilities. The Gallery and Education Suite are available for hire. In the evenings, the whole centre may be hired. Catering and entertainment facilities are also available to suit any occasion. Contact or telephone 0161 832 7280

The Chinese Arts Centre offers a varied range of display and learning resources to schools to help demonstrate cultural traditions and pastimes. They include Lion heads and Chinese opera costumes. Further information please telephone 0161 832 7271. Free Gallery Tours are available for groups who book in advance-maximum group size is 20.

Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, 7 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1EU. Tel 0161 832 7271. Website .

Museum of East Asian Art, Bath

This museum is housed in a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse and has one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside of London with almost 2,000 items dating from about 5,000 B.C. It received a grant of £41,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund which helped towards converting the Museum's third floor into a multi-purpose education room. (further details and bookings please call 01225 464640, e mail and website is Museum of East Asian Art .

With almost 2,000 exhibits, this museum has one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside of London. It was founded in 1990, by Brian McElney OBE who practised law in Hong Kong. It has some of the best bamboo carvings in Europe and a fine comprehensive collection of jade. Particular attention is given to the museum's educational role with special exhibitions, an active events programme and also new publications designed to encourage a greater understanding of East Asian art and cultures.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and Sunday from 12.00 noon to 5.00 pm. Admission: £4 adults, concessions £3.50, students £3.00 and under 12's £1.00. Under 6's free. Family ticket, £9.00.

The Museum regularly holds children's workshops (with special activities during the half term holidays), museum tours, Mah Jongg evenings and other events during the week. All events are by advance booking only. Please contact the museum for details of events at ""

Yorkshire Chinese Brush Painting Society

With its disciplined approach and yet very versatile possibilities, Chinese brush painting holds exciting potential for many artists and budding artists. Success depends on having the right equipment and a willingness to learn the fundamental brushstrokes and basic techniques such as holding the brush in the correct way.

We meet at the memorial hall in Pool-in-Wharfedale.

For more details please go to the Chinese brush painting web site .

London Chinese Brush Painter Group

If you would like to learn more about traditional Chinese brush painting and have a go at this fascinating art yourself, you might want to join our group. We meet monthly to paint and discuss ideas and usually have a Chinese artist to tutor us. There is a membership fee and a charge for the workshops you attend. Details on web site web site

Yellow Earth Theatre

Yellow Earth Theatre produces performances and runs workshops for people of East Asian backgrounds. Yellow Earth will continue to run workshops and outreach and education performances throughout the year. They are always happy to hear from readers of any events and projects that may be running. To contact them and to obtain details of their programme contact Yellow Earth Theatre, 2nd Floor, Rupert St., London W1D 6DE. Tel 020 7734 5988 or marketing tel 020 7287 3141. Website "Yellow Earth" .

Hosting for Overseas Students (HOST)

HOST exists to provide some of the thousands of international students at universities and colleges in the UK with the opportunity to spend a weekend, or a few days at festival times such as Christmas or Chinese New Year, in private homes. The purpose is to enable them to explore the culture and way of life in a local community, feel at home for a few days away from the campus, and to see a different part of the country in the company of people who live there.

Our hosts are all volunteers - individuals, couples and families - who welcome the occasional guest from another country, learning from them and sharing their lives briefly with them. Sometimes lasting friendships are made.

We have nearly 2000 hosts across the whole of Britain, but are constantly needing to find more. Some 60% of the students applying for HOST invitations are Chinese, and would be pleased to visit hosts already interested or having connections in China. Such links with people in this country can have an invaluable influence on the students' perceptions of Britain, and the attitude with which they return home.

For more information please visit Host UK web site or call 020 7254 3039. Thank you.

Hosting of young Chinese students also required by The China HSK UK Committee. The Committee is looking for native English-speaking families to rent bedrooms-or full board to Chinese GCSE or A level students during their boarding school half term or vacation. Homes in greater London or south England are needed now.

Contact: Tina Chen, China HSK UK Committee, 124 Euston Road, London NW1 2AL, tel: 020 7388 8818 email

Intern China

The Intern China arranges internships for people to go and live in China so that they can learn something of the language and culture.

See Also

Meridian Society   Membership organisation based in London with similar aims to SACU, regular events and tours to China.
Chinatown   A large U.K. site with background cultural information and events information.
Durham Oriental Museum   Lectures and events centred on the museum at Durham.
Chinese Music   Information about performing artists and musicians of all kinds available for events in the UK.
Manchester Arts Centre   Premier centre for Chinese art in the Northern England.
ArtChinese   Online showcase of contemporary Chinese art in the UK.
The London Jing Kun Opera Association   The only society in the UK that promotes both Jing and Kun Opera.
Needham Institute   The Research Institute founded by Dr Joseph Needham (who also founded SACU) is dedicated to continuing his work on Science and Civilisation in China.
Chinese language and culture forum   Discuss topics of the day with a large online community worldwide. Wide selections of topics from language to politics.

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