Starting in 2020, the SDCHM has partnered with the San Diego State University Chinese Cultural Center, to provide remote programming via twice-monthly lectures, under the program title The Chinese American Experience and Beyond.
Below, you will find a video bank of recordings of past lectures in the series. Please check out the Museum's Events Page, to stay on top of and register for future lectures.
On September 18, we welcomed members of San Diego's chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, including Brocade Wu (President OCASD) and Woo-Wah Siu (Former President of OCA Chicago and current Advisor to OCASD), who, along with OCA National's Associate Manager of Policy & Advocacy, Michael Nguyen, introduced the history of the organization and its advocacy work from the national to the local level. Chuenwei Hsu (Secretary, OCASD) and Peggy Lee (Lead of Outreach, OCASD), and Ron Cho (APAPA San Diego) contributed to the discussion.
SDCHM Chairperson and Director of the SDSU Chinese Cultural Center, Dr. Li-Rong Lilly Cheng opened the first edition of a special lecture series under the title China³. She was joined by SDCHM Interim Director, Bob Stein, who moderated a discussion featuring the voice of art historian Jamie Kwan.
The first lecture in the series established a foundation for the concept, exploring early histories of ceramics production in Jingdezhen (formerly known as “Changnan”), from prehistoric periods to the early Ming dynasty.
On August 21, we welcomed four Chinese-American scholars from San Diego State University: Dr. Chris Mi (Professor + Chair of SDSU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), Dr. Ping Lu (Professor and Chair of SDSU's Department of Aerospace Engineering), Dr. Samuel Shen (Distinguished Professor and former Chair of SDSU's Department of Mathematics and Statistics), and Dr. Mei Zhong (Faculty of SDSU's School of Journalism and Media Studies). After presenting a selection of research contributions from their respective professions, Dr. Mi, Dr. Lu, and Dr. Shen entered into discussion moderated by Dr. Zhong, also bringing in the voices of Yawen Li, Tao Xie, and Dr. Niyi Coker.
Marina Shlau Cunningham led this presentation, p.3 of the Jewish People in China mini-series. After providing context for Russian migration to China from Russia in the early 20th century, Marina described life during her family's last years in China during the 1950’s, before departing for Ecuador. We heard about the schools, remaining and departed friends, gatherings at home, the Jewish and Soviet clubs, standing in line for food, participating in Sino Soviet celebrations, clandestinely listening to forbidden radio news; all under the cloud of worrying about what the future would bring.
In mid-July, we were pleased to feature producer / director Leslie Li and musicologist Eric Hung, who led a presentation addressing the current rise of anti-Asian sentiment in the United States using Leslie's documentary The Kim Loo Sisters as a prism to shed light on the critical issues of race, immigration, ethnicity, and cultural identity. Evelyn Lamden moderated the discussion following Leslie's slideshow.
In this episode, we were joined by Andy Lu (speaker) and Evelyn Lamden. Andy provided an introduction to how Chinese tea culture influenced other country’s tea drinking habits. He also showed a number of beautiful and unique Qing Dynasty teapots circa 17th century from his personal collection. Audience members learned about the differences between green tea, black tea and scented tea as well as the health benefit of using Yixing clay (Zisha) teapots to properly prepare tea.
On June 19th, we were joined by Dr. Phillip Bloom, who is the June and Simon K.C. Li Curator of the Chinese Garden and director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Phillip's talk surveyed works of calligraphy that are featured in the Liu Fang Yuan (Garden of Flowing Fragrance) and previewed an upcoming exhibition, A Garden of Words: The Calligraphy of Liu Fang Yuan, which will open later in August 2021 at the Huntington's new art gallery, the Studio for Lodging the Mind. Heath Fox (La Jolla Historical Society) moderated the discussion following Dr. Bloom's talk.
David Miles (SDMA) gave a talk on Chinese landscape paintings, referring to the teachings of Ming Dynasty painter, Dong Qichang (1555 - 1636 CE), who categorized them in relation to the Northern School or the Southern School. His talk was moderated by Dr. Bob Stein.
Robert Stein opened our 05/15 program with a talk about archaeological findings from sites in San Diego's historic Chinatown, and how these objects tell a story about their former owners. Russell Low joined him to provide commentary.
Betty Carr (SDMA) joined us for a 1st Saturday lecture on 04/03, where she spoke about ceramics production and global trade during the Tang dynasty (618 to 907 C.E.). Andy Lu contributed to the discussion, which was moderated by Evelyn Lamden, with a presentation of ceramic objects from his own collection.
On March 20, 2021, we were pleased to host a presentation of a study commissioned by the Committee of 100 (C100) to the Economist Group. "From Foundations to Frontiers" explores the enduring contributions of Chinese Americans to our national fabric, from the 19th century to the present day. C100 Senior Program Associate (and study lead), Lloyd Feng shared a presentation of the study, which was followed by a panel discussion convening members of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA), including Ron Cho (President, APAPA San Diego Chapter), Dr. Howard Wang (Chairperson, APAPA San Gabriel chapter), Dr. Shu Chien (former Chairperson, SDCHM Board of Trustees), Dr. Philip Chinn (Professor Emeritus, Cal State Los Angeles), and Dr. Lilly Cheng (Chairperson, APAPA San Diego Chapter / Director, SDSU CCC / Chairperson, SDCHM Board of Directors).
Check out https://contributingacrossamerica.economist.com/ for more information about the study.
On March 6th, John LeeWong (marketing and advertising professional and alum of the Chung Wah school, 1959-1963) gave a detailed presentation of the history of Chinese language school in San Diego, from the early 20th century (also considering the Chinese Mission School from the late 19th century as a predecessor) to the present-day. A classmate (and current president of the House of China), David Seid, provided commentary following John's presentation.
Cloisonné is a decorative art form practiced since 1300 BCE. Traditionally, wires are used to divide colors on a metal substrate and to create designs and then filled with fused glass or enamel coloring. On February 6th, Sherry Reed joined us at the Chinese American Experience & Beyond to share her studies of this art form. Andy Lu accompanied her, highlighting a number of cloisonné objects from his own personal collection. Evelyn Lamden, an experienced marketing executive and consummate lover of the arts, moderated the conversation.
Allie Arnell joined us on January 16th, providing a lecture on beauty of Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) porcelain. Her talk focused on how specific rulers reinvigorated the ceramic industry, and celebrated the colorful glazes of several great moments of Chinese ceramic history as well as fresh approaches to color and glaze technique. Andy Lu complimented Allie’s presentation by showing a number of porcelain items from his personal collection.
On December 19th, Ray Menegus spoke about the processes involved in making objects with lacquer, a substance that was used to color, beautify, and protect screens, furniture, sculpture, bowls, etc. It could be carved, incised and inlaid. Mr. Menegus’ personal experience making a carved lacquer box showed us how difficult this technique is. Following Ray's presentation, commentary was provided by Andy Lu, who showed a number items made with lacquer and inlay techniques from his extensive collection.
On November 21st, Elaine Pierce spoke about the influence of East-West exchange in Qing dynasty painting. Her lecture, "Virtual Realities: Extreme Illusionism in Qing Court Painting," centered on works by an extraordinarily versatile artist, Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shining), under the patronage of one of the greatest connoisseurs of all times, the Qianlong Emperor.
On Saturday, November 7th, Catherine Jones led a presentation on the significance of Jade in the Chinese tradition. Following Cathy's lecture, commentator Andrew Lu shared a slideshow featuring pieces from his personal collection, which spans Asia and Mesoamerica. The floor then opened to community members, who shared a range of jade items from their own personal collections.
This program unfolded as a "Virtual Walking Tour of the Asian Pacific Historic District," led by Amie Lee Garapich and Michael Yee, following an online resource prepared by Michael with use of ArcGIS Storymaps.
During Session IV of the series, David Seid (President of the House of China) shared about the significance of the Chinese Language School, drawing from his memories of attending the school at the Mission church on First Avenue. He later spoke about the history of the House of China, which initially developed as part of the 1935 International Exhibition in Balboa Park.
During session III, Lily Birmingham opened with a talk on the contributions of Chinese immigrants to the fishing industry. John LeeWong followed, speaking on the significance of Chinese hand laundries to community development over time. Li-Rong Lilly Cheng closed, speaking on the significance of Ah Quin to the San Diego community and the contributions of Chinese immigrants to railroad construction in California.
During Session II, Michael Yee returned to provide an overview of the history of the Chinese community in San Diego, from the mid-1800's to the late 20th century.
During Session I of the series, Bob Stein presented an overview of the legal history of immigration in the United States, with a focus on legislation relevant to the Chinese American experience. Later during the same session, Michael Yee offered a talk on pre-20th century migration from China to the United States, highlighting the resilience of the community throughout time.