Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jin Shan at Carnegie Mellon University School of Art, November 4.

Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art will host Chinese artist Jin Shan on November 4 as part of its Fall 2014 Art Lecture Series. The school, via Brown University, offers a profile:
A leading voice in an emerging generation of socially engaged contemporary artists in China, Shanghai-based Jin Shan is an agent provocateur. Preferring wit and satire to aggression and conflict, his work uses humor and play to draw audiences into a confrontation with the social, cultural and political problems of the modern world. While specifically describing elements of contemporary China, his investigation of human motivation extends beyond national boundaries to the seemingly insatiable desire for power programmed into humanity’s DNA.
The lecture starts at 5:00 pm in Kresge Theater (map), and is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Taiwanese Film Festival 2014 at CMU, November 12 and 13.



Carnegie Mellon University will host a Taiwanese Film Festival on November 12 and 13, presented by the Taiwanese Scholars Society and featuring the movies Winds of September (九降風), Monga (艋舺), and Kano: Soul of Baseball. Tickets for Winds of September and Monga are $5 a piece, and comprise the "Taiwan Classical Movies" set on the 12th. LoveHKFilm.com summarizes Winds of September:
Tang is one of seven friends of varying high school years. Collectively, the group is known as a bunch of troublemakers, though some of the gang are worse than others. The charismatic assumed leader is Yen , a handsome playboy whose prim girlfriend Yun has to put up with incessant stories of his infidelity. The problem reaches a tipping point when Yen sleeps with another girl and her angry boyfriend comes calling. Tang is mistaken for Yen and assaulted in his place, and the incident ultimately drives a minor wedge in the group. The situation is exacerbated by the other boys' individual conflicts and issues, and Yen and Tang nearly have a falling out. The two do seem to patch things up, but the cracks in the group's camaraderie begin to worsen. Some boys are pressured to drop the group, while others continue to misbehave, ignoring the damage it may have on their future. Ultimately, the boys' aimlessness results in a tragedy that further drives them apart, revealing the anger, cowardice, fear, jealousy, and helplessness that lives within them.
A South China Morning Post review says of Monga:
Set in Taipei’s once notorious Monga (known officially as Wanhua) neighbourhood in 1986-87, the narrative is part history lesson and part mob tale, but primarily an exploration of the ties that bind a group of sworn brothers.
Tickets for Kano: Soul of Baseball are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. The screening of Kona on the 13th will be accompanied by director Umin Boya. The TSS summarizes the 2014 film:
This movie based on an inspiring Taiwanese history in 1931 when Taiwan was ruled by Japan. A high school in southern Taiwan overcame all the odds and obstacles to form a baseball team. The team presented Taiwan to compete at Japanese High School Baseball Championship at Koshien Stadium. The underdog team advanced to the championship game in the tournament beyond all expectation.
The movies on the 12th will be shown in Doherty Hall 2210 from 6:00 pm, and Kano in University Center McConomy Auditorium from 6 (campus map). Tickets may be purchased in advance online with Paypal; to purchase tickets or to read more about the film festival, visit the event's website.

Pittsburgh Sakura Project Fall Planting Day, November 8.


The Pittsburgh Sakura Project will hold its 5th annual Fall Planting Day on Saturday, November 8, at North Park. As the flyer says, the group plans to plant an additional 12 trees near the Boathouse (map) from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Those interested in participating should RSVP by emailing PittsburghSakuraProject at gmail.com. Equipment will be provided, but work clothes and gloves are recommended.

The Pittsburgh Sakura Project has been planting cherry blossom trees, and other foliage, since 2009:
We plan to plant 250 ornamental cherry trees around the greater Pittsburgh region over a 10-year period, in honor of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Pittsburgh in 1758. Our aim is for lovers of cherry blossoms to enjoy beautiful, mature cherry trees in the Pittsburgh region. The PSP will enable visitors to Allegheny County parks to enjoy the unique scenery of Sakura and strengthen bonds within the local Japanese community by creating a focal point for cultural and personal exchange. By adding the new element of Sakura to existing park scenery, we create a new aesthetic while preserving the woodland scenery, an example of cultural harmony and environmental sustainability for future generations.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Hidden History: Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War" at IUP, November 3.



Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host author Ruthanne Lum McCunn and her lecture "Hidden History: Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War” on November 3.
She will be talking about her research and writing on Asian American history and, in particular, her recent book Chinese Yankee, which deals with Thomas Sylvanus (Ah Yee Way), a Chinese-American Civil War veteran and Indiana County resident.
The lecture begins at 7:00 pm in room 201 Stapleton Library (map), and is free and open to the public. McCunn will also be giving a talk on this topic Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County on November 1 at 1:00 pm.

Monday, October 27, 2014

"The Memory Project and New Voices in Chinese Documentary" at Pitt, October 31 and November 1.

The University of Pittsburgh will host "The Memory Project and New Voices in Chinese Documentary" on October 31 and November 1. The Film Studies Program provides a summary of the touring documentary exhibition:
WU Wenguang, one of the founding figures in Chinese independent documentary, brings three young filmmakers from China to present their collective work, “the Memory Project.” The project is based at Coachangdi Workstation in Beijing. From there, young filmmakers fanned out to return to family villages and their own pasts, real and imagined, to inquire about The Great Famine of 1959-61 — a disaster of whose memories have been actively abandoned by the state. Aiming to create a “folk memory archive,” the project, which combines documentary films, oral history records, and live performances, presents an alternative narrative of Chinese history than the one written in official textbooks. As these young filmmakers search for the distant memory from an old generation that is still living in rural poverty, their encounter with the past reveals as much about the wish for memory as of memory itself and of the interesting role of film in such projects of retrieval.
The Department of English has a schedule for the two-day event. On October 31, two documentaries by Zhang Mengqi will be shown from 7:00 pm: Self-Portrait and Three Women and Self-Portrait: At 47 KM. On November 1, from 1:00 pm: Huamulin, Boy Xiaoqiang and Children's Village. A discussion with the filmmakers and with Pitt faculty members will begin at 4:10. All events will be held in 224 Langley Hall (map), and all are free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Korean Buddhist monk's tour stops in Pittsburgh, October 27.



The Buddhist monk Beop-ryun Sunim (법륜스님) is on another speaking tour of the world, and will be in Pittsburgh on October 27. The Korean-language talk begins at 7:00 pm in the Korean Community Church Rectory at 623 High Street in Sharpsburg (map).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hot pot place moving into to old Pizza Sola location in Oakland.



Temporary signage just went up at 114 Atwood Street (map) for TOP Shabu-Shabu & Lounge. Until July, the space was home to Pizza Sola.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Four Japanese movies, one Taiwanese, part of 2014 Three Rivers Film Festival in November.




The Three Rivers Film Festival, which runs in Pittsburgh from November 7 through November 22 at nine local theaters, announced its schedule of films today, a lineup that includes five Asian movies, four of which are Japanese: the Hiyao Miyazaki classic Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し); the animated Welcome to the Space Show (宇宙ショーへようこそ) ; the adult comedy R100; and a documentary on Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (夢と狂気の王国). The Taiwanese-French drama Stray Dogs (郊遊) is included among the roster of foreign-language movies .Schedules are currently available online, and there will be more detailed posts on the movies in the next two weeks.

Angry Asian Man blogger Phil Yu at Pitt, October 25.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Student Alliance will host Phil Yu, the blogger behind Angry Asian Man, on Saturday, October 25. A 2010 KoreAm profile described the site as
the whirling core of the networked Asian American community, the hyperconnected hub where tens of thousands of people dock each day—sometimes hourly—to find out what’s happening in the cultural, media and political landscape of the nation’s most dynamic emerging population.
The event starts at 7:00 pm and is held in the William Pitt Union Ballroom (campus map).

Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania Student Halloween Mixer and movie Dark Water (仄暗い水の底から), October 24.

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania is hosting a Student Halloween Mixer on Friday, October 24, at Point Park University. The event includes free candy, an introduction to local Japanese-related student groups, a presentation on yōkai, and a screening of the 2002 film Dark Water (仄暗い水の底から)).

The evening runs from 6:00 through 11:00 pm in Lawrence Hall's 2nd floor multipurpose room (map). More information is available on the event's Facebook page.