Monday, May 07, 2012

China in Britain: Myths and Realities

Dr Anne Witchard at the University of Westminster is curating a number of events for the series China in Britain: Myths and Realities. An AHRC-funded research network project which investigates changing conceptions of China and Chineseness in Britain. The series hopes to connect up the important yet disparate work being done by cultural historians, literary critics, curators, archivists, contemporary artists, film makers and Sino-British organisations. The first event is China in Britain: #1. Film on Thursday May 10th, 2012 @ Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh St., Russell Square, London WC1H OXG Places are free but strictly limited so it is essential to register with the project’s Principal Investigator, Anne Witchard, at:

The Film programme includes:
  • Peking at the Pictures: Early Cinema, the Boxer Rebellion, and Anglo-American Perspectives on China, Ross Forman (University of Warwick). The Chinese presence in British cinema dates from James Williamson's 1900 'documentary' film, Attack on a China Mission, a recreation of that year's “Boxer rebellion” in which nationalist militants attempted to expel Christian missionaries and other foreigners from China. It was actually filmed in Brighton and Williamson had never visited China. Ross Forman’s book China and the Victorian Imagination: Empires Entwined is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
  • Po-chih Leong, Britain's Forgotten Filmmaker, Felicia Chan (University of Manchester) and Andy Willis (University of Salford). In the early 1980s British Asian filmmakers began to make inroads into the British film industry. The the first truly British Chinese feature, Ping Pong reached the screen in 1986. British-born director Po-Chi Leong (b. 1939) had already directed several features in Hong Kong. A survey of Leong’s career spanning 40 years across different commercial industries, national cinemas and diverse genres.
  • Jo Ho’s Spirit Warriors Jo Ho created the hit BBC television show Spirit Warriors, the first British series to star a predominantly East Asian cast. Jo is currently working on several feature films.
  • Xiaolu Guo, author and filmmaker will introduce a screening of her film She, A Chinese, followed by a Q and A.

For more detailed info go to
I will be giving a talk at China in Britain: #3 Theatre and Music on July 18th. More details soon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm dying to see Ping Pong. I accidentally found out about it when I came across a cool photo of Lucy Sheen on eBay. I unsuccessfully tried to find the film on DVD, and ended up buying an old VHS copy—and I don't even have a VCR anymore! There's a player at my office I can use. One of these days I'll stay late and watch it there. ;p

Can't wait to hear about your talk!