Reform, Revolution and Chinese Modernity – Yale Faculty Panel & Two Film Screenings with Director Evans Chan

Reform, Revolution and Chinese Modernity -- Yale Faculty Panel & Two Film Screenings with Director Evans Chan

Evans Chan - Director

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Auditorium (Room 101), Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 6511

4:00pm-5:00pm: PANEL DISCUSSION
“1911 Revolution and Chinese Diaspora”

Yale faculty: Peter Perdue (History) Jonathan Spence (Emeritus, History) Jing Tsu (East Asian Languages & Literatures)

5:00pm-6:00pm: FILM SCREENING
“2 or 3 Things about Kang Youwei”

Island, utopia, art, and political devastation are topics covered by Evans Chan’s meditative documentary/film-essay on Kang Youwei (1858-1927), modern China’s pioneering dissident/constitutional reformer. The film focuses on Korsholmen, the Swedish island Kang lived on for a few years, speculates on how his love for Sweden reflected his revival of the Confucian utopia of “Datong” (The Great Commonwealth), examines his impact on the Chinese Exclusion Act, the birth of the Chinese modern art, and uncovers the Kang-Mao connection from Mao’s youth through the Cultural Revolution via Mao’s criticism of Sorrows of the Forbidden City, a movie using as a backdrop the brutally crushed Hundred Days Reform of 1889, led by Kang Youwei.

7.00pm-9.00pm FILM SCREENING
“Datong: The Great Society”
Followed by Q&A with Director Evans Chan

Named 2011 Movie-of-the-Year by China’s progressive Southern Metropolitan Daily for “returning fuller memories and humanity to Chinese history,” the film focuses on modern China’s first major dissident/constitutional reformer and utopian philosopher, Kang Youwei (Liu Kai Chi). After the Qing government’s bloody crackdown on the political reform he initiated in 1889, Kang and his daughter Tung Pih (Lindzay Chan) fled into 16 years of exile, including residence on a Swedish island. Evans Chan’s docu-drama recounts Kang’s epic struggle for China’s modernization as well as for his dream of Datong – the Chinese Utopia. Renowned Stockholm-based actress-choreographer Chiang Ching narrates and the virtuosic Mary Stephen edits director Evans Chan’s inventive docu-drama.


Evans Chan 陳耀成 : Biography

Chinese film scholar Michael Berry has called Evans Chan “one of the most singularly innovative and diverse figures in the Chinese cultural world in the last 15 years.” Born in Guangdong, raised in Macau and Hong Kong, Chan is a New York-based critic, playwright and filmmaker. Over the last two decades, Chan has made four narrative features and five documentaries, including “Crossings,” “The Map of Sex and Love,” “Adeus Macau,” “Journey to Beijing,”“The Life and Times of Wu Zhong Xian,” and “Sorceress of the New Piano,” which is about the Singaporean avant-garde pianist Margaret Leng Tan. His most recent docu-drama, “Datong: The Great Society” was named the 2011 Chinese-language Movie of the Year by mainland China’s leading liberal newspaper, Southern Metropolitan Daily. Time Out Hong Kong (May, 2012) listed Chan’s directorial debut “To Liv(e)” as one of the 100 Greatest Hong Kong Films. Chan’s award-winning films have been shown at the Berlin, Rotterdam, London, Moscow, Montreal, and Taiwan Golden Horse film festivals, among others. He has also published three books of essays in Chinese, and is the editor/translator into Chinese of three books by Susan Sontag. His writings in English have appeared in Cinemaya, Asian Cinema, Film International, Postmodern Culture and various anthologies. Eros, Angst and Exile, a critical anthology about Chan’s works edited by Tony Williams, is forthcoming from the Hong Kong University Press.

For More Information

Sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies China Film Series, which is generously supported by The Pao-Watari Fund for East Asian Studies