Classical Chinese Garden
NW 3rd and Everett, Portland, OR, 97208, 503-228-8131

About the Garden

Chinese New Year - Year of the Ram

Event Details

The Portland Chinese Classical Garden is proud to present a variety of events and organizations that celebrate the New Year and the thriving Chinese-American community in Portland. A schedule of these events is available as well. Included on this page are descriptions of the following events, groups, and demonstrations.

The Portland Chinese Classical Garden would also like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors. If you would like to learn more about the Chinese New Year and history and traditions surrounding it, please read the brief guide on Chinese New Year.

Northwest Chinese Fistology & Lion Dance Association

The lion dance is one of China's most distinctive cultural arts. It symbolizes courage, energy, and wisdom and bring good fortune, prosperity, and longevity.

The costuming of the lion is composed of many mythical elements. Its five colors-black, red, green, white, and yellow-represent the lion's control over the five directions: north, south, east, west, and center. Its curved horn is from the phoenix; the ears and tail are from the unicorn; its protruding forehead is adorned with a mirror to dispel evil, and its long beard is taken from the dragon image. Throughout the performance, the lion walks in a zigzag path in order to confuse evil spirits, which are only able to walk in straight lines. The lion dance is meant to guard against misfortune and provide blessings.

The Northwest Chinese Fistology & Lion Dance Association has performed in many parades, weddings, and cultural events and is excited to share this age-old tradition with the community. To contact the organization, call Wally Chow at 503.888.6232.

Dragon Arts Studio - Puppet Show

Chinese puppetry has more one thousand years of history. What began as a cultural ritual evolved into a form of entertainment with broad appeal considered suitable for royalty and commoners alike. The art and showmanship of Chinese puppetry combines artistic expression with detailed hand-craft; traditional Chinese opera movements and music, well-engineered mechanical puppet parts; and, more recently, Western technology.

Since 1996, Dragon Arts Studio has promoted Chinese puppetry in the United States through performances in theatres, schools, libraries, and museums. Puppeteer Yuqin Wang, recipient of the Excellence in Performance Award (Association of art and Culture, Beijing) began her career in classical Beijing opera. Her talents have taken her around the world. Wang has played the lead role in more than 30 puppet shows and appeared in numerous movies and television programs.

Wang is joined by puppeteer Zhengli Xu, a graduate of the Beijing Puppeteer Art School. Xu spent many years studying under highly regarded masters and for the past 35 years has directed, produced, and performed in countless productions internationally.

Images of China, the performance selected for the Portland Classical Chinese Garden, is a mix of humor, music, and special effects designed to give insight into Chinese folklore and culture. The play utilizes Chinese rod puppetry, an ancient technique not often seen in the West. Executed with elegance and style and infused with traditional wit and wisdom, Images of China is an engaging and delightful journey into the 'middle kingdom'.

Wen Wu School of Internal Martial Arts - Qigong

The Wen Wu School of Internal Martial Arts was founded in 1972 by Dr. Yun Chung Chiang and Master Hui Liu in .Berkeley, California. The school teaches martial arts, qigong, medicine, philosophy, feng shui, cooking, and arts. The school aims to promote traditional Chinese culture, good health, and long life for people of all ages.

Jean Ye - Paper Cutting

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art/Painting from the Art Institute of Shanghai, Jean taught painting, paper cutting, clay figuring, and children's art in China and the U.S. for 16 years. She began studying Chinese traditional and folk arts at an early age under the instruction of her father and other master artists. Jean's uniquely integrated style is a synthesis of East and West. For the past two decades, she has devoted her talents to painting, interior design, and arts education for children and adults.

As a traditional craft, Chinese paper cutting has a long history dating back approximately two thousand years. Paper cuts are commonly made by cutting intricate designs into white paper with a pair of scissors or a small knife. Once cutting is completed, the paper is then colored. The images used for Chinese paper cutting are most often flowers or animals which are considered auspicious. They are used primarily in the countryside as window and door decorations and during special celebrations such as weddings or the Chinese New Year.

Carol Gwo - Storytelling

Che-Chen Gwo immigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago. Her ancestral home is Beijing, China but Carol was born and raised in Taiwan. These varied influences have given her a broad and very rich perspective of Chinese culture. During her childhood, she learned many fairy tales including the one she is sharing during the Chinese New Year at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden - The Tale of the Chinese New Year.

Wu Dao Jing Shi International Qigong Society - Martial Arts

Wu Dao Jing Shi is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the study and practice of Qigong. Its goal is to bring the benefits of this ancient Chinese art to the awareness of the general public as well as expand the knowledge and experience of Qigong practitioners.

Qigong (pronounced chee gong) is movement and mediation practice that enhances and balances the body's flow of qi, the vital life energy. The principles of qigong are based on traditional Chinese medicine which addresses the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. Therefore, the benefits of qigong affect not only physical well-being but also mental acuity, emotional stability, and access to wisdom. Qigong is one of many routes to reconnect with nature and find the wholeness so often lacking in modern society. The International Qigong Society can be reached can be reached at 505.200.4997.

Rosalind Wang - Knot Tying

Since ancient times, Chinese knot tying has been used to decorate both the fixtures of palace halls to countryside households. In China, knotting is not only a fine art, but also a form of communication. People can express blessings, best wishes, and amorous sentiments. Decorative knots, on the other hand, are tied to wind chimes, palace lanterns, fan tassels, hairpins, eyeglass cases, and many other objects.

The beauty and elegance of Chinese knot tying is highly appreciated though in contemporary times is has not been practiced as widely as other popular Chinese arts. Through working with both children and adults in the community, Rosalind hopes to rekindle an interest in this ancient art form.

Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman - Storytelling

Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman was born in Taiwan and lived in Saudi Arabia for 2 years before immigrating to the United States in 1985. She attended college in California, UCSD, and later completed her pharmacy degree in Philadelphia. Since moving to Portland in the summer of 2000, she has enjoyed volunteering at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden as well as several other Chinese organizations in the community.

She looks forward to sharing the Story of the Chinese Zodiac as well as other tales and traditions about the Chinese New Year to visitors of the Garden.

Northwest Tai Chi Study Group

The Northwest Tai Chi Study group will perform a demonstration of the traditional martial art of Tai Chi.

Chinese American Citizens Alliance - Lion Dance

In 1997, the CACA began the formation of a lion dance program, with the intentions of perpetuating the lost art amongst its younger people. Through the assistance of Master Stephen Ying, the lion dance team has performed at numerous events throughout the community.

In addition to the lion dance program, the CACA sponsors youth scholarships, organizes a youth basketball program, heads the annual Food Faire, and organizes the annual Toy and Food Drive to help families throughout the Asian community. The CACA is a non-profit organization and welcomes new membership and volunteers to help build the spirit of the CACA's mission. More information on the CACA is available at its website at www.cacaportland.com.

Chinese New Year Event Highlight: Shen Renquian - Art Exhibit

On exhibit from the private collection of Sunny & Judy Han, this Lantern Festival's artist spotlight shines on Shen Renqian. A native of sister-city Suzhou, Mr. Renqian began to scribble at the age of five and truly hasn't put down his paintbrush since. His works, including oil paintings, silk paintings and clay sculptures are unique in style and free of the influence of traditional academies. As he says, "individuality is the life of art."

Mr. Renqian's paintings are both realistic and freehand in style. He describes freehand paintings as "poems" and considers vitality, which is enabled by this approach, to be indispensable to most kinds of art. As he explains, "I have always tried to have the audience experience the uncontaminated healthy spirit, the integration of humanity and nature and to have their hearts consoled through experiencing simplicity, vigor and intimacy."

On January 31st, the Garden will host an all-member reception for the collection, and the paintings will be on display in the Scholar's Studio from February 1st - 16th. All exhibit paintings are for sale and a percentage of the proceeds will directly support the educational programs of the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.

This exhibit would not have been possible without a generous donation from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the continued generosity of Sunny and Judy Han.

U.S. Wushu Center - Martial Arts

Since the 17th century, Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), has been China's 'Supreme Ultimate' for fitness and long life. Benefits include improved physical and mental health, reduced stress, an increase in energy, and a richer life through enhanced relaxation. Taijiquan is gentle and slow-moving, suitable for all ages.

After a lifetime of study and ten years as the World Wushu Champion in Beijing, Master Shaowen Yu strives to bring the finest Taiji training to Portland. To learn more, call 503.242.9030.


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