Descriptions of the artists and performers involved in the Chinese New Year & Lantern Festival 2002

C.C. Lee - Art Exhibit

Through his simple yet powerful brush strokes, C. C. Lee truly does capture the 'life-spirit' of the horse. The energy and stately grace of this magnificent animal has captivated Lee since he began painting them at the age of six. Lee also strives to convey an appreciation of Chinese culture through the traditional aspects of his art. In fact, one of the most recent recipients of his paintings was President George W. Bush.

Lee currently lives in Houston, Texas where he is an active member of the Chinese community. To learn more about the life and art of C. C. Lee, visit his website at www.horsearts.com.

Wu Dao Jing She International Qigong Society - Martial Arts

Wu Dao Jing She 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.

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.

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 Monkey King.

In China, children love Monkey King, for he is brave, witty, loyal, adventuresome, and very mischievous. This literary classic is a common bedtime story and parents often tell it on the eve of the New Year to keep their children awake. The story Monkey King or Journey to the West dates back to the Tang dynasty and has become known the world over.

Carol said she chose to tell this story during the Chinese New Year because she wants to "encourage youngsters to be brave, witty, loyal, and adventuresome-but without too much mischief!"

Tien Tae Jitsu - Martial Arts

Tien Tae Jitsu is an eclectic martial arts system with its core in Tien Shan P'ai Kung Fu. It is a practical, self-defense based art. For centuries, the martial arts have been a part of China's culture and history. The students and teachers of Tien Tai Jitsu study with the understanding of China's undeniable contribution to the art throughout Asia and around the world. They are proud to keep the philosophies, principles, and techniques of Tien Tae Jitsu alive, and are honored to perform at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.

One With Heart - Martial Arts

Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen is an Indonesian martial art with strong Chinese roots. The heart of Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen is compassionate, balanced action. The art is based upon four animal forms: two Chinese animals - the crane and monkey, and two Indonesian animals - the tiger and snake. The central focus of Poekoelan is personal development; Poekoelan cultivates internal energy to promote health, physical and mental awareness of self and surroundings, concentration and self-confidence. A strong self-defense form, Poekoelan includes a full range of fighting styles including rarely seen ground-fighting techniques. Poekoelan is unique among martial arts and easily accommodates every individual. The One With Heart Martial Arts Institute in Portland, OR is run by Pendekkar Janesa Kruse. To learn more about the One With Heart martial arts studio, visit www.poekoelan.com.

"100 Animals" Jade Frieze - Art Exhibit

Detail of Jade (click to see larger image)The largest jade sculpture in the world, for sale for 2.25 million dollars, will be on display for the first time outside of China inside the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. From February 12th through mid-April, the frieze titled "One-Hundred Animals" will be showcased inside the Hall of Brocade Clouds.

Mined in the Yukon Territory, the 2-ton sculpture was initially cut from a single, solid boulder of jade weighing 577 tonnes, now registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest slab of pure nephrite Jade.

Master Carver Meng Xian Hong and his apprentices completed the frieze in four and a half years, from 1992 to 1996. It is an impressive piece, standing approximately 5 feet tall, 10 feet long, and nine inches thick. The front is carved in deep relief depicting a panorama of exotic creatures in flight or action - lions, elephants, eagles, and horses (to name a few) against background of lush vegetation. Amongst the myriad of plants and animals, hides a small thatched-roof home paralleling man's position in the universe. The challenge is - who can find it?

Paradise Arts Co., the company that mined and commissioned the piece, has supplied China with jade since 1982. They welcome all visitors to the Garden to come and enjoy "100 Animals". To learn more about "100 Animals" as well as several other impressive pieces, call 503.761.5500.

Pan Gu Shengong - Martial Arts

Imagine the sun's light sitting in the palm of the left hand and feeling it spiraling gently 26 times. Imagine the moon's light sitting in the palm of the right hand and feeling it spiraling gently 26 times. Imagine combining the warm golden sunshine with the cool silver moonlight, Sun and Moon, spiraling together 26 times.

Pan Gu Shengong is not complicated - it is simple. Practicing Pan Gu Shengong creates balance and achieves peace of mind, inexhaustible vitality, it empowers the immune system, and it increases well-being and happiness.

Master Ou Wenwei, the Creator of Pan Gu Shengong, is a Council Member of the World Academic Society of Medical Qigong and 2001 Qigong Master of the Year, 4th World Qigong Congress. He has written many books and articles including The Path of Life and Pan Gu Mystical Qigong earning awards and recognition. He is the past Director of Research Institute of Qigong Science at Guangzhou University. Currently, Master Ou resides in San Francisco.

Visit www.pangushengong.org for more information on Pan Gu Shengong.

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.

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.

Mr. Ou Wenwei - Calligraphy

Mr. Ou Wenwei is a highly acclaimed calligrapher and noted Qigong Master. He also has a life long love of literature and history. His took up calligraphy in high school after being scolded by teachers for his poor handwriting. He has been dedicated to the art of brush writing ever since.

Ou's style of calligraphy is at once casual and elegant. He credits his background in Qigong for influencing his form, which expresses an understanding of human life and its relationship to nature and the universe at large.

Since 1994 Mr. Ou has had four major exhibitions of his calligraphy in Guangzhou. Each exhibition attracted upwards of 10,000 visitors.

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.

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'.

Lam Quang - Lantern Exhibit

Lam Quang has been hand-crafting lamps for nearly a decade. What began as a hobby to explore the art of papermaking in its more primitive form led to Lam's use of paper fibers to create lamps and lanterns. Inspired by childhood memories of lanterns carried at harvest festivals, each of his works echos themes in nature or expresses a more abstract individual aesthetic.

Lam owns and operates a gallery in NE Portland called Hi-iH (hi hi). He is an active member of the artistic community springing up along Alberta Street. He participates in the neighborhood's Last Thursday Art Walk and annual street fair. He has created light sculptures for other Portland events such as the opening of the East Bank Esplanade and is an ongoing contributor to the Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival.

U.S. Wushu Center - Martial Arts

Taijiquan practicioners (click to see a larger photograph)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.

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.

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