Display in memory of Master Toa Wong – Legend of Cantonese Opera

In Memory of Wong ToaMaster Toa Wong (黃滔) is an honored and respected Cantonese opera master who passed away on June 30th this year at the age of 101.

In the past years, Master Wong donated more than 600 items of books and recordings to the Asian Library. He also helped build and document the collection of Cantonese Opera costumes in UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA). On January 17, 2008, Asian Library, UBC St. John’s College, MOA, Office of AVP International Community Partners, as well as Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC, C.A.R.E. Housing Society and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. hosted the “Honouring Master Wong Toa” event (梨園拾趣: 表揚粵劇大師黃滔) as part of the UBC Centennial Program.

This exhibit includes Master Wong’s donations to the Asian Library, which contains Cantonese opera recording cassette tapes, Cantonese opera learning materials, and scores of Cantonese opera music.  Most of them are Master Wong’s private collections and some are his own works.

The display is dedicated to record and honor Master Wong’s remarkable contribution to the Cantonese opera in British Columbia.  Come and visit the display at the Asian Centre foyer until November 20, 2015.

See also: Display Honouring Master Toa Wong 梨園樂韻在卑詩 (2008)

Recording of Chinese rare materials lecture is now on YouTube

More than 50 people joined us on May 19 in the UBC Library Chinese Rare Materials lecture. Thank you to Prof. Boyue Yao (姚伯岳教授) from the Peking University Library and Dr. Bruce Rusk (阮思德教授) from the UBC Department of Asian Studies for sharing the history of Pang Jingtang Collection and introducing its authentication process. Prof. Yao is the Project Consultant of the UBC/UW CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Hidden Collection Project, working at the UBC Asian Library and Rare Books and Special Collections in April and May this year.  For more information about the CLIR project, please visit http://guides.library.ubc.ca/clir.

YouTube Preview Image

Summer Book Display: The Education of the Women as Citizens of “Modern Japan”

Modern Japan, Modern WomenUBC Asian Library’s Summer Book Display
The Education of the Women as Citizens of “Modern Japan”

Date: July 6 – August 21, 2015
Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri)
Location: Asian Centre Foyer

What changes can we observe regarding women’s everyday life, social status and career options during the fast-changing Meiji and Taishō Japan? Did “modernization” in fact mean the same thing, or similar or different, to both women and men? What did the new nation-state expect of its women, and how did they respond?

Our exhibit features select items from the Asian Library collections that help us glean how women at every stage of life were shaped to become part of the modern nation-state, and the social dynamics in accepting, or reacting to, that expectation. Some women were out in front and became pioneers in learning new things from the Western Powers and educating future generations. Some obediently followed the track laid out by the new nation-state toward becoming “good wife, wise mother” (良妻賢母, ryōsai kenbo), a slogan adopted from Victorian England. Some of course were more revolutionary—taking advantage of these new societal changes or refused to accept the ascribed gender role—and went their own ways.

Featured in the display include reports and photographs of schools, women’s magazines, satirical cartoons and advertisements reflecting new views on women. The exhibit also provides an opportunity to explore how the rhetoric of “modern women” evolved with the emerging imperialism and colonialism, and later picked up by colonized countries around Japan.

Please contact either Japanese Library Support at japanese.library.support@ubc.ca or phone the Asian Library Circulation Desk at (604) 822-2427 with any questions or thoughts. We are looking forward to your visit!

Click here for the exhibit brochure to find out more resources.


From Buddhism to Nestorian Christianity: The importance of the Silk Roads in the movement of ideas and religions across Central Asia

Welcome to Professor Yao Baoyue!

Professor Boyue Yao (姚伯岳), Rare Book Librarian from Beijing University Library, recently joined the Library to work on the CLIR Hidden Collection project. Library Development and the Asian Library recently hosted a small reception on April 16 to welcome Professor Yao to the Library, and to showcase some of the rare materials he will be working on.

Professor Boyue Yao discusses the significance of UBC Library's Asian materials.

Professor Boyue Yao discusses the significance of UBC Library’s Asian materials.

From left to right: Professor Boyue Yao, UBC's University Librarian, Ingrid Parent, and Mr. Ya min Wu, a special researcher at UBC's Asian Library.

From left to right: Professor Yao, Ingrid Parent, UBC’s University Librarian, and Ya min Wu, a special researcher at UBC’s Asian Library.

Chinese rare materials

A collection of rare Chinese materials were on display.


Chinese Rare Materials in UBC Library: focusing on Pang Jingtang Collection

The Book of Songs

The Book of Songs

UBC 圖書館珍貴的中國古文獻收藏:從龐鏡塘收藏說起

UBC 圖書館擁有異常豐富的中國古文獻收藏,吸引著世界各地的學者絡繹前往。其中最新入館的龐鏡塘藏書更以其珍貴稀見,引起學術界的高度關注。應邀前來鑒定龐鏡塘藏書的北京大學圖書館姚伯岳教授,將和UBC亞洲學系阮思德教授同臺亮相,講述龐鏡塘特藏的前世今生,介紹部分藏品的鑒定過程。聽眾將得以分享學者們的寶貴經驗,一窺中國古文獻的奧秘。

主講: 姚伯岳教授(北京大學圖書館)及 阮思德教授 (UBC亞洲學系)
日期: 二零一五年五月十九日(星期二)
時間: 下午二時三十分至四時
地點: UBC 蔡章閣樓120室 (1855 West Mall, Vancouver)

講座以中文進行, 附英文翻譯
報名及查詢: phoebe.chow@ubc.ca / 604-827-2760

UBC Library has an extremely rich collection of ancient Chinese literature, which has attracted a great number of scholars from around the world. Pang Jingtang Collection, one of the latest collections come to UBC Asian Library, has drawn a lot of attention from the academia because of its high value and rarity.

Professor Boyue Yao, Rare Book Librarian from Beijing University Library and Dr. Bruce Rusk from UBC Department of Asian Studies will give a lecture on Pang Jingtang Collection on May 19. They will lead you through the history of this special collection and introduce the authentication process of some of the books in the collection.

Xiong Tingbi and Yang Lian letters

Xiong Tingbi and Yang Lian letters

The audience will be able to learn the valuable experience of these two scholars and get a glimpse of the mysteries of ancient Chinese literature.

Speakers: Prof. Boyue Yao Peking University Library)&
Dr. Bruce RuskUBC Department of Asian Studies)
Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Address: Room 120, C.K. Choi Building (1855 West Mall, Vancouver)

The lecture will be in Mandarin with English translation.
Please RSVP to phoebe.chow@ubc.ca / 604-827-2760

Buddhism, Christianity and the Silk Road: An talk with Dr. Frances Wood

Book exhibit:Ŭigwe- The Royal Protocols of the Chosŏn Dynasty

Ŭigwe (의궤 儀軌) – The Royal Protocols of the Chosŏn Dynasty (1392~1910)

Date: May 01 – August 14, 2015
Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri)
Location: Asian Library (Upper Floor)

YouTube Preview Image


What is Ŭigwe (의궤 儀軌)?

Literally meaning “a model for rituals”, Ŭigwe is a collection of records on the preparation for and conduct of state-sponsored events and ceremonies involving key members of the Chosŏn Royal Family. The Chosŏn Dynasty ŭigwe texts were included in the 2007 UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program

Our exhibit will feature materials on Ŭigwe (의궤 儀軌) from the UBC Asian Library. Ceremonial records in the form of ŭigwe were kept throughout Chosŏn, indicating the value placed on ritual propriety in the Confucian world. They are also very meaningful in what they reveal about the philosophy and systems of Chosŏn rule. This exhibit will provide an opportunity to obtain a full appreciation of how important the ŭigwe collection is and how thorough Chosŏn recordkeeping was.

Please contact either Hana Kim, UBC Asian Library Head, by email at hn.kim@ubc.ca OR phone the Asian Library Circulation Desk at (604) 822-2427 with any questions. We are looking forward to your visit!

Click here for the book exhibit brochure


One year subscription to NK News (North Korean News)


Responding to our patron needs, UBC Library has been investigating ways on how best to increase access to and gather more reliable information about North Korea.  We are now pleased to announce that with generous funding support from the Centre for Korean Research at the Institute of Asian Research, we have managed to secure a one-year subscription of NK News.

Funded primarily by its subscribers, NK News is a unique and independent voice focusing on today’s North Korea. Content includes breaking news, in-depth investigations, exclusive interviews and analysis from leading experts.  The majority of its contents and database are also available for English speaking audiences providing a range of data tools to aid research on North Korea.

Please contact Hana Kim, Head, Asian Library, at hn.kim@ubc.ca directly if you have any questions about the database.

Asian Library’s opening hours in April

Due to statutory holidays and UBC exam period in April, Asian Library opening hours will be changed on the following dates:

April 3 (Friday) – Closed
April 4 (Saturday) – Closed
April 6 (Monday) – Closed
April 17 (Friday) – 9am-8pm
April 24 (Friday) – 9am-8pm
April 29 (Wednesday) – 9am-5pm
April 30 (Thursday) – 9am-5pm

Please check out the up-to-date hours at http://hours.library.ubc.ca/#view-asian.

New Trial Resource – NK News

Asian Library Open Hours Change during Reading Week

The week of February 16 is the Reading Week in UBC.  Asian Library open hours will be changed as follows:

Monday, February 16 9:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday, February 17 9:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday, February 18 9:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday, February 19 9:00am – 5:00pm
Friday, February 20 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, February 21 closed (due to building maintenance)
Sunday, February 22 closed

We will resume our regular hours on Monday, February 23.  For more information, please check out at http://hours.library.ubc.ca/

Lunar New Year Celebration 2015

Lunar New Year 2015

Come join us at the Lunar New Year celebration on February 13 at the UBC Asian Centre!

This is the second year that Asian Library works together with the Department of Asian Studies for this joyous event.  Main event starts at 10:00am, including a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate UBC Library’s 100th anniversary.  Heritage and non-heritage learners then demonstrate their Chinese language skills through songs, stories and comical performances. In the afternoon, participants can learn about the traditions and culture of Lunar New Year through various fun and informative activities!

Friday, February 13, 2015
10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall, UBC
Free and open to the public

Main Event 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
UBC Library’s 100th Anniversary Cake-Cutting Ceremony
Lion Dance
Student Performances

 $2 Lunch 12:30pm – 1:30 pm (Chinese Food)

Cultural Booths 12:30 pm – 3:30pm
Korean Traditional Games
Calligraphy & Seal Engraving
Chinese Knots & Paper Crafts
Eating for Prosperity

Lunar New Year Celebration Display 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

To learn more about Lunar New Year, visit http://diversity.ubc.ca/

UBC Library Celebrates 100 Years!

Asian Library Holiday Hours 2014

In front of Asian CentreAsian Library open hours during the Christmas and New Year holidays:

December 15-16 (Mon-Tue): 9am to 8pm
December 17-19 (Wed-Fri): 9am to 5pm
December 20-21 (Sat-Sun): closed
December 22-23 (Mon-Tue): 9am to 5pm
December 24 (Wed): 9am to 3pm
December 25 – January 1 (Thu-Thu): closed
January 2 (Fri): 9am to 5pm
January 3-4 (Sat-Sun): closed

We will resume our regular hours on Monday, January 5, 2015. Check out other library branches’ hours and locations.

Asian Library Extended Open Hours During Exams

To accommodate students’ study schedules, Asian Library will be open extended hours on Fridays during the examination period:

December 5: 9am – 8pm
December 12: 9am – 8pm

Please also visit Hours and Locations to check out the open hours of different library branches.

Don’t walk alone if you travel late at night after study. Call Safewalk at 604-822-5355! This is a free service that provides a co-ed team of walkers to accompany you to your destination on campus.

Thank you for joining us in the “Japanese Design Today” lectures

Nearly 200 people came to the “Japanese Design Today” lectures that took place on October 23, 2014. The event, which was co-presented by the Japan Foundation and Asian Library with the sponsorship of the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver and the Asian Studies Department,  featured two of the foremost experts on Japanese design. Professor Hiroshi Kashiwagi (柏木博) from Musashino Art University spoke on common elements of current Japanese design, including cute and minimal design. Mr. Yoshifumi Nakamura (中村好文), an architect and furniture designer, delved into the construction and design of a one-person, minimalist hut.

Japanese Design Today lecture

Introduction by Shirin Eshghi, Japanese Language Librarian, UBC Asian Library

Japanese DesignToday

Presentation by Professor Hiroshi Kashiwagi, Musashino Art University, with English interpretation








Interviews with Prof. Kashiwagi and Mr. Nakamura by Nikkei TV (in 2 parts):

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image



Puban Project Complete and Online!

Food For Fines at UBC Library

Lectures on Japanese design today

Japanese Design Today

Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014
Time: 2:00-4:30pm
Location: Asian Centre Auditorium, UBC (1871 West Mall)

This rare opportunity to learn about current trends in Japanese design and architecture will feature Professor Hiroshi Kashiwagi from Musashino Art University, and Mr. Yoshifumi Nakamura, an architect and furniture designer who also teaches at the College of Industrial Technology at Nihon University. The afternoon will begin with highlights from the Design 100 Exhibition, showing in Toronto and Montreal this fall. This will be followed by a lecture by Professor Kashiwagi, who will provide a broad overview of Japanese contemporary design, which is rooted in the modernization projects of the 1920s. Mr. Nakamura, from the position of a practitioner in the field, will explain the characteristics of Japanese design. The two lecturers will reveal the depth and wide scope of Japanese design through the key words crafty, minimal, thoughtful, compact, and cute.

Lectures will be given in Japanese with English interpretation.

Presented by: Japan Foundation Toronto & UBC Library
Sponsors: Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver & UBC Asian Studies Department

Punjabi Writer Series: Gill Moranwali

Mr. and Mrs. Gill Moranwali

Mr. and Mrs. Gill Moranwali

UBC Asian Library is pleased to bring you the new display featuring the works of award-winning Punjabi writer, Gill Moranwali.

Born in the village of Miranwali in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab, India, Gill Moranwali immigrated to Canada in 1970. In 1991 he obtained the “Punjabi Sahit Sabha Canada” award in recognition for his publications and two years later he received the “Rim Jhim Radio” award for his contributions in Vancouver.

Gill Moranwali is well-known in India, Pakistan, and Canada. Written more than fifty books in different Indian languages including Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi, Gill is one of few Canadian individuals who is interested in and pays effort to preserve Punjabi writings. He wrote about his Indo-Canadian experiences and the cultural aspects associated to his lifestyle. His style is focused and influenced by his Punjabi heritage. His poetry is based on love and for the people.

Babal Jaee Kee Kare” and “Amee Jaee Kee Kare” are his two most famous books. Both are examples of his couplet style poetry and are about the painful experiences women usually face in the Indian society. He writes of the values of Indian society and the gender inequality that exists.

Gill Moranwali also writes Punjabi ghazals. As Dr. Gurumel says, “in Punjabi ghazal writing, the name of Gill Moranwali is very popular. He is of simple nature with a calm mind yet his thoughts are full of depth.”

This new display is located on the upper floor of the Asian Library. For more information, please contact Sarbjit Randhawa, Indic Librarian at sarbjit.randhawa@ubc.ca.

Check out more about Gill Moranwali at http://youtu.be/g2TQGP5huOU (Community service-learning project by students in Dr. Anne Murphy’s Punjabi 300 class 2011-12).

Video of Professor Chia-ying Yeh’s birthday celebration is now on!

YouTube Preview Image

On July 26, approximately 150 friends and students of Chia-ying Yeh, Professor Emerita of Asian Studies, gathered at the Asian Centre Auditorium to celebrate with her on her 90th birthday.

Hosted by Asian Library, Department of Asian Studies, the Centre for Chinese Research and the Institute of Asian Research, along with the kind support of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the Chinese Canadian Writers’ Association, the celebration was also the Vancouver opening for the touring exhibition celebrating her life and work on her birthday.  To view the full program of the celebration, please click here.

Emcees Drs. Jan Walls and Lai Fong Leung

Emcees Drs. Jan Walls and Lai Fong Leung

Recitation of Yeh's poems and lyrics (L to R: Jan Walls, Ally Wang, Jenny Tse, Tommy Tao)

Recitation of Yeh’s poems and lyrics (R to L: Jan Walls, Ally Wang, Jenny Tse, Tommy Tao)

Guests presenting birthday gifts

Guests presenting birthday gifts

Happy Birthday to Professor Yeh!

Happy Birthday to Professor Yeh!

Exhibition at the Asian Centre foyer

Exhibition at the Asian Centre foyer

Exhibition on Library upper floor

Exhibition on Library upper floor



UBC Pay for Print service rolls out at UBC Library

Exhibition celebrating life and work of Professor Chia-ying Yeh on her 90th birthday

Prof. Chia-Ying Yeh

Asian Library, Department of Asian Studies, the Centre for Chinese Research and the Institute of Asian Research (along with the kind support of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the Chinese Canadian Writers’ Association) will jointly present an exhibition celebrating the life and work of Professor Florence Chia-Ying Yeh, a Professor Emerita of Asian Studies, on her 90th birthday this summer.

Professor Yeh is a worldwide renowned and esteemed scholar on Chinese classical literature. Born in 1924 in China, she graduated from the Fu Jen University in Beijing in 1945. She taught Chinese classical poetry at the National Taiwan University, Tamkang University and Fujen University in Taiwan in the 1950s and at the Michigan State University and Harvard University in the United States in the 1960s. Professor Yeh joined the UBC in 1969 and served till her retirement in 1989. In 1991, she was elected the Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is currently a member of the Central Research Institute of Culture and History and the Director of the Chinese Classical Cultural Research Institute, Nankai University in Tianjin, China.

The upcoming display will feature materials from earlier exhibitions in Taipei and Tianjin, including photographs and manuscripts, along with over hundred works of her that are collected by UBC Library. The exhibition will be held from July 28 to August 20, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., in the Asian Centre foyer and the upper floor of the Asian Library.

In Memory of Ms. Tung King Ng

TK Ng, Asian Library 1987 (UBC Archives 44.1/2774]

TK Ng and Asian Library, 1987 (UBC Archives 44.1/2774]

It is with sadness to announce that Ms. Tung King Ng (伍冬瓊), the first Head of the Asian Library, passed away on June 11 at age 92.

Ms. Ng graduated from the Chinese Department, University of Hong Kong on a scholarship with a stellar academic record and pursued library science studies in England. Upon graduating, she returned to Hong Kong where she worked as the Librarian of the Fung Ping Shan Library (馮平山圖書館) at her alma mater. In 1958, she received a Rockefeller Scholarship to the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. and UC Berkeley. She also visited major East Asian libraries in North America, including Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Yale in the same year.

Ms. Ng joined UBC Library as the Head of the new Asian studies division in December 1960, a year after the acquisition of 45,000 volumes of Puban Collections (蒲坂藏書). For the next 27 years, she provided outstanding leadership and mentorship to Asian Library staff, in particular the first Chinese and Japanese reference librarians, Mr. Yim Tse (謝琰) and Mr. Tsuneharu Gonnami (権並恒治). Working together, they developed the largest Eastern Asian collection at an academic library in Canada.

TK Ng with dictionary from the Pu-Pan collection 1962 (UBC Archives 1.1/1143(

TK Ng with dictionary from the Pu-Pan collection, 1962 (UBC Archives 1.1/1143)

“She was a smart, diligent and strong leader and a pleasant person,” Mr. Gonnami fondly recalls. “Everyone was happy to work with her.” Mr. Tse adds, “Ms. Ng is not only my boss, but a mentor throughout my library profession. She guides my way from a student assistant to a library assistant to a librarian.”

During her career at UBC, Ms. Ng was also a great friend of students opening her home to provide reasonable accommodation to students from Hong Kong.  Many of those students became life-long friends.  Ms. Ng was a devout Christian participating in many activities in her Anglican church including singing in the choir and assisting with administrative work.

A funeral service for Ms. Ng was held in Vancouver at the Anglican Network Church of the Good Shepherd on Friday, June 20th, 2014 followed by internment at Ocean View Burial Park.

In memory of Ms. Tung King Ng, Asian Library is setting up a display showing her pictures and publications. The display will be on between July 2 and 21, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Asian Centre foyer.

Walking tour and reception for Chinese-speaking residents

On June 9, Asian Library joined the Office of the Provost and VP Academic, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Campus and Community Planning (C+CP), and University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) in offering a walking tour and reception for the Chinese-speaking residents living on campus. The overall goals are to initiate a deepening of the connection and relationship between the University and the residents and to foster an intercultural neighbourhood.

The walking tour began at the Old Barn Community Centre at 7pm. Nearly 70 residents with most of them are members of UNA were divided into two groups. Led by Joe Stott (from C+CP) and Alden Habacon (from the Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development, Office the VP Academic), participants were introduced the various attractions, facilities, architectural elements of buildings as well as outdoor artworks while walking along the Main Mall and West Mall. Of course, Asian Centre was one of the points of interest as it is the home of the Asian Library!

The groups arrived in the Chan Centre at 8pm, where there were a mini-tour of the Centre, a short but fantastic performance by Infinitus, followed by a facilitated discussion and informal reception. Asian Library took this opportunity to introduce the UBC library resources and services to the residents by setting up a booth in the glass lobby. We also answered questions on library collections, borrowing privileges, library cards, etc. Thank you Jing, Phoebe, and SLAIS students Veronica & Crystal for taking part in this first cross unit collaboration for the Chinese-speaking residents in the University neighbourhood.

Meeting at Old Barn

Meeting at the Old Barn Community Centre

Walking Tour at Main Mall and Memorial Road

Walking Tour at Main Mall and Memorial Road

Outside the Asian Centre

Outside the Asian Centre

On the Chan Centre stage

On the Chan Centre stage

Jing introducing library collections to a participant

Jing introducing library collections to a participant

Asian Library booth in the Chan Centre lobby

Asian Library booth in the Chan Centre lobby

Exhibition of Historical Artifacts of Overseas Chinese & Historical Figures of the Ing Clan

Receipt stubs 1914In June 1914, Suey Sun Fong (胥山房) issued a receipt to Wu Yichou, who paid two dollars in membership enrollment fee. This receipt stub attests the existence of Wu (伍) clan association in Vancouver for over a hundred years.

Wu (or Ing, Eng, Ng) pioneers set foot in Canada as early as 1886. The largest number of them was from the Taishan County (台山縣) and Zhongshan County (中山縣) of Guangdong, China. Because of the language barriers and to cope with the difficulties caused by racial discrimination, they stayed together and supported one another. In 1920, they set up a shareholders group (百子會) to raise money from the clansmen to acquire a property at 389 East Hastings Street, which has become their living quarters, a meeting place and a contact point with families back home for the years after.

To celebrate the centennial of the association, Ing Suey Sun Tong Association of Vancouver (溫哥華伍胥山公所) will host an exhibition of Historical Artifacts of Overseas Chinese & Historical Figures of the Ing Clan (伍氏宗族華僑歷史文物和名人事跡展覽). Sponsored by the UBC Asian Library and the Chinese Stamp and Numismatic Society of Canada, the exhibition comprises two parts. The first part displays over hundred historic artifacts and documents including early records of shareholders and residents, charity donation receipts, photographs, furniture, and even a contract for the selling of a son (送子帖). The second part features the biographies of nine distinguished figures of the Wu clan.

Date: June 14 to July 14, 2014 (closed Mondays and holidays)
Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Venue: Chinese Cultural Centre Museum (555 Columbia Street, Vancouver)
Free admission on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Admission on Wednesdays and Thursdays ($3/adult, $2/senior or student)

At the same time, Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration (PCHC-MoM) Society is calling for volunteers to act as the “Cultural Ambassadors”, who will guide visitors at the exhibition and provide the basic information relating to the history and experience of Chinese pioneers in Vancouver. Click here for more information.

Origin of shareholders group

Call for volunteers: Cultural Ambassadors for the Ing Association exhibition

The Ing Suey Sun Tong Association (溫哥華伍胥山公所) will be hosting an exhibition titled “rare historical artifacts of Overseas Chinese & historical figures of the Ing Clan” (伍氏宗族華僑歷史文物和名人事跡展覽) in celebration of its centennial.  It will be held June 14 to July 14 at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver Museum in Chinatown. UBC Asian Library is one of the sponsors.

The following is posted on behalf of the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration (PCHC-MoM) Society, another partner of the Ing Association.

Receipt stub of membership dues 1914

Receipt stub of membership dues 1914

Call for volunteers

Calling all volunteers who are curious about the lesser-known history of BC.  If you can speak either English, Cantonese or Mandarin, and are willing to be trained to qualify as the “Cultural Ambassadors” of the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre (PCHC), please read on.

In support of the Centennial Anniversary of the Ing Suey Sung Tong Association of Vancouver, and their upcoming exhibition of rare artefacts of Overseas Chinese and Historical Figures of the Ing Clan, PCHC is offering a training program for volunteers to become “Cultural Ambassadors”, who will guide visitors at the said exhibition (see description of the Exhibition below) and provide some basic information relating to the history and experience of Chinese pioneers in Vancouver.

Eligibility requirements:

1. Fluency in either English, Cantonese or Mandarin.
2. Interest in learning more about the life and history of the early Chinese pioneers and in sharing that knowledge with others.
3. Attendance at the information session at 11am on June 7 (Saturday) at an appropriate place in Chinatown (to be determined).
4. Completion of a training program before assuming duties as guides at the exhibition which starts on June 14, 2014.
5. Availability to be on the roster of guides for at least 3 shifts during the period June 14 to July 14 when the exhibition is on.

To find out more, come to the mandatory information session on June 7 by pre-registering online here or by calling Ms Chunli Yang at  604-782-3866 to reserve a spot.

Winnie L. CHEUNG and Chunli YANG

Volunteer & Training Committee,
Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration (PCHC-MoM) Society

The Start of a Long Journey: Art Exhibition from CAFA

“A thousand-mile long journey starts from each and every step.”   – Dao De Jing

千里之行: 中央美术学院毕业生优秀作品收藏展
The Start of a Long Journey:
The Collection of Excellent Graduation Works (2012-13)
from China Central Academy of Fine Arts

June 3 – June 12
UBC Asian Centre Auditorium (1871 West Mall)
Opening: Tuesday, June 3 | 4:30 pm

Hosts: China Arts and Entertainment Group, China Central Academy of Fine Arts
Co-organizers: Association of Chinese Cultural Promotion-Canada, UBC Asian Library
Support: Consulate-General of The People’s Republic of China in Vancouver

Sixty pieces of outstanding works by twenty four China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) graduates from the past two years are presented in this exhibition, including oil painting, Chinese painting, print, installation, sculpture and video. The featured works make for an exemplary showcase of fine arts education in today’s China, as they reflect the level of fine arts education and the inclinations of the new generation of artists in China: how the young talents relate to the world, the society, and the surroundings through their arts.

“The Start of a Long Journey” program started five years ago. The motivation for the program is “to summarize the graduates’ work and achievements, as well as for CAFA to use this opportunity to recommend these excellent young artists to the viewers and society. These young people will become artists with independent exploration capabilities and plunge into the vast artistic community. The exhibition is the students’ first name card, prepared by their alma mater, to be used as an introduction to the society.”

This particular exhibition was produced at Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Antoinette Westphal Collage of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University, Philadelphia in USA in 2013. It is now moved to Vancouver and hopefully it could be a good platform for enhancing mutual understandings between the Chinese and Canadian artists.

WU Wei / Cutting books / 170x110cm / 2012

WU Wei / Cutting books / 170x110cm / 2012

LI Yang / Zero / Video / 12'24" / 2012

LI Yang / Zero / Video / 12’24” / 2012

The Search of Peking Man: Reading List

Nearly 70 people joined Dr. Harry CS Lam in the talk “The Search of Peking Man” on May 22 afternoon at the Asian Centre Auditorium, including Ken McAteer and Bev Nann, President and Vice President of Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society. Thank you so much!

The Search of Peking Man

The Search of Peking Man







The Search of Peking Man

Dr. Harry Lam







To dig out more about the mysterious story on the loss of Peking Man, borrow the following items from the UBC Library:

中國古人類 Fossil Man in China (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Museum of History, 1983) (Asian & Koerner Library)

賈彧彰、竇忠如 / 迷失周口店 (香港: 和平圖書有限公司, 2005) (Asian Library)

傑納斯著、董時新譯 / 北京人之謎 (香港: 崑崙出版公司, 1976?) (Asian Library)

秦轲, 郑明 / 神秘源: 影响人类文明的十大考古发现 (北京: 文物出版社, 2003) (Asian Library)

吳汝康 / 北京猿人遗址综合研究 Multi-disciplinary study of the Peking man site at Zhoukoudian (北京: 科学出版社, 1985) (Asian Library)

賈蘭坡、黃慰文 / 北京原人匆匆来去 : 発掘者が語る”発見と失踪 (日本経済新聞社, 1984) (Asian Library)

ハリー・L.シャピロ著 / 謎の北京原人 : どう生活し, どこに消えたか (徳間書店, 1975) (Barber Library)

松崎寿和 / 北京原人 (学生社, 1973) (Barber Library)

赤堀英三 / 中国原人雑考 (東京 : 六興出版, 1981) (Barber Library)

Amir Aczel, The Jesuit and the skull: Teilhard de Chardin, evolution, and the search for Peking Man (New York : Riverhead Books, 2007) (Okanagan Library)

Christopher Janus & William Brashler, The Search for Peking Man (New York: Macmillan, 1975) (Koerner and Okanagan Library)

Davidson Black, Fossil man in China: the Choukoutien cave deposits with a synopsis of our present knowledge of the late Cenozoic in China (Peiping: Geological Survey of China, 1933; New York: AMS Press, Inc. 1973) (Koerner Library)

De-KunZheng, Archaeology in China & Supplement (Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons Ltd. 1966) (Koerner and Barber Library)

Harry Shapiro, Peking man: The discovery, disappearance and mystery of a priceless scientific treasure (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974) (Koerner Library)

Lanpo Jia & Weiwen Huang, The Story of Peking Man: from archaeology to mystery (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1990) (Koerner Library)

Noel Boaz & Russell Ciochon, Dragon Bone Hill: an Ice-Age saga of Homo erectus (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) (Woodward & Okanagan Library)

Penny van Oosterzee, Dragon bones: the story of Peking Man (Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Pub., c2000) (Woodward Library)

Sigrid Schmalzer, The people’s Peking man: popular science and human identity in twentieth-century China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008) (Koerner & Okanagan Library)

Harry Shapiro, “The Strange, unfinished saga of Peking Man” in Natural History, V.80 November 1971, pp.8-18, 74-83 (Woodward & Okanagan Library)

Tiananmen 1989: A Book Display

25 years ago from April to June, tens of thousands of students gathered at the Tiananmen Square of Beijing to fight for democracy. The Chinese government condemned the movement as a “counter-revolutionary riot” and finally initiated a crackdown on June 3-4, which is also known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or June 4th Massacre.

About 100 items mainly from the UBC Library collections are displayed to commemorate and review this important historical incident.  The display will be on between May 1 and June 10 on the Asian Library upper floor.

Tiananmen 1989

Buddha’s Birthday on May 6!

诞节 | 花祭| 석가탄신일 | ਬੁੱਧਦਾਜਨਮ ਦਿਨ

BuddhaBuddha’s Birthday, the birthday of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, is a holiday traditionally celebrated in Mahayana Buddhism.

In many East Asian countries Buddha’s Birth is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar (but in Japan since 1873 on April 8 of the Gregorian calendar). This year the date falls on May 6.

Asian Library has set up a small book display to showcase selected items from the Asian Library collections on Buddha and Buddhism. It will be on from May 1 to 13 at the Asian Centre entrance.

Komagata Maru Project

In 1914, “Komagata Maru” carried 376 South Asian would-be immigrants to Canada, but it was turned away from Vancouver. This reflected a larger move against Asian immigration at that time in both popular and official circles.

In honour of the centenary of this tragic event, UBC Asian Studies and its partners have produced a multi-faceted program in early May to commemorate and understand more fully the incident and its ongoing significance in Canada today. Please click here for more information.

An evening with Ali Kazimi and the film Continuous Journey
(The Harjit Kaur Sidhu Memorial Program for 2014)
Thursday, May 1 | 7:00 p.m. | Centre Stage, New Surrey City Hall

Performing the Post-colonial: The political work of theatre
Saturday, May 3 | 2:00 p.m. | UBC St. John’s College

Performing the Komagata Maru: Theatre and the Work of Memory
Saturday, May 3 | 7:30p.m. | UBC Frederic Wood Theatre

Sunday, May 4 | 2:00 p.m. | UBC Frederic Wood Theatre
Friday, May 9 | 8:00 p.m. | Surrey Arts Centre
Tickets: $10 (at both venues)

Performing the Komagata Maru




Cigarette cards digitization project led by SLAIS students

Project home page

From January to April, Asian Library presented an exhibition on Li Desheng’s collection of cigarette cards under the title “Knowing 360 Jobs in Old China.  At the same time our GAA student Daisy Hui and her two fellows, Kimberly Garmoe and Sehdeep Kaur, at the UBC School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS) also initiated a digitization project on Li’s collection.

According to Daisy, this is the project for the course LIBR 582 Digital Images and Text Collections.  “I attended Li’s lecture during the Library’s New Year celebration. It’s really interesting, but I also noticed that it is not easy to get access to those cards because they are private collections.   So the idea of digitizing Li’s collection came into my mind as it would be useful for researchers who are interested in this area and also may attract those potential researchers.”

Both Kimberly and Sehdeep were happy about her idea. “We hope to see this can serve as a pilot project to increase the visibility of private collections existed in our community.  We would like to act as the bridge between researchers and valuable collection holders,” said Daisy.

Li Densheng has in his collection some 20,000 pieces of cigarette advertising materials.  Considering the limited amount of time they have for the course project, they three decided to pick and digitize about 60 cigarette cards.  The project now comes to the end and it turns out to be a great success, in terms of the presentation of the aesthetic beauty of the cigarette cards on the website as well as the accessible text information on the cards.

Everyone can visit http://cdm15935.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15935coll63 to view Daisy, Kimberly and Sehdeep’s work. Feedback are very welcome.

explorASIAN 2014: The Search of Peking Man

Peking Man skull

Peking Man skull

Come join the Asian Library to celebrate explorASIAN 2014 in the slide presentation “The Search of Peking Manby Dr. Harry C.S. Lam.  This is held on Thursday, May 22nd, 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Asian Centre Auditorium(1871 West Mall, Vancouver).

Peking Man refers to a group of individuals living in a location near Peking from 10,000 to about 800,000 years ago. The older ones are homo erectus and the more recent ones are homo sapiens. The fossils consist of more than 40 individuals, old and young, male and female.  They were discovered in the 1920s, and the excavation ceased in 1937 when Japan invaded China.

These ancient humans already knew how to use fire and eat cooked food. The more modern ones (10,000-30,000 years ago) presumably also wore clothes, because a sewing needle with an eye had been found. Imagine how difficult it is to grind down a piece of bone to a needle and make an eye on it, all without any metallic tool.

However, all these fossils were lost on the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941! To date they have not been found, and probably will never be. Dr. Harry Lam will walk you through this dramatic and mysterious story of their loss, and the subsequent search in Japan, China, and the United States.

explorasian_ahm_optDr. Harry C.S. Lam, Ernest Rutherford Emeritus Professor of Physics of McGill University and Honorary Professor of UBC Physics & Astronomy, is an internationally renowned leader in theoretical physics.  His work, characterized by its breadth as well as its insight, has greatly furthered high-energy physics research.  Lam has won the Faculty of Science’s Leo Yaffe Award for Excellence in Teaching and has served as chair of the Department of Physics, as well as on many university committees.

Partnered with the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, “The Search of Peking Man” is conducted in English with Q&A session in both English and Chinese. It is free and open to the public. For inquiry, please contact Phoebe Chow at 604.822.2427.

Happy Vaisakhi!

Celebrating Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi is a festival celebrated across northern India to commemorate the harvest season and the birth of the Khalsa. It is celebrated with great fervour by the Sikh community in India and by the Sikh diaspora around the world.

This day is also observed as the Thanksgiving Day by the farmers whereby they pay their tribute to God, thanking him for the abundant harvest and also praying for the future prosperity. The festival holds great significance for the Sikhs due of the fact that on the day of Vaisakhi in the year 1699, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa, the Order of the Pure Ones.

For more information about Vaisakhi, come and visit our new display at the Asian Centre foyer! The display will be on until the end of May.

Vaisakhi display







Thank you for participating the Elegant Gathering of Confucianists

Co-presented by the UBC Asian Library and School of Music, “An Elegant Gathering of Confucianists” (儒家雅集) was successfully held on Thursday, Mar 20. It had a big turnout with more than 100 people actually! Wish everyone enjoyed the performance of Qin zither and Chinese calligraphy.  Highlight of the event fell on the performance of traditional melody “Spring River, Flowers and the Moon at Night” (春光花月夜) accompanied by the calligraphy of “Qingping diao” (清平調).  You can click here  for the full program.

A big thank you to the followings who make this event successful:
Master Lin Min (林敏) & students
Master Li Desheng (李德生)
Artists from the Canada Hua Feng Artists Association (加拿大華楓藝術家協會)
Dr. Alan Thrasher, UBC School of Music
Daisy Hui, GAA, UBC Asian Library

Calligraphy demonstration

Calligraphy demonstration (Master Li Desheng)












Qin and Xiao (Rong Shao and Lan Yang)

Qin and Xiao (Rong Shao and Lan Yang)










Qin and Huapen Gu (Master Lin Min and Alan Lau)

Qin and Huapen Gu (Master Lin Min and Alan Lau)











Guzheng and Calligraphy (Master Li Desheng and Lin Min)

Guzheng and Calligraphy (Master Lin Min and Li Desheng)












Guzheng and Calligraphy (Master Li Desheng and Lin Min)

Guzheng and Calligraphy (Master Lin Min and Li Desheng)

Haft-seen display at the Asian Centre



The Asian Library will be displaying a haft-seen table spread to celebrate Persian New Year (Norouz). The haft-seen is comprised of seven (haft) edible items that start with “seen” (س ) an “S” sounding alphabet.  Each household normally creates a decorative haft-seen and this is left up throughout the New Year season, which lasts for 13 days.

The seven main items to include on the table spread are:

Serkeh سرکه  (vinegar)
Senjed سنجد (dried lotus fruit)
Sabzeh سبزه (“greens” or sprouts grown specifically for the new year)
Siib سیب (apple)
Samanu سمنو (wheat germ paste)
Siir سیر (garlic)
Sumac سماق (a spice)

For more information on Persian New Year, see the UBC Intercultural Understanding Blog post.

An Elegant Gathering of Confucianists

Gathering of Confucianists

Playing qinWelcome to join us for a special performance and demonstration of the traditional Chinese arts of qin zither (琴) and calligraphy (書法) – two of the most important accomplishments of the Confucian scholar.  Both types of music and art are experiencing a strong revival in interest in China and around the world, reflecting shared values of the ancient past.

Thursday March 20, 2014
12:00 noon – 2:00pm
(Calligraphy exhibition 11:30am to 3:00pm)

UBC Asian Centre Auditorium (1871 West Mall, Vancouver)


12:00pm – 12:30pm   Calligraphy demonstration by Master Li Desheng

12:30pm – 1:15pm     Qin Zither performance by Master Lin Min
1:15pm – 1:30pm       Calligraphy and Qin Zither (春江花月夜) – Master Li and Lin
1:30pm – 2:00pm       Calligraphy demonstration by Master Li

Master Li Desheng (李德生)

Li DeshengOriginally from Beijing, Li Desheng is a renowned calligrapher, writer and collector.  As the Founding President of the Canada Hua Feng Artists Association (加拿大華楓藝術家協會), he participants in various calligraphy and painting exhibitions and gives lectures on calligraphy, oriental folklore, cigarette cards, Chinese operas, etc.  He is currently the calligraphy instructor at the Richmond Chinese Community Society (列治文華人社區協會) and Richmond Senior Activity Centre (老年人活動中心).

Master Lin Min (林敏)

Lin MinLin Min began her career as a qin (zither) performer in 1992, studying with the great Guangling School (廣陵派) masters of central-eastern China, notably with Lin Youren (林友仁) at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Since moving to Vancouver three years ago, she has established a local qin studio and has an active student following.  Lin has been teaching and performing at UBC since 2012.


This event is co-presented by the UBC Asian Library & School of Music, and collaborated by the Canada Hua Feng Artists Association. It is free and open to the public.





Calligraphy Lecture & Demonstration with Kataoka Shikō

Kataoka Shiko

Kataoka Shiko

The Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver, Keifūkai Vancouver and UBC Asian Library are hosting an evening with renowned calligrapher Kataoka Shikō  (片岡紫江) on Monday, February 24th, 6:30pm at the UBC Asian Centre Auditorium (1871 West Mall, Vancouver). Ms. Kataoka will provide a lecture and demonstration in Japanese, with English translation provided by Dr. Sonja Arntzen.

Kataoka Shikō is a member of the Japan Academy of the Arts and the President of the Keifukai Calligraphy Association. Her international exhibition participation includes China, Hong Kong, Europe, United States and Canada.  Dr. Sonja Arntzen, Professor Emerita of Classical Japanese Literature at the University of Toronto, has collaborated in several exhibitions with Shikō. She published a new translation of the Kagero Diary in 1997.

This event is co-Sponsored by UBC Asian Studies Department and the UBC Asian Studies Interest Association.  It is free and open to the public.

Calligraphy by Kataoka Calligraphy by Kataoka

Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Asian Centre!

Chinese New Year 2014 Front Page

The Year of the Horse is approaching! UBC Asian Library, in collaboration with the Department of Asian Studies, will be celebrating the Lunar New Year at the Asian Centre on Friday, February 7, from 10:00am to 4:00pm (map).

The main event hosted by the Department of Asian Studies will start at 10:00am. It is a spectacular celebration of Chinese culture with performances from professional Lion Dancers, UBC students and the UBC Chinese Ensemble (click here for more information).

The Asian Library will then be joining in the afternoon by offering the following programs:

Write Calligraphy
Wear Chinese Traditional Costumes & Take Photos (in collaboration with Hanfu Culture Society)
Tie Chinese Knots
Make Paper Crafts

ASIAN BOOK SALE (1:00-4:00pm)
Bring a tote bag with you!  This book sale carries lots of new, used, and hard-to-find books and some journals. Most are in Asian languages (mainly in Chinese, Japanese and Korean and Indic languages) and some in English.  Prices range from $.10 to $5. Many subject areas, including history, language, literature, religion, philosophy and fine arts.  All items CASH and CARRY.

LECTURE (in Mandarin) (2:00-3:00pm)
“Cigarette Cards and Chinese Customs” by Desheng Li
风行于清末民初的香烟画片与中国民俗 (李德生主讲, 以普通话进行)

Beautiful China Photo Exhibition (In collaboration with the Consulate General of PRC Vancouver) (Asian Centre foyer)
春节文化走进图书馆 – 美丽中国图片展览 (与中华人民共和国驻温哥华总领馆合办)

Knowing 360 jobs in Old China from Cigarette Cards (Asian Library upper floor)

Test yourself how well you know about the Library. Prizes are waiting for you! You can also get a stamp to enter the lucky draw.

This event is free and open to the public. Come and celebrate with us! For inquiry, please call 604-822-2427.

Beautiful China Photo Exhibition

Grassland in Xinjiang

Grassland in Xinjiang

A beautiful China is defined by all kinds of beautiful elements: green mountains, peaceful lakes, harmony between man and nature, eco-friendly consciousness in urban planning and development, smile on faces,  happiness in heart…….you can now explore more through the lens of the photographers in China.

Co-presented by the Asian Library and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, “Beautiful China” photo exhibition highlights more than 20 colourful pictures that bring you to different regions of China and experience the beauty of the country.  This exhibition is hosted under the theme “Spring Festival Culture in the Library”.  Come check it out between February 7 to March 17 at the foyer of Asian Centre.

“Beautiful China” is organized by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and presented by the Centre of International Cultural Exchange.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year

绿水青山的自然之美,均衡发展的和谐之美,与时俱进的创造之美, 追求幸福的心灵之美, 正是这色彩斑斓的美, 描绘出一幅幅美丽中国的图景, 现在你可以透过摄影师的镜头去捕捉体会和发掘。

由卑诗大学亚洲图书馆及中华人民共和国驻温哥华总领馆联合主办的”美丽中国图片展”, 展出共二十多幅由中国摄影家们拍摄的图片, 带你走遍中国大地不同地区欣赏中国之美。是次展览乃属总领馆“春节文化走进图书馆”活动,由二月七日至三月十七日在亚洲中心举行。查询请电 604.822.2427。

“美丽中国” 由中华人民共和国文化部主办, 中外文化交流中心策划。


Exhibition: Knowing 360 Jobs in Old China from Cigarette Cards

Lantern seller

Lantern seller 卖灯笼

Come check out the new exhibition “Knowing 360 Jobs in Old China from Cigarette Cards” (从烟画看旧中国的三百六十行) on the upper floor of the Asian Library from January 6 to April 5, 2014.

Cigarette cards, also known as cigarette picture chips, first appeared in 1875 in North Carolina.  They were attached to cigarette packs or boxes as a means to attracting publicity.  In 1885, cigarette cards were brought into China, and they became very popular in the early 20th century when the war of the tobacco trade got increasingly intense.  At the time when photography was still at its developing stage, these finely printed cigarette cards, rich in colors and contents as well as in their cultural qualities of the time, win them the reputation of  “a museum in hand” (一座手中的博物馆) and are highly treasured in the history of art.

“360 jobs” is a collective name used by people in general to refer to all types of jobs in the traditional handicraft industry and occupations in old China. They include jobs relating to clothing, food, accommodation, transportation, entertainment and even street hawking and hundreds of manual laboring jobs of all kinds. This exhibition mainly showcases Desheng Li’s personal collection and copies of cigarette cards that featured the activities of folks from all walks of life in old China.  One can catch a glimpse of what life was like in the late-Qing and early-Republic of China years and the many socio-economic changes that took place thereafter in China.

Sesame oil workers

Sesame oil workers 磨麻油

Desheng Li (李德生) is a writer, calligrapher and collector.  He is a researcher of the Culture Regeneration Research Society, a columnist of the Japanese journal History of Tobacco and a veteran member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain Painting Card Association. He has in his collection some 20,000 pieces of cigarette advertising materials produced by both domestic and foreign tobacco companies in China.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Li will give a lecture titled “Cigarette Cards and Chinese Customs” (风行于清末民初的香烟画片与中国民俗) on Friday, February 7th, 2:00-3:00pm during the Library’s Lunar New Year Celebration. The lecture will be conducted in Mandarin with slide show.  For more information on the programs of the New Year celebration, please click here.

More Information about the display and cigarette cards:
Display Introduction
Display Poster
Digital Collection: Li Desheng cigarette cards collection (SLAIS student digitization and community project)


Tsugaru Shamisen workshop with Hiroshi Yamaguchi (Nov 12)

Hiroshi YamaguchiUBC Asian Library, Asian Studies Department and Mokuyokai co-present a Shamisen workshop with renowned Tsugaru Shamisen artist Hiroshi Yamaguchi, which will be held Tuesday November 12, 6:30pm at the Asian Centre Auditorium in UBC (1871 West Mall, Vancouver).

Hiroshi Yamaguchi, one of Japan’s top young Tsugaru Shamisen performers, is visiting Vancouver for the cross-cultural collaborative concert, “Bang Danjos“.  First on stage at the age of 4, Hiroshi learnt Tsugaru Shamisen from his father Koji Yamaguchi and other Shamisen artists.   He completed his undergraduate and graduate degree at the Tokyo Geijutsu Digaku (Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1999 and 2001 respectively.  Since then he has been  a leading member of a new generation of performers in the genre, involving in various performances, workshops, TV & radio programs  in Japan, USA, China, Korea, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Vietnam, Thailand, UK and Spain.  His first album “Kuro Maru” collaborating with western instruments was released in 2011.

On this evening Hiroshi will discuss his journey with the Shamisen: its challenge, the history and his successes. The event will be in Japanese with English translation. Check out here for more information.

Celebrating Hindi Literature – a book display

Uthati Hilorein

Uthati Hilorein

UBC Library’s Asian Library is pleased to bring you a book display “Celebrating Hindi Literature” featuring Madhu Varshney and other popular Hindi poets. It is located on the Asian Library upper floor and the Asian Centre foyer from October 30 through November 12,  2013.

Madhu Varshney was born August 1945 in Sarai Tarin (U.P.) Dist., Moradabad, India.  She has post graduate degrees in Hindi Literature and in Economics.  In her undergraduate studies, she specialized in Literature – Hindi, English and Sanskrit. As an active member of the Indian community in Vancouver, Madhu was awarded British Columbia Community Achievement Award in 2008.

Madhu’s interest lies in teaching languages, folk songs and dances. She has compiled eight books on religion, spirituality and folk song like Maharishi Dayanand Kaa Gourav Gaan (2013) as well as published two collections of her poems Bhav-Tarang and Uthati Hilorein. The newly published Uthati Hilorein (Rising Waves) is a collection of modern Hindi poems about nature, spirituality and love.




Memory of Korean War Performing by Ilsoo Kyung – An New Exhibit

Ilsoo and cart

Come and visit Asian Library’s new exhibit Memory of Korean War Performing by Ilsoo Kyung MacLaurin in the Asian Centre foyer from September 23 until January 31, 2014.

Born in Korea, Ilsoo shares some of her memories of the Korean War in this exhibition. As a child living on a farm, Ilsoo and her family were forced to flee their home with literally what we could carry on a small cart. Food was scarce then and she can remember the many hardships they had to endure while running away from the violence.  Her family was able to return to their farm after the fighting stopped. Ilsoo became a nurse and immigrated to Canada in 1967.

Canada for decades has been Ilsoo’s home and it has reshaped her into who she is today. Living here in Vancouver, she has witnessed a different kind of hardship seen in certain downtown neighbourhoods. This inspired her to re-enact her childhood escape from the Korean War. She is attempting to draw attention to the plight of the downtown Eastside homeless. These works of art blend together the cultural themes that she identifies herself with.

About Ilsoo Kyung MacLaurin

Ilsoo art workIlsoo is a multi-media artist. She started painting in early 1997, and continued after retiring from her nursing career in 2002. She graduated at UBC with a Bachelor of Fine Art, major in Visual Art.  She has involved in numerous solo and group exhibitions.  Many of her art works are in private collections in Korea, Australia, the United States and Canada.

Ilsoo’s work is focused in personal identity and expression, as well as themes in the context of Korea and Canada. In her recent work, she is exploring her cultural identity; and in the process, new synthesis is emerging in her own individual practice of painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, video, photography, digital imagery, performing art and installation works.

Her works are grounded in the natural world, but looking beyond the scenic or the physical form to search for symbols and meaning in all that she encounters; her style is representation with special attention to colour, texture and form. Ilsoo’s work has been featured in a number of articles in magazines including Senior Living, the Delta Optimist, the Tricity newspaper and YouTube.  For more information, visit http://www.ilsookyung.com/.

Father and the Republic – Pai Hsien-yung lecture & book display

Father and the RepublicPai Hsien-yung (白先勇), one of the most important modern Chinese fiction writers, will be visiting Vancouver next week and giving lecture on his book Father and the Republic (父親與民國) at this year’s Yip So Man Wat memorial Lecture hosted by the Department of Asian Studies.

Father and the Republic is a photobiography devoted to the life and career of the late General Pai Ch’ung-hsi (白崇禧 1893–1966), father of Pai Hsien-yung. General Pai’s career both paralleled and profoundly influenced the history of the Republic of China. This book includes nearly six hundred photographs that serve to illustrate the public career and family life of General Pai from the 1920s to his days in Taiwan. As a witness to the birth of the first republic in Asia, Pai Ch’ung-hsi felt an unwavering sense of loyalty to it and chose to stay on in the Republic’s last foothold in China.

In conjunction with the lecture, Asian Library has set up a book display on Pai Hsien-yung’s works, which is located at the Asian Centre entrance from September 26 until October 19.  For more information on the lecture and other associated events, please visit http://www.asia.ubc.ca/2013/08/26/2013-yip-so-man-wat-memorial-lecture-guest-speaker-pai-hsien-yung/.







Our Truth – Reconciliation at Asian Library

TRC display at AsianThe week of September 16-22 is the BC Reconciliation Week.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), which was established in 2008 to gather testimony on survivors’ experiences of the Indian Residential Schools, is also holding its BC National Events at Vancouver PNE from September 18-21.

UBC is dedicated to developing a better understanding of Indian Residential School histories, the policies that guided the operations of the schools, and their effects upon individuals and communities.  The University will be suspending classes on September 18 to allow students, faculty and other members of the UBC community to participate in this historic event and other events around the city.

Asian Library, as part of the UBC Library, joined this campus-wide initiative by setting up a display to feature books, journal and blog articles as well as newspaper clippings on the Indian Residential Schools, in particular from an Asian perspective. It’s located in the Asian Centre foyer from September 16 to 25.  Exhibits and displays on the Aboriginal issues can also be found at Education Library, Koerner Library, and Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. 

For more information, visit facebook/ourtruthubc | twitter/ourtruthubc | ubc.ca/ourtruth







Creating with Paper – a new display

Paper dolls

Paper dolls by Ilsoo Kyung

Paper is a medium of ideas.

We write or print on paper every day to record what is in our mind.  Paper is also a versatile medium for artist to express their creative thoughts.

From trained artists to kindergarten students, they use techniques of folding, cutting, pop-ups, papier-mâché to create fascinated papercraft to decorate their lives.

CREATING WITH PAPER highlights selected library collections on paper art as well as features artworks including traditional Chinese papercuts, paper dolls by Korean artist Ilsoo Kyung, origami (paper folding), pop-ups, etc.



Come check out the exhibition on the upper floor of the Asian Library from August 26 to October 19. It is open to the public during the library open hours:

Monday through Friday 9am – 5pm

Monday through Thursday 9am – 8pm
Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 12noon – 5pm
(Library is closed on Labour Day Sept 2 and Thanksgiving Day Oct 14)


Donations from New World Press

Zhang Hai’ou, Editor-in-chief, and three other representatives from the New World Press (新世界出版社) visited the Asian Library on Tuesday, June 25. They generously presented to the Library 16 titles of Chinese monographs, including “我们的荊轲(莫言)”,  “做个快乐读书人(刘墉)”, “沙海(南派三叔)”, “平凹文墨迹(贾平凹)”, “漫画一生(华君武)”, “北大国学课”, “”一百个中国人的梦”, etc.  The books are now on display at the Asian Centre entrance until July 10 and will be available for circulating the week after.

Sha HaiZhongguo ren de meng  Bei da guo xue ke

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC  | © Copyright The University of British Columbia