Hanfu Movement lectures come to Toronto

Two lectures in November. Come and join the excitement!

Two lectures in November. Come and join the excitement!

Last year, a series of academic lectures was given in Hong Kong regarding the Hanfu movement. To much acclaim, The University of Toronto Northshore Society has graciously organized with the cooperation of the Han Chinese Culture Association at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus for the same lectures to be held in Toronto! For those who have missed the first lecture, please join us for the second week lectures, and for those who have attended the first lecture, we look forward to continuing our discussions in the coming week!

Below is the introduction blurb:

When it comes to Chinese clothing, the Cheongsam or tight-fit Qipao comes to mind. Since 2001, ‘Tangzhuang’ was popularized as the ‘modernized’ ethnic Chinese dress, repatriating a heritage of 19th century Chinatowns as the new chic. The new generation of Chinese traditionalists disagreed though – pointing out that the dress is a misappropriation of imperialism and colonialism. With the power of the Internet, these young people recreated and wore HANFU – Chinese cross-collared robes recently only seen in …TV dramas and paintings, but were met with misunderstanding, hate, and even “racial” violence by their own people, in China and in its diaspora communities around the world.

What’s the fuss with identifying “Chinese dress”? Why would Chinese attack those wearing its own fashion tradition? Juni Yeung (PhD Candidate, UofT History) would like to talk and share the joys and tears on fashion, identity, and a facet of an Internet-connected, de-colonializing global Chinese community.

Speaker: Juni Yeung (PhD Candidate, UofT History)

Lecture 1: Nov 3, 2013, Sunday, 5pm-9pm, Hart House-Music Room
Topic: The Han Chinese Cultural Renaissance Movement of the 21st Century: The System of Objects

Lecture 2: Nov 10, 2013, Sunday, 5pm-8pm, South Dining Room
Topic: The current challenges to the hanfu movement: Blindspots, pitfalls, and debates

Facebook Events Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1404570836443228/
Language: English, Admission: Free, Email: northshoresociety.ut@gmail.com

You can download the slides for the lecture, as well as relevant media, as they are released after post-production.

Lecture 1: Slides for Lecture 1 (PPTX) Audio (TBA) Video (Youtube)

Lecture 2: NorthShore – Lecture 2 (PPTX) Audio (TBA) Video (TBA)
EDIT* Lecture slides for session 2 are now up.

The Cost of A Guqin Curriculum

Two of Yang Qing's young students in a gathering, Beijing 2006.
Qin: (Was) An elite bourgeois lifestyle, (now) simply bourgeois?

In light of a series of frequent emails inquiring about the costs to learning the guqin, it would be fitting for the society to outline the financial realities of studying the zither in a modern day society: As the leading element of the Four Scholarly Arts, the guqin has always been a bourgeois pastime with high expenses. First, qins were rare and often folklore depicts them passed rather than purchased, and the strings (traditionally silk) involve expensive materials and professional handling, making the instrument itself a difficult object to procure. The most famous analogy was that a well-made Lei family made qin (In 10th century CE) in its contemporary time was worth 100 taels of gold: in today’s terms, that would be 3.77964 kilograms of gold – CAD$5,388,034.71 in today’s context of high gold prices!

Thankfully, not all qins are priced (more than) its weight in gold: after the Cultural Revolution, the re-emerging of qin-making industries have significantly brought down prices and made the instrument available to anyone with a bit of spending money. Nylon-metal strings, first adapted onto qins by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, have also contributed lowering the costs of owning and maintaining an instrument.
In terms of the recent half-century in qin prices, the best time to buy a (commonly-priced) instrument was in the 1980’s to 1990’s, when even pre-modern instruments dating from as early as the 16th century can be purchased for a mere few hundred Chinese Yuan, although high-end markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan would range in the HKD 10 to 15k range, or about CAD 2 to 3k at the time.
Since UNESCO’s declaration of protecting the arts in 2003, prices have gone on a steady increase from mere hundreds to an average of 1,500 Renminbi per introductory level instrument of playable quality. This price has went to 3,000 RMB in 2006, 5,000 in 2009, and hovering at this level (at times seeing RMB7,000 with an agent) today. A newly made instrument vary in price and quality with the wide range of makers, ranging from RMB$1,000 (but mostly unplayable ‘toys’ coated with paint) to RMB$10,000 of professional quality.
For the overseas player, one can assume about RMB3,000 for the transport of an instrument, often doubling the price of the instrument. Toronto shops sell instruments ranging from CAD$800 to $1,500, of various dates and quality. Books are often retailed at the same numerical value in CAD (from RMB), and string replacements are roughly equivalent to Chinese prices, at CAD$40 to 70.
Below is a shortlist of the costs involved in starting guqin in Toronto (or most N. American/European cities with local supply): More


June 2023