Thursday, April 30, 2015

Found it!: Pittsburgh's Asia Way.



The intersection of Asia Way and Cypress St. in Bloomfield (map). "Asia Alley" can be seen on maps dating back to at least 1899.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Korean Heritage Room in Cathedral of Learning slated for November 15 dedication.

Korean Heritage Room Pitt
One design by Arumjigi (아름지기)

The Korean Heritage Room in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning has been in development for nearly a decade. In 2007, then-Chancellor Nordenberg allotted room 304 to the Korean Heritage Room Committee, and subsequent news articles always put its open a few years away. In the Spring 2015 Nationality Rooms Newsletter, released today, we learn that the dedication ceremony will be held on November 15. In the Message from the Director, on page 3, Director E. Maxine Bruhns writes:
The Korean Heritage Room’s walls, ceiling and floor arrived in a seaborne container on a truck March 27. Construction will begin in May when six Korean carpenters and three supervisors will construct the Room based on a 14th Century academic structure in Seoul.
Details continue to be sparse, though a pamphlet circulated at the 2012 Korean Food Bazaar talks about the proposed layout:
The design of the KHR is faithfully based on our historic academic institution, Sungkuenkwan. The room wil be equipped with a state-of-the-art audiovisual system including an interactive touch screen LCD monitor. Thus through this endeavor, we will have an opportunity to showcase our splendid 5000-year history and cultural image, as well as the intellectual and economic prosperity of South Korea.
And the Korean Heritage Room Committee website wrote, in 2012, on the design and planning:
In July 2009, the team including two candidate architects visited Pitt and met with the University architect for briefing of requirements related to the project. Ms. Minah Lee of Coparch Studio in Seoul was eventually selected as the primary architect. She, together with Mr. Young Suk Jang of Arumjigi Culture Keepers and Professor Bong Ryol Kim of Korea National University of Arts, returned in February 2012 and presented a detailed design of the KHR to the Pitt contingency and the U.S. architects including Mr. Park Rankin of the University and Mr. Kenneth Lee of McLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni. The overall design concept of the KHR room was well-received, and only a few minor details are yet to be determined.
This duality is a common theme in Korean national brand marketing, and this room will reflect both a traditional image of Korea (at least a traditional image of old Korean universities) and a modern one, given that South Korea is an industry-leader in electronics (like the touchscreen monitors made by Samsung and LG, for instance).

In addition to the rendering by Arumjigi atop the post, a few other concept drawings have appeared online. Details are a bit inconsistent, owing to the duration of the project, the number of consultants involved, and the lack of updates by the KHRC and the designers.



A pamphlet from 2009 by 내촌목공소 (.pdf) has more details about dimensions and building materials of the design by architect Minah Lee:


via 내촌목공소 (Naechon Carpenter's Workshop).

The Cathedral of Learning has dozens of Nationality and Heritage Rooms on its first and third floors which
represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County and are supported by these cultural groups and governments.

2015 Donnie Yen movie Kung Fu Killer (一個人的武林) at Hollywood Theater, May 1 through May 4.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show 2015's Kung Fu Killer (一個人的武林) from May 1 through May 4. Wikipedia provides a summary of the movie, which is now commonly known as Kung Fu Jungle in English:
Hahou Mo, a martial arts expert and police self-defense instructor (Donnie Yen) is incarcerated for involuntary manslaughter during a fight with an opponent. Three years later, a vicious killer (Wang Baoqiang) emerges and starts killing retired martial arts masters that Hahou knows. With his own personal agenda, Hahou reveals he knows the killer's next intended victims and offers to aid Inspector Luk Yuen-Sum (Charlie Young) in capturing the killer with his martial arts skills and knowledge in exchange for his freedom.
Tickets are available online via the theater's calendar. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Asian American Women's Symposium: Bamboo or Glass Ceilings? The Challenge and Opportunities Asian Women Entrepreneurs Face" at Chatham University, May 2.



Chatham University will host "Asian American Women's Symposium: Bamboo or Glass Ceilings? The Challenge and Opportunities Asian Women Entrepreneurs Face" on Saturday, May 2. The press release, from Chatham:
The Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) Pittsburgh is partnering with the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University, The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE) Pittsburgh, and the Business Department at Chatham University to host the upcoming Women Entrepreneurs Symposium on Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Mellon Board Room of Chatham University’s Shadyside Campus. Registration (which includes lunch) is $30; $20 for CWE/AACCP/TiE Members; and $10 for students.

Facilitated by Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, the panel discussion, entitled ‘Bamboo or Glass Ceilings? The Challenges and Opportunities Asian Women Entrepreneurs Face’, will feature a group of successful Asian female entrepreneurs from the Pittsburgh area. Panelists include Dr. Priya Narasimhan, CMU Professor and Founder of YinzCam, Inc, Cassandra Pan, President of Fenner Dunlop Americas, and Nicki Zevola, Founder of FutureDerm. Debra Lam, Chief Innovation and Performance Officer in the Office of Mayor Peduto, will unveil the city’s “Innovation Roadmap” as the keynote speaker.

Pittsburgh Business Times on new Sushi Fuku location(s).

On Friday, the Pittsburgh Business Times wrote on the Sushi Fuku restaurant under construction on Craig St., its owner, and its future plans:
Building on his experience of running the sushi bar franchise for Giant Eagle supermarkets, [owner Ting] Yen has been devising a system for Sushi Fuku for six years, seeing opportunity in new automated machinery for preparing seaweed and rice that is being used in Japan and Manhattan.

It’s a combination of assembly line processing paired with the traditional knife and hand-rolling skills of sushi making that's enabled Sushi Fuku to dramatically cut down on the preparation time. Yen said the added automation is the only way to to serve very high-quality sushi at an affordable price in a restaurant that also allows diners to completely customize their orders.

The success of the first Sushi Fuku has given Yen confidence to pursue expansion.

“We serve between 300 to 500 customers a day,” he said. “We’re always packed.”
The first Sushi Fuku opened on Oakland Ave. in 2012. Signage has been up on the Craig St. facade for a while, but the L.A. Galbi hoax last fall has led us to wait for more confirmation before posting.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jung-ho Kang on Instagram.

The Korean media is watching Jung-ho Kang's Instagram, too.


Via 스포츠투데이.

"눈오는날 야구를하다니. .처음이다 ㅋ" Kang wrote on the 23rd. Roughly: "Playing baseball in the snow . . That's a first ha". His handle is sdew0405.

Guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto at Carnegie Library in Oakland, April 26.

The Carnegie Library will host guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto on April 26 as this month's installment of its World Kaleidoscope series.
Japanese guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto takes us on an innovative, impressionistic journey filled with earthy, organic soundscapes that impart of mood of tranquility. Eclectic, immersive and mesmerizing, Tsukamoto offers a hypnotic blending of Japanese roots, folk and jazz. Hiroya will share his “chops, passion and warmth” here at the Library, but feel free to find out more at his website. All ages!
The performance runs from 2:00 to 3:00 pm and is free and open to the public. The Main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is located in Oakland at 4400 Forbes Ave. (map).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 Korean Food Bazaar, May 2 in Shadyside.



There is now a poster to go with the April 5 post about the annual Korean Food Bazaar in Shadyside. Look for 2015's Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh Korean Food Bazaar (제20회 선교바자회) on May 2, from 10:30 to 4:00 pm. The annual Korean food festival is in its 20th year, and is held at 821 S. Aiken Ave. in Shadyside (map).

Hong Kong movie A Simple Life (桃姐) at Maridon Museum, April 30.



The Maridon Museum will show the 2012 Hong Kong film A Simple Life (桃姐) on April 30 as the second installment in this spring's Hong Kong Film Series. Dramacrazy provides a summary likely plagiarized from elsewhere:
A solemn yet humorous exploration of seniority, the film tells a bittersweet story revolving around the lives of elderly maid Sister Tao and her master, played respectively by veteran actress Deanie Ip and superstar Andy Lau, whose past screen collaborations serve to inspire enormous chemistry between their characters. Their impeccable performances have earned numerous prestigious prizes for the film, including Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, Best Director, Actor, and Actress at the Golden Horse Awards, and the rare feat of the Big Five (Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress) at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Sister Tao (Deanie Ip) has served five generations of the Leung family since she was thirteen. Today, at over seventy years old, she continues to take care of Roger (Andy Lau), the only member of the family left in Hong Kong. After suffering a stroke at home one day, Tao realizes it's about time she retired, so she asks Roger to find her a nursing home for rehabilitation. Tao struggles to adjust to the strange new environment as well as her eccentric fellow inmates, but Roger is there to care for this mother figure who has devoted her life to his.
And an excerpt from a Roger Ebert review:
What we understand is that "A Simple Life" is content to regard these two inward people as they express love and care in their quiet ways. A movie in which the old lady is forgotten by the family would have been predictable melodrama, but how much more moving it is when she is remembered. The movie has an emotional payoff I failed to anticipate. It expresses hope in human nature. It is one of the year's best films.
The movie starts at 6:00 pm and is presented by Slippery Rock University's Dr. Ken Harris. The Maridon, an Asian art museum, is located at 322 North McKean St in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Chinese Nutcracker, May 9 at Byham Theater.



The Yanlai Dance Academy will present its annual Chinese Nutcracker performance on May 9 at the Byham Theater in the Cultural District.
The Chinese Nutcracker borrows from the classic ballet and infuses it with Chinese elements. The performance is a wondrous spectacle filled with glorious costumes, memorable characters and dazzling dances.

Little Yuanyuan receives a white pony toy on Chinese New Year. In the magic of the moonlight, the pony transforms into a prince and little Yuanyuan into a princess. Together they travel throughout China visiting ethnic groups, admiring their native costumes and marveling at their traditional dances. Join the Yanlai Dance Academy as they take you on this magical journey.
The show starts at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $30.75 for adults and $20.75 for children 12 and under, and are available online.
The Korean media is paying close attention to Pittsburgh and to infielder Jung-ho Kang this season.


Via Newsis.

Friday, April 17, 2015

More renderings of Sichuan University - Pittsburgh Institute (四川大学-匹兹堡学院).

Earlier this month, new artistic renderings of the planned Sichuan University - Pittsburgh Institute (四川大学-匹兹堡学院) were revealed online via the Chinese university's social networking sites. The engineering institute is scheduled to open in Sichuan University's Jiang'an campus in Fall 2015 with an initial cohort of 100 students.





It differs significantly from the initial drawings released in July 2014.



While the new drawings appear to be originals, a previous rendering was taken from a Chinese real estate website that showed an apartment complex under construction in Sichuan.

Documentary on early Cambodian rock music, Don't Think I've Forgotten, at Hollywood Theater in May.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 2014 documentary Don't Think I've Forgotten on May 29. A summary, from the documentary's website:
During the 60’s and early 70’s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other.

Cambodian musicians crafted this sound from the various rock music styles sweeping, America, England and France, adding the unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. The beautiful singing of their renowned female vocalists became the final touch that made this mix so enticing.
. . .
DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms, and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country. This documentary film provides a new perspective on a country usually associated with only war and genocide.
Showtimes and ticket information is pending.


Trailer.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shibori Peace Quilt Event at Children's Museum, April 18.


via Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace.

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (map) will hold a Shibori Peace Quilt Event on Saturday, April 18.
Last fall, visitors created Shibori pieces in the Studio that were sewn together in MAKESHOP to form a quilt. Not just one quilt was made, but four!

Shibori is a Japanese word for dying fabric. Shibori is a 1000-year old art form in which cloth is tied, stitched, folded and wrapped in many different ways and then dyed to create beautiful patterns.

The quilts were displayed at the Children's Museum; and now, members of the group Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace are ready to take two quilts to New York City for the International Peace & Planet Conference a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World, where the quilts will be presented to delegates from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to take back to Japan. The quilts will be received in Japan by New Japan Women's Association and Chihiro Art Museum Azumino. Our Shibori Quilt project reminds us of the beauty that triumphs when cross-cultural understanding and respect is met.
The event includes a violin performance and a dove release. It runs from 12:00 to 1:00 pm and is free with museum admission.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"One Night in Beijing: Butterfly Lovers" at CMU, April 25.



The student group American Roots in Chinese Culture [ARCC] will present its annual spring performance One Night in Beijing on April 25. The 2015 production is the fairy tale Butterfly Lovers (梁山伯与祝英台). The ARCC event page summarizes:
An Eastern rendition on Romeo and Juliet, the cast of ONiB 2015 will captivate you with an entrancing love story, a myriad of modern and traditional dances, songs, and other performances. From lion dances to rare Chinese instruments, ONiB 2015 has it all!
The event starts at 7:00 pm in the Rangos Ballroom of the Cohen University Center (map). Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Singaporean film Ilo Ilo (爸妈不在家) at Northland Public Library, May 13.



The May installment of Northland Public Library's Foreign Film Series is the Singaporean film Ilo Ilo (爸妈不在家) on May 13. A summary from the Three Rivers Film Festival, where the movie played in 2013:
Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, this delightful film chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family – troublesome grade-schooler and his overstressed parents. Comfortably middle-class and with another baby on the way, they hire Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa struggles to manage the boy's antics and find her footing in her new community. The two eventually form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances arise.
The movie will play at Northland from 1:30 pm, and the library is located off of McKnight Road and Rt. 19 in McCandless Township (map). The film is free and open to the public.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kang gets first hit of Major League career.


From 스포츠조선.

On Sunday, Jung-ho Kang (강정호) hit a single off Milwaukee's Kyle Lohse in the 7th inning. The hit was Kang's first in Major League Baseball, and made him the first Korean to record a hit in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform. Kang is the second Korean to play for Pittsburgh in the regular season, following pitcher Chan-ho Park in 2010.

Friday, April 10, 2015

University of Pittsburgh hiring part-time instructors of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for Fall 2015.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures is hiring part-time instructors of Chinese for the Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 terms, and instructors of Japanese and Korean for the Fall 2015 semester:
EALL anticipates openings for part-time instructors in the Chinese language program beginning in the summer 2015 or in the fall of 2015. Candidates must have native language proficiency, hold at least a college degree, and be authorized to work for the University.Prior experience in teaching foreign languages and familiarity with language pedagogy or linguistics is highly preferred. If interested, please contact Juchun Wei at juchun@pitt.edu. A resume or CV is required for initial screening and candidates with desirable qualifications will be contacted for interviews in March/April 2015.

PTI positions in Japanese Language EALL anticipates openings for part-time instructors in the Korean language program beginning in the fall of 2015. Candidates must have native language proficiency, hold at least a college degree, and be authorized to work for the University. Prior experience in teaching foreign languages and familiarity with language pedagogy or linguistics is highly preferred. If interested, please contact David Mills at dom@pitt.edu. A resume or CV is required for initial screening and candidates with desirable qualifications will be contacted for interviews in April/May 2015. PTI positions in Korean Language EALL anticipates openings for part-time instructors in the Korean language program beginning in the fall of 2015. Candidates must have native language proficiency, hold at least a college degree, and be authorized to work for the University. Prior experience in teaching foreign languages and familiarity with language pedagogy or linguistics is highly preferred. If interested, please contact Mi-Hyun Kim at kimmh@pitt.edu. A resume or CV is required for initial screening and candidates with desirable qualifications will be contacted for interviews in April/May 2015.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hong Kong film Five Deadly Venoms (五毒) at Hollywood Theater, April 11.



The Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show the 1978 Hong Kong kung fu movie Five Deadly Venoms (五毒) on Saturday, April 11. A 2009 A.V. Club review provides a summary:
The needlessly complicated plot has the dying master of the notorious “Poison Clan” sending Chiang Sheng, his final student, out to track down five of his former protégés. Each of the five was taught a different combat style: Centipede, also referred to as “thousand hands,” is known for the quickness of his strikes; Snake lashes out at opponents with clawed fingers; Scorpion can paralyze his adversaries with a few piercing kicks; Lizard has the ability to walk on walls and attack from them; and Toad has a defensive style that repels all blades and bends solid metal. Because their identities are unknown beyond their masks, finding them isn’t easy, and harder still is figuring out which are good guys and which are corrupt, treasure-stealing thugs. Then it’s up to Chaing to combine the skills of all five men to bring honor to his late master’s disgraced house.
Tickets for the 11:00 pm show are $5 and available online. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

Heroes of the East (浮城) at Maridon Museum, April 10.



The Maridon Museum will show the 1978 Hong Kong movie Heroes of the East (浮城) on April 10 as part of its Hong Kong Film Series. LoveHKFilm provides a plot summary:
An arranged marriage between a proud Chinese man and a fiery Japanese woman leads to a variety of domestic squabbles, numerous cross-cultural misunderstandings, and a martial arts battle of epic proportions in this entertaining Shaw Brothers fight fest from master director Lau Kar-Leung.
The film is presented by Dr. William Covey of Slippery Rock University. The Maridon, an Asian art museum, is located at 322 North McKean St in downtown Butler (map), roughly 40 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

2015 Chinese movie Let's Get Married (咱们结婚吧) at Waterfront.



The 2015 Chinese movie Let's Get Married (咱们结婚吧 is now playing at the AMC Loews theater at the Waterfront (map) from Thursday, April 9. The movie was released in the US on April 3 and is based on a 2013 Chinese drama. A synopsis, from the distributor's site:
Wenwen, the owner of a bridal boutique, longs to find Mr. Right and walk down the aisle in one of her beautiful wedding gowns. Yi Wen, a violinist, wavers over her engagement after meeting a mysterious man in a foreign country. Lei Xiao, an airport employee, tries to force her pilot boyfriend to marry her. And Hai Xin, a successful business woman, finds herself in a broken marriage and unexpectedly pregnant. Based on the hugely popular Chinese TV series of the same name, Let's Get Married follows the lives of four couples looking for love and to find that special someone to say "I do."
Tickets and showtimes are available at the theater's website.

TOP Shabu Shabu & Lounge menu.

Analytics tells me that people are finding this site in search of the TOP Shabu Shabu & Lounge menu. Here is what is available on their door:



TOP Shabu Shabu is located at 114 Atwood St. in Oakland (map), and soft opened on March 24. The Pitt News, the student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh, ran a profile on the restaurant in January:
Andrew Khoo, the restaurant’s manager, said although they named the new restaurant after Shabu-shabu, a Japanese style of dining, yet Top Shabu’s hot pot style is traditionally more Chinese.

Customers will order a “hot pot” and whatever meats and vegetables they would like to eat, which servers will bring to the table. Customers will then cook the food using the hot pot, a metal container filled with broth and heated by an electric coil, and eat their food at their table. In hot pots, the food is cooked while the pot simmers. Thinly sliced beef is the traditional choice, Khoo said, but Top Shabu will offer a variety of meat and vegetable options.

“All food is cooked at the table,” Khoo said.

According to Khoo, Top Shabu’s bar will offer Asian-inspired drinks.

“We have a 10 tap system from the previous owner,” Khoo said. “We’ll also have a variety of wine and a large variety of liquor for unique mixed drinks. The mixed drinks will have an Asian influence. For example, melon liqueur is used a lot in China.”

"Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China" at CMU, April 13.

Carnegie Mellon University will host Dr. Rowena Xiaoqing He on April 13 and her lecture "Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China" based on her 2014 book of the same title. A summary of the book, from Amazon:
In the spring of 1989, millions of citizens across China took to the streets in a nationwide uprising against government corruption and authoritarian rule. What began with widespread hope for political reform ended with the People's Liberation Army firing on unarmed citizens in the capital city of Beijing, and those leaders who survived the crackdown became wanted criminals overnight. Among the witnesses to this unprecedented popular movement was Rowena Xiaoqing He, who would later join former student leaders and other exiles in North America, where she has worked tirelessly for over a decade to keep the memory of the Tiananmen Movement alive.

This moving oral history interweaves He's own experiences with the accounts of three student leaders exiled from China. Here, in their own words, they describe their childhoods during Mao's Cultural Revolution, their political activism, the bitter disappointments of 1989, and the profound contradictions and challenges they face as exiles. Variously labeled as heroes, victims, and traitors in the years after Tiananmen, these individuals tell difficult stories of thwarted ideals and disconnection that nonetheless embody the hope for a freer China and a more just world.
The talk begins at 4:30 in 4307 Gates Hillman Center (map), and is free and open to the public.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Seiichi Makino and "How and why do we repeat? --- A case study of Japanese" at Pitt, April 10.

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Linguistics will host Dr. Seiichi Makino and his talk "How and why do we repeat? --- A case study of Japanese" on April 10 as part of the department's weekly colloquium series. The abstract:
My talk discusses how and why repetition operates in the Japanese language. Interestingly linguists of various persuasions have intensively analyzed deletion in language but they seldom dealt with repetition in language. Kuno (1978:8) defined the function of deletion as “lowering redundancy of a sentence by deleting information known to the listener”. It sounded as if the function of repetition were only elevating redundancy level of information. Kuno’s analysis is correct in so far as strictly semantic information is concerned, but human communication needs more than merely logical semantics. After reconsidering Makino (1980) I will bring in evidence that repetition not always leads to redundancy. Rather it has such functions of politeness, confirmation, involvement in dialogue, expression of emotion, cohesiveness, styles, idiomaticity, rhetoric, and above all “interactivity”. Towards the end of my talk I will touch upon some implications for foreign language education.
The talk will be held at 3:00 pm in 1501 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

2015 Korean Food Bazaar, May 2 in Shadyside.

Look for 2015's Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh Korean Food Bazaar (제20회 선교바자회) on May 2, from 10:30 to 4:00 pm. The annual Korean food festival is in its 20th year, and is held at 821 S. Aiken Ave. in Shadyside (map).

"Vigilant Ethnicity: Korean Chinese Communist Party Members Encounter the Forbidden Homeland" at Pitt, April 10.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will present Dr. June hee Kwon and her talk, "Vigilant Ethnicity: Korean Chinese Communist Party Members Encounter the Forbidden Homeland", on April 10. The abstract:
Since China and South Korea normalized diplomatic relations in 1992, Korean Chinese, part of an officially recognized ethnic minority group in China, have migrated to Korea in search of both long-lost family members and better working opportunities. This massive and persistent migration to Korea is commonly called the Korean Wind. Based on ethnographic research in Yanbian, China, this paper examines how the ethnic politics of Korean Chinese Communist Party members have developed in response to the Korean Wind. South Korea was long been considered a forbidden capitalist enemy. How have these party members re-conceptualized their ties to South Korea, a relationship that was used as grounds for political persecution during the Cultural Revolution? How have they dealt with the economic affluence and cultural changes brought about by the Korean Wind over the last two decades? The elderly party members I interviewed exemplify a sharp split in the politics of ethnicity that distinguishes economic intention from political position—they are highly economized by the transnational migration to Korea while at the same time intensely politicized because of their tight identification with China as socialist subjects. I argue that the combination of economic need with a sense of multiple belonging is what constitutes and generates Korean Chinese as a vigilant ethnicity. This paper details the emergence of “Yanbian socialism,” a political nexus articulated between post- Cold War circumstances, post-socialist China, and neoliberal East Asia.
Dr. Kwon is the Korea-Japan Postdoctoral Fellow in Pitt's Department of Anthropology. The talk begins in 4130 Posvar (map) at 12:00 and is free and open to the public.

University Gamelan concert at Pitt, April 11.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Music will present a concert by its University Gamelan Ensemble on Saturday, April 11. The University of Pittsburgh Gamelan Ensemble, according to its self-introduction,
plays the gamelan music of the Sundanese people, an ethnic group that inhabits roughly the western third of the island of Java. Gamelan refers to a set of predominantly percussion instruments including tuned gongs, metal-keyed instruments, and drums (as well as bowed lute and voice). Gamelan music is played as accompaniment to dance, drama, puppet theater, and martial arts, as well as for concerts of listening music. Gamelan is performed in conjunction with special occasions and to mark important life-cycle events.
The performance begins at 8:00 pm at Bellefield Hall (map). It's free for Pitt students with a valid student ID card. General admission tickets are $8.50 in advance and $12 at the door.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lecture by Ryoji Ikeda at CMU, April 7.


A 2009 DATA.TRON exhibition, by Liz Hingley.

The Carnegie Mellon University School of Art will host Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda on April 7 as part of its 2015 Spring Lecture Series. The school profiles Ikeda, whose installation "DATA.TRON" was in Pittsburgh from July 12 through September 8, 2013:
Ryoji Ikeda focuses on the essential characteristics of sound itself and that of visuals as light by means of both mathematical precision and mathematical aesthetics. He has gained a reputation as one of the few international artists working convincingly across both visual and sonic media. Ikeda elaborately orchestrates sound, visuals, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions into immersive live performances and installations. His albums +/- (1996), 0? (1998), and Matrix (2001) have been hailed by critics as the most radical and innovative examples of contemporary electronic music. Currently, Ikeda is working on cyclo, a collaborative project with Carsten Nicolai.
The lecture begins at 5:00 pm in Kresge Theater (map) and is free and open to the public.