2010 Chinese Festival

The two-month long Festival explores aspects of the culture of the People’s Republic of China in film, traditional and contemporary music, painting, mathematics and cuisine and contemporary pedagogy.  The focus will be on giving the general public a basic understanding of the culture of Asia’s most populous and economically powerful nation as it rises to prominence in the 21st century.  Over the course of two months, Montclair State’s Festival will examine various facets of the culture of China, elaborating how it has contributed to and influenced Western culture (and vice-versa), examining it from the point of view of a continuum from ancient to modern, with recurring and contemporized motifs,  and pondering China’s ability to maintain its distinctiveness and separateness.

The Festival offers an array of in-depth programs with experts from both China and the United States.  The George Segal Gallery will feature a month-long exhibition of 50 scrolls by eight leading Chinese artists who will participate in a symposium on contemporary Chinese art. Accompanying the art exhibit is a series of video vignette interviews with artists, produced by the Montclair State University Broadcasting Department.

Other art events include workshops on printmaking, papermaking, scrolls and silk screens, and an exhibition of photographs of China by faculty members from Montclair State University and its partner universities throughout the world. Additionally a Chinese Film Festival features four evenings of film screenings with commentary by directors and critics.

There are several concerts of Chinese and Chinese-influenced music, including a performance of the “Butterfly Concerto” by the Montclair State Symphony with violin soloist Weigang Li of the Shanghai Quartet, a performance and discussion by the New York- based Chinese musical ensemble, “Music From China”, a full program by Montclair State University’s Shanghai Quartet, and a special concert by the student symphonic group. 

The Festival also includes several programs in which the economics, politics, education and society in China are discussed by U.S. based scholars and business leaders and American and Chinese teachers. Two lectures focus on Chinese contributions to mathematics with a hands-on workshop to teach participants how to use the Chinese abacus. A lecture/demonstration on the history of Chinese cuisine, led by a New York Times journalist, includes a tasting menu prepared by the Montclair State University Food Management students. In honor of Earth Day, a panel composed of faculty members from East China Normal University and from Montclair State University’s departments of environmental science discusses environmental sustainability and its impact on U.S. and Chinese populations.

All of the programs are open to the public.  Most programs are free.

This Festival was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in this festival do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Digital images of selected artwork are available upon request. 

Chinese Festival Brochure