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Seeing China Through Film: The Early Years

The in-person screening is currently full but we have provided links below to watch the films online. RSVP to join us at the virtual discussion on July 14! To celebrate the opening of the new, expanded China Institute, this program will explore the beginnings of Chinese cinema as the country faced social and political turmoil […]

Sound of Broadway! The Making of China’s Newest U.S.-China Show

Join us for a virtual performance and talk with top Broadway and Chinese artists Thursday July 15, 7:30 PM ET (U.S.) / Friday July 16, 7:30 AM (China) What U.S.-China tensions? The show must go on! Tune in for a sneak peek of China’s latest Broadway show: Sound of the Silk Road, which premiers in […]

Crows and Sparrows: Struggle and Survival in Wartime Shanghai

Shot during the last days of the Civil War in China's transition to socialism, Crows and Sparrows is one of the best crafted films of the 1940s. But its director, Zheng Junli, navigated some treacherous political waters to get it made. The original script was banned by the Nationalist government, presumably because of its unflattering depiction of […]

Crossing the cultural boundaries, translating Tang and Song poetry in English


In informing the world of Chinese literature, how to do a better job at translating and introducing Chinese classic poetry is the order of the day. The Chinese classic poetry during the Tang and the Song period (618-1279) is generally acknowledged as the peak of Chinese literature, and its translation came to the West quite […]

Street Angels: Tragedy Meets Comedy in a Time of War

Street Angels, the most celebrated Chinese musical of the 1930s, was released in Shanghai in July 1937 just as full-scale war broke out with Japan in northern China. Its themes—sexual and economic exploitation offset by fun and camaraderie—were at once shocking and entertaining. Set in the slums of Shanghai in 1935, the film presents the precarious lives of the urban […]

Two Stage Sisters: A Story of Old China, Retold

Xie Jin’s masterpiece was not shown in China until almost two decades after it was made. Banned for its depiction of old China, the film is in many ways the summation of the cinematic style that began in Shanghai in the 1930s: brilliant use of space, powerful camera movement, and a story that follows the […]

Pieces of China: Rose Niu on Naxi Culture—and China’s Growing Passion for Nature


The Naxi people of Yunnan province’s Lijiang, at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, were close to nature long before “eco-civilization” became part of China’s national policy. To this day, they pick medicinal herbs on the hillsides, and an annual Naxi SanDuo Festival pays homage to nature. Their Dongba religion emphasizes the connection between […]

The Buddhist Art to the East: A Monumental Spread


Buddhist art emerged from India, spread eastwards to Central Asia, Xinjiang, the Hexi Corridor, and eventually arrived at the heartland of China. This monumental movement ran along the Silk Road over the course of a thousand years, integrating the Hellenistic culture with the Indian, Persian, Nomadic, and Chinese. The Renwen Society presents a lecture on […]

Drawing and Dim Sum for Children: A Dim Sum Warriors DOODLE DATE


A special, free virtual event for children—brought to you by China Institute in proud partnership with Dim Sum Warriors! The Dim Sum Warriors team shares their innovative approach to language learning in this free online event—participants suggest illustrating prompts for the cartoonist and everyone draws together while picking up new Chinese vocabulary. We will focus […]