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Lianhe Zaobao celebrates 85th Anniversary with Symposium on Cultural Diversity

Singapore, 9 May 2008 - They are forerunners in their respective fields, be it in the area of art, broadcasting, theatre or advertising.

For the first time, four renowned Chinese personalities, namely Stan Lai from Taiwan, Li Xianting from China, John Chan Koon-chung from Hong Kong and Lim Sau Hoong from Singapore will gather at the Lianhe Zaobao Cultural Symposium titled “Blue Ocean: A Look at Cultural Diversity and Transversal Values”("跨越蓝海——文化脉动与价值创造").

The Lianhe Zaobao Cultural Symposium, which will be held on May 31 at Suntec Ballroom 2 from 9.15am to 5.15pm, is organised in conjunction with the Chinese flagship’s 85th Anniversary this year.

The four effectively bilingual Chinese speakers, who boast a strong understanding of both Chinese and Western cultures, will mesmerize the audience with their witty and insightful exchanges as they share their views on cultural diversity with the rise of contemporary China.

Harking back to Taiwan’s creative boom in the 1980s, veteran theatre director and playwright Stan Lai will detail how Taiwan’s "Renaissance" period has infused the Taiwanese with a sense of cultural consciousness, laying the groundwork for the development of Chinese culture in the region.

Li Xianting, widely known as the "Godfather of Chinese contemporary avant-garde art", will speak on the various art movements in China during pivotal political eras over the last century to illustrate how the contemporary Chinese art scene has developed over the years. With contemporary Chinese art being all the rage with international collectors, his talk will be nothing short of a revelation.

Hong Kong’s creative and literary genius John Chan Koon-Chung will take the audience on a 45-minute journey through the past 30 years of Hong Kong’s social and cultural history, making stops at various points to reveal how Chinese and Western cultures have shaped Hong Kong.

Singapore’s advertising guru Lim Sau Hoong will make a thought-provoking commentary on the challenges for Singapore artists in the face of cultural giants like India and China, which have such a rich cultural heritage. Lim, once lauded by Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew for her ability to connect with China, questions the survival of Singapore artists.

The symposium, jointly organised by Lianhe Zaobao and the Chinese Language and Culture Fund, will be chaired by National Musuem Director Ms Lee Chor Lin.

Tickets for the full-day symposium are priced at $35 each (inclusive of refreshments).

Visit and omy ( or call 6319-1154 / 6319-2332 for registration.

About Lianhe Zaobao Cultural Symposium
Lianhe Zaobao first organised the Cultural Symposium in 1998 to mark its 75th anniversary. The overwhelming success led to a second one in 2003 that coincided with the daily’s 80th anniversary celebrations.The speakers for the two previous forums included Confucian scholar Tu Weiming, China’s leading essayist cum dramatist, Professor Yu Qiuyu, Professor Charles Kao; Mr Liu Thai Ker, architect and chairman of the then National Arts Council in Singapore; Cultural Medallion recipient Tan Swie Hian; Professor Zhu Xueqin, who lectures on culture and politics at Shanghai University; Mr Tao Jie, columnist and assistant professor in journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Ms Lung Ying-Tai, a well-known Taiwanese writer.

About the speakers

Stan Lai(赖声川)
Stan Lai is a highly influential award-winning playwright and theatre director. He is the director of Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land (?????, based loosely on Tao Yuanming’s "Peach Blossom Spring"), which is often touted as the most successful contemporary Chinese play. The US-born Taiwan-based Lai is regarded by many as one of the most important theatre directors in Asia. His other works include That Evening, We Performed Xiangsheng (1985), Journey to the West (1987), The Island and the Other Shore (1989), Strange Tales from Taiwan (1991), Red Sky (1994), Angels in America (1996), I Me He Him (1998), A Dream Like A Dream (2000),
Millennium Teahouse (2000), Sand and a Distant Star (2003) and Don Giovanni (2004).

Li Xianting (栗宪庭)
Born in Jilin province, Li is a renowned art critic and is sometimes referred to as the"Godfather of Chinese contemporary avant-garde art". He graduated from the Chinese Painting Department, Central Academy of Fine Art in 1978, and became the editor of Fine Art Magazine until 1983. From 1985 to 1989 he was the editor of the authoritative China Fine Art Newspaper, and was active as independent critic and curator based in Beijing henceforth.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Li was a major force in advocating and introducing the burgeoning avant-garde art in China, which just embarked on economic reforms. He organised the pivotal "Stars exhibition" in 1979, and coined the terms “Cynical Realism” and "Political Pop" which later became the dominant schools of Chinese avant-garde art. Into the 90s, Li continued to organise major avant-garde art events both inside and outside of China, while settling in Song Zhuang, a small village near Beijing, which has since transformed into the largest artist "colony" in China. Many artists whom he discovered and promoted, such as Fang Lijun and Wang Guangyi, have received great international attention and become leading figures in Chinese avant-garde art movement.

John Chan Koon-Chung (陈冠中)
John Chan is one of the most experienced players in Chinese media, having founded magazines, written and produced feature films and TV dramas, started and run a satellite TV station, and written novels, collections of essays and even a treatise on Marxist literary criticism. In the early 1990s, he pioneered Hong Kong investment in cultural and entertainment businesses in the mainland. His favourite stomping grounds are Shanghai where he was born, Hong Kong where he moved to with his family when he was four, Beijing where he now lives, and Taipei.

Lim Sau Hoong (林少芬)
Co-founder and chief executive of 10AM Communications, an award-winning advertising agency, Lim Sau Hoong is the person behind the immensely successful Guinness advertising campaign in the early 1990s which had Hong Kong singer-actor George Lam mouthing cryptic words of wisdom. Another campaign for the Bank of China not only became the longest running in Asia but also reaped more than 70 international awards. And there is also her commercial for CCTV2, China’s national broadcaster. Shot in Beijing, Shanghai and the Mu Dan river region in North China, the advertisement was broadcast to the nation of 1.2 billion viewers. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has publicly lauded her as a bilingual and bicultural Singaporean who can connect with China.


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