Patrick Lui Visit

Artist and filmmaker Patrick Lui visited Brown on April 18 & 19, giving two public talks.  On April 18, segments of the series, Heart of the Dragon, were screened. On April 19 Patrick discussed his photo exhibit currently on display at the Granoff Center, "Green Dragon."

Screening of Heart of the Dragon with filmmaker, Patrick Lui
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Smith-Buonanno, Room 106
95 Cushing Street

Screening of segments of Heart of the Dragon with filmmaker, Patrick Lui

7:30-7:45: Introduction by Patrick Lui
7:45-8:45: Screening of "Understanding"
8:45-9:00: Q& A with Prof. Hal Roth and Patrick Lui
9:00-10:00: Screening of "Eating"
*Chinese food tasting to follow screening of "Eating"

A 1983 (US Broadcast, 1985) Emmy-winning, 12-part British documentary outlining 22 centuries of Chinese history and offering a portrait of life in modern China, Heart of the Dragon covers a wide range of topics, including food, religion, medical care, marriage, law, art, commerce and technology. The series is narrated by famed British actor, Anthony Quayle.

Two films from this series were screened: “Understanding” (about classical Chinese philosophy) and “Eating” (food and food customs).

Following the screening of "Eating," Producer Patrick Lui and Professor Hal Roth from East Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and Contemplative Studies led a Question and Answer session.

When the series was conceived in 1981, China was still pretty much a ‘closed shop,' and access to people and institutions was extremely limited to outside filmmakers. Co-producer Patrick Lui met with Nigel Houghton in Hong Kong and mentioned that he had several high level contacts in China and that it would in fact be possible to produce a series of programs. Houghton then advanced the idea to Peter Montagnon. At the same time, a new broadcasting entity, Channel Four, was just being launched in the UK and was in need of programs. Lui, Houghton, and Montagnon then formed Dromelia, a corporation set up for the production of the series, and received funding from banker Stephen Keynes (son of the economist John Maynard Keynes). At this point, Montagnon brought an old friend from the Open University days, Alastair Clayre, into the production group, and then began filming (Open University, incidentally, was an educational institution dedicated to non-traditional learning environments, distance learning among them).

Director David Kennard made several films in the series, among them "Working," in which the director visits a locomotive factory and investigates pre-Mao and Japanese-era working conditions. "Eating" is a fascinating look at cultivating, preparing, and cooking food, including the means by which village houses utilize methane gas from underground pig refuse pits to power homemade stoves.

Artist Talk, Patrick Lui: Green Dragon

Thursday, April 19, 2012
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Studio 1
154 Angell Street

Artist Patrick Lui discussed his exhibit, Green Dragon, currently on display at the Granoff Center.

Patrick Lui discusses "Green Dragon" with gallery guests.Patrick Lui discusses "Green Dragon" with gallery guests.

More about the exhibit:
Before 1949, dust storms attacked Beijing only once in 30 years. Today, it happens several times annually. Along with the pollution, these storms make the capital city an unbearable place to live. While officials have made strides in curbing pollution—by creating and enforcing anti-pollution laws, forcing factories to vacate the city, looking towards other energy sources—it is impossible for man to order a desert to move. With this in mind, scientists were asked to evaluate the encroaching sands for clues as to how to reclaim the grasslands that once stood in their place.

These scientists discovered that there were several factors leading to the increased sandstorms. First, overgrazing and other human destruction played a large role; and second, changes in the weather from droughts to flooding had destroyed valuable topsoil. The government decided to take a hands-on approach to combat the sands, offering incentives to those willing to plant trees and replenish grasslands, with 15% of repurposed land going to those who managed to do so. Furthermore, generous grants have been doled out to those conscious of reclaiming the grasslands, while severe punishments have been imposed against those who perpetuate the damaging cycle. There has also been a heavy emphasis placed on the pacing of growth as well as the use of green energy. China has even begun using the sand itself as a resource, forming the pesky material into bricks instead of using valuable rich river soil. On the other hand, environmental education is gradually added to the conventional curriculum. The Ningxia Institute of Prevention and Control of Desertification, backed up by UNEP, is to be up-graded to be the first Chinese university to fight sand. The aforementioned are but a few of the ways in which China is doing its part to ensure that it leaves the country a better, more sustainable, and greener land for future generations while also creating a profitable market towards an honorable endeavor.

More about Patrick Lui:

Patrick Lui was born in Hong Kong in 1938. He went to the UK to study film-making in 1968, and with his special flair for documentaries, received awards to this end. In 1977, he initiated the Hong Kong Film Festival and produced a blockbuster film of that era. Instead of profiting from his commercial success, he went to Beijing in 1979, and looked for possibility to film documentaries in his motherland. Finally, in 1981, the permission was granted with endorsement from the States Council, and in 1983 he completed the 12 hours Heart of the Dragon documentary series, which was previewed by NBC in America and presented with the International Emmy Award in 1985. He followed this success with the production of The Land of the Pandas, a series that managed to capture the essence of wildlife in China. In 1987,when the condensed version was premiered by ABC in the United States, he simultaneously staged the first International Wildlife Protection Conference in Beijing. In 2001, he initiated the “21st Century China and the World” International Forum organized by the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and invited six heads of states to participate.In 2009, he led a delegation from Hong Kong to speak in the Forum “Green China, Harmonious World,” opened by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Tianjin. In 2010, invited by the Forestry Department in Ningxia Hui Autonomy, he took a delegation to participate in the "China Arabian Forum" and to set up a plantation base in Yinchuan.

Patrick's interests are diverse. He was Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS); Associate of the Institute of Professional Photographer (AIIP), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in the UK in 1970. He is also an established calligrapher and poet. Now in his 70s, his passion is in environmental protection, and he has founded the Green Wall Foundation, thereby setting forth a legacy for future generations.

To view full lecture, please visit Brown Unversity on YouTube.

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