2014: A Recapitulation

1382671865-2381670479As we head into 2015, I’m taking a moment to recapture what a great year 2014 has been.

The year kicked off with translating the first episode of Chicago music journalist John Yingling’s World Underground music documentary series, “China Underground”. Helping to bring the vibrant indie music scene across China, a hidden side of this country, to the world, was well worth working night and day for an entire month. The China edition launched in July.

The Year of the Horse Spring Festival was spent as it should, with lots of friends feasting around the table and a visit to Columbia Road Flower Market to pick up Britain’s spring crop of catkins, chrysanthemums, lilies and bamboos, where I met up with Kevin McKeary, journalist from the Nanfang who interviewed me for his PRD People Feature. It was just before he left to take up a new job in Guangdong, I hope he is doing well.

The year was just peaking as July ushered in my favourite UK small-scale convention, the second ReadCon, which premiered my new talk: “Shaw Sisters – the Fighting Women of Hong Kong Cinema”. On the exact same day, the BFI was screening Shaw Brothers Studios classic “The One-Armed Swordsman”.  I was very glad to be part of this fitting tribute to Sir Run Run Shaw, the father of Hong Kong cinema, who passed away in 2014. I was also delighted with the full attendance of my talk, the enthusiastic questions, the Karate demonstration from GKR, and  Jade Leamcharaskul, the director of JD Wasabi Games Studios, developer of the Ghost Month -inspired “Hungary Whispers”.

August 2014 was a very special time, as Auto Assembly celebrated the 30th anniversary of my beloved Transformers, and World Con was hosted in the UK, which, thanks to Con or Bust, I was able to attend. Even though we ended up practically running the stand for the 2015 China bid, I ran into some very interesting people including authors, against-the-grain film academics, and became involved in translating for the Hugo Awards, and some China originated fantasy fiction. John Chu and Derwin Mak really inspired me in their Chinese diaspora sci-fi panel and Dr Paula James’ Pygmalion lecture reignited my love of Ovid.

September brought further activity on the UK Chinese events calendar, with Chinatown Artspace’s SUSTAIN sculpture commission. I had the pleasure of being interpreter for the winner. The Singaporean artist Chua Boon Kee was an absolute delight to work with, both in his master class at Asia House and the unveiling reception of his sculpture FLOW. I was also impressed by all the staff of CAS with their dedication to promoting East Asian artists.

By November I had completed the first draft of my new Chinese culture talk, possible fashion show involved, more on this later, stay tuned!

The end of the year was celebrated by the delightful CAS Christmas party, my tea talk and tasting session at the central London Graham Hunter Gallery. It was lovely to see a difference audience who were just as passionate about tea as the otaku, I look forward to speaking with you more at my future tea talks.

In 2015, I’m hoping to wrap up the English version of “China Underground” for all of you to enjoy. I look forward to consulting further on the Chinese culture aspects of Hungary Whispers, translating more Chinese fantasy literature, and hopefully getting a Chinese culture academic project off the ground.

Thank you for all your support, interest, the great conversations we’ve had and fantastic connections we’ve made in 2014. Hold tight, 2015 will be another fun-filled, amazing and rollicking Chinese culture adventure!


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