Author: Laura Matheson (page 1 of 2)

My Experience of Erhu

Ricefield volunteer Xue Xia (Snow) is an accomplished erhu 二胡 player, and has performed at several events, including our recent craft fair in Govan. Here she introduces the erhu, and writes about her experiences mastering this unique instrument.

My name is Xue Xia, an excellent erhu player. I have been playing the erhu since I was eight years old, for fifteen years now. I practiced so hard that I became excellent at playing the erhu at a really young age, and hence I have been awarded many honours for my erhu playing. Now, I will share my erhu experiences with you.

Erhu, a Chinese national music orchestral instrument, has over 1000 years history in China. The melody of erhu is like violin to some extent, but compared to the violin the erhu has a different appearance and method of playing. Playing the erhu utilises many limbs, including hands, arms and shoulders, with its right to left movement. Additionally, erhu music can be traced back to thousands of years ago, which was an important period for the development of Chinese national music. Erhu music brings together not only Chinese music but also Chinese philosophy, Chinese literature and Chinese aesthetics, therefore, it is a representative of Chinese national orchestral music. Importantly, erhu has become a symbol of eastern culture in people’s minds, and it has also, therefore, become a tool and a platform to disseminate Chinese culture to the world.

My uncle first taught me about playing the erhu. He is also an erhu player in a musical troupe, and has thirty years of teaching experience. Every vacation, I would leave my hometown and go to the city where my uncle lives to learn how to play it. During these periods, I was playing the erhu for 6-7 hours every day, practising different compositions. During the school term, when I returned to my hometown, I learnt from erhu teachers from a musical agency. I changed to different teachers successively as I advanced stages, because my playing skills improved at a very young age.

Finally, I obtained the tenth and top grade ‘A’ of erhu at the age of 12, and was awarded a certificate of arts grade examination of China. When I was 13, I was awarded the third place in an erhu contest between teenagers in the first arts week of my home province in 2007. In 2012, I was honoured with the secondary award of the Arts Speciality Students in Erhu Professionalism at Tsinghua University.

I am very proud of the honours and awards I have obtained, and I am happy to continue exploring this musical instrument.

Watch Xue Xia perform two songs on her erhu below.

 

Mid Autumn Festival Workshops

Mid Autumn Festival is a day for moon gazing and enjoying sweet treats with family and friends. The calm night is best accompanied with glowing lanterns that adds warmth to this special day of reunion.

Koi Lantern Making

  • Introducing Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and the significance of lanterns alongside storytelling.
  • Experimenting with Chinese ink brush-work on Xuan paper.
  • Making from scratch a bamboo frame structure inspired by traditional lantern making.
  • An engaging hands-on experience to celebrate cultural diversities.

Duration: 1.5 hours
Participants: Max. 12
Fee: Discount! Now £220

Duration: 1.5 hours
Participants: Max. 25
Fee: Discount! Now £320

Paper Lantern Making

  • Introducing Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and the significance of lanterns alongside storytelling.
  • A taste of paper-cutting, a traditional Chinese folk art.
  • Simple lantern making that creates a beautiful effect with LED lights installed.

Duration: 1 hour
Participants: Max. 30
Fee: Discount! Now £200

Lantern Purchase

Paper Lantern 風琴燈籠 | Available in assorted colours
Large (16cm) £1.50,  Small (10cm) £1

Traditional Red Lantern 布料燈籠 | Height 22cm Diameter 26cm
2 per pack £6

More Information

Fees are inclusive, suitable for all ages, discounted price is valid for orders until 4th October 2017, which is Mid-Autumn Festival this year!

For any enquiries, or to make a booking, please contact clarinda@ricefield.org.uk

Glasgow Canal Festival 2017

Ricefield Arts joined the first Glasgow Canal Festival on Saturday 22 July. We had a great day teaching visitors how to make their own origami boats, as well as hosting our second Chinese Craft Fair. Team Ricefield even made an appearance on the water, as part of the Dragon Boat racing.

Ricefield volunteer Ulyana wrote about her experience as part of the Dragon Boat race team:

On July 22nd, thanks to Ricefield Arts and Glasgow Canal Festival, I got to try Dragon Boat Racing for the first time, and take part in a competition. It was great to challenge myself again, to fight my fears and have some fun. And, of course, to get involved in the competitive atmosphere.

I am very glad to have met new people, and to communicate and work in a team. Because this was a new experience for most of us, the event was even more special and fun. I really enjoyed taking part and have made even more memories from my time in Glasgow. I would recommend the sport to anyone.

Find out more about what’s happening at Glasgow’s canal here.

Overseasoned

This summer Ricefield partnered with SURGE to produce a brand new street theatre performance. Overseasoned was developed from working with Glasgow’s Chinese and multi ethic communities, and used original characters and design. The walkabout piece featured a group of clumsy chefs causing chaos in the streets of Glasgow, and was performed at Glasgow Mela and the Merchant City Festival.

Ricefield volunteer Ulyana was part of the performance team:

‘My experience with street theatre started because of Glasgow Mela 2017. To describe it simply as ‘good’ would not do it justice, every time I tell the story it is a little different. I have been inspired by being part of something so unusual, funny and interesting. Before visiting Glasgow this year I had never taken part in this kind of activity, it was something new to me; a new challenge for myself and my capacities.

During the street theatre performance I got to try a completely new profession, I became a chef. Unfortunately though, not a very good chef. The kind of chef who should probably be in a different kind of job. However, it was really very fun. When you get to ‘try on’ another life or profession, no matter if it’s positive or negative, it’s always exciting. From this new perspective you can see an absolutely different side of yourself.

The most important and memorable part of the street theatre, of course, was the audience. When you can see smiling faces and feel the joy of other people, and know that it is thanks to you, the feeling is priceless. It’s a great feeling to know you can improve someone’s day through your role.

Taking part in this performance has given me really wonderful memories. Having a chance to be an actress, and sample another life, was amazing. I would recommend street theatre to anyone. I have already tried it, now, what about you?’.


Glasgow Mela 2017

Last week Ricefield Arts and Culture Centre took part in Glasgow Mela Festival, one of our biggest events of the year, and once again it was a great success! Chinese arts and culture could be found throughout Kelvingrove Park; from the Kids Zone and our merchandise and historical clothing stall, to the Band Stand where the audience enjoyed a traditional Mongolian dance performance. Visitors walking through the festival could also witness a Lion Dance performed by Yee’s Hung Ga Edinburgh Kung Fu, and street theatre in collaboration with Surge performed by our brave volunteers. Even the rain couldn’t dampen our high spirits.


The Kids Zone was filled with different art and craft stations. Children showed off their creative skills in making lanterns, flowers, and fans out of card and paper. Many took part in our colouring competition and with so many great entries, our judges had a hard time choosing a winner! In the end, we were pleased to announce Zainab as the winner of a free art workshop. Our wish tree was also filled with imaginative aspirations.


Visitors to the festival enjoyed an intriguing street theatre performance of Overseasoned with our confused ‘chefs’ shuffling through the crowds and getting up to mischief. The performance brought more cheerfulness to the festival with many stopping to watch, laugh and take photos, though some poor spectators did have a couple of chips taken by the hungry chefs. The Lion Dance also offered a more traditional Chinese show, and children had the chance to try out playing the drums.

Over at the Band Stand, the audience were treated to an amazing traditional Mongolian dance presentation by dancers from the Glasgow Oriental Dancing Association. Some members of the audience may have been unfamiliar with this style of dance but the girls achieved a great applause. The beautiful dance and colourful outfits were a definite joy to watch.

Down at our merchandise stall, visitors had the chance to try out calligraphy and wear traditional Chinese clothing! Many were also interested in the Chinese opera masks, lanterns, kites and hanging charms. The coveted red envelope raffle prize went to Evelyn, who received a bag full of Chinese treats. Congratulations!

Thanks to all our volunteers and everyone who joined us at Glasgow Mela Festival 2017. It was a great success and we hope to see you at our upcoming events! 

 This blog was written by Ricefield Arts volunteer, Jenna Lau.

This video was produced by Ricefield Arts volunteer, Jiawei Song.

For more Glasgow Mela 2017 photos head over to our Facebook page.

 

Chinese Craft Fair

Ricefield Arts is now holding Chinese craft fairs, bringing Chinese arts and culture to local communities around Scotland. At these events, you’ll have the chance to purchase a range of traditional Chinese items, as well as authentic snacks. We also exhibit artworks by local artists inspired by Chinese art practice. On top of that, you’ll have a chance to watch East Asian crafts in action, including calligraphy, origami or kite making. You might even catch a Chinese music performance!

Below is a selection of photos from our craft fair at in collaboration with Gilded Lily in Govan. Check back on our events page, or on our Facebook for more information about upcoming fairs.

 

Mela On Your Doorstep 2017

Ricefield Arts was delighted to take part in this year’s Mela on Your Doorstep events, this year in Sighthill on 13 May, and Netherton on 14 May.  We will be at the main event, Glasgow Mela on 2 July in Kelvingrove with a range of craft activities for all the family, performances and a stall with Chinese produce. Find out more about Glasgow Mela here.

While you’re waiting, take a look at the fun we had in Sighthill and Netherton.

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Volunteer Appreciation Spring 2017

Throughout the year Ricefield Arts holds events to say thank you to our amazing team of volunteers. Here is a selection from our April 2017 celebration at Committee Room No.9.

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Chinese Street Theatre with Surge

Earth Hour 2017 Event

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