This summer Ricefield Arts plans to host the first ever Glasgow Kite Festival, and we need your help to make this dream happen!
Kites have a long history in China, having first been developed over 2000 years ago to measure distance and wind speeds. Kite design has since become a unique art form, and flying them is popular around China, and the world. We would like to celebrate this cultural heritage through a programme of craft workshops throughout Glasgow, where we work with local communities to design their own kites from scratch. We will join together to test our creations in the Glasgow breeze on 22 July 2018 at Glasgow Kite Festival, a day of family fun and multi-cultural experiences.
Festival 2018 runs alongside the Glasgow 2018 European Championships this summer, and brings together community groups through art and cultural activities, like our proposed Glasgow Kite Festival. Bringing the festival to life relies on the generous funding of the Festival 2018 Our Place Fund, the allocation of which is voted for by Glasgow residents – like you!
If you’d like to see the Glasgow sky filled with kites, please vote for our proposal on the Our Place Fund website. Voting is open 6 February – 9 March 2018. Please note you must vote for five proposals for your vote to be counted.
Please share with family and friends you think might be interested: every votes count.
We’re thankful for your support! Thank you also to our event partners: Glasgow Mela, Interfaith Glasgow, Gilded Lily Inspiring Enterprise and Chinese Community Development Partnership.
In Glasgow’s Project Cafe, Ricefield artist Clarinda led us on a tea journey, where we had the chance to sample five authentic brews, as well as learning more about the first book written about tea in China: Cha Jing by Lu Yu.
We like to celebrate our hardworking team of volunteers whenever possible here at Ricefield. Every December we come together for our annual Christmas party, this year held at Garnethill Multicultural Centre. We shared food, Secret Santa gifts, music and learned more about Christmas with a tricky festive quiz. We also, of course, awarded our volunteer certificates. See all the award winners below!
On Sunday 26 November Ricefield Arts was delighted to take part in the Glasgow Christmas Style Mile Carnival. Ricefield’s theme was Christmas bells, and our float and costumes were designed and made by hand by some of our very talented artists. Here volunteer Lee Yutung has written about her experience as a performer:
It was a busy Tuesday for the Ricefield Team, preparing our costumes for the coming carnival! We were using our imagination to decorate the clothes and to make our own unique piece. Every one was a designer and an artist! Thank you to all the talented people who joined us and inspired each other to make such wonderful costumes.
Glasgow’s winter is cold and the snow gave us a hint that Christmas is coming! Luckily, the sun showed its smiling face on Sunday 28November.
Ricefield volunteers dressed as gold bells, with silver eye shadow decorating our eyes, gold powder decorating our cheeks, and small gold balls and a garland with berries decorating our hair. We were all excited and looked forward to joining the afternoon winter parade!
We moved to Argyle Street at 2:30 pm and waited for the parade to start. Other volunteers were also waiting there and were rehearsing. Every team had its own theme. Some dressed like medieval singers with a walking stick in their hands and some dressed as angels with snow white costumes. Some children played Oliver Twist, dressed with black dust on their faces and some kids dressed as little eagles with a mask covering their faces.
Many fancy parade floats were displayed on the street,alongside the performers. Our theme was the Christmas golden bell. Therefore, our volunteers carefully prepared two big red bells with silver belts and some decorative gold patterns and used the artificial green leaves to tie the bells together. The golden bell is always an indispensable element of Christmas. The design we created mixed in Chinese elements. Red colour in China symbolises good fortune, especially when it is used in festivals.
The bell led our team through the parade as our float. We danced freely by following the music played by the drummers ahead of us. We were smiling and waved to the people standing on the side of the road and gave them high fives. We had a dancing mascot made by Yuen at the top of a flagstick which attracted the audience’s attention, particularly children, who waved and said hi to it.
We followed the crowds on the route, dancing to the music as happy gold bells celebrating Christmas time. People on the road sides also waved to us and smiled. Everyone enjoyed the carnival as there’s only happiness in the festive world.
Visit Glasgow Loves Christmas for more information about winter celebrations in the city. Thanks to Bridgeman Arts for their support.
We hold regular events to say thank you to our volunteers for their amazing contributions throughout the year, and this one was certainly special. On Saturday 16 September, the team headed into the woods, where we learned about trees, foraging and wooden carving.
Ricefield volunteer Joey Humble has shared his experience (as well as his impressive knowledge of plant names!):
On a grey and windy Sunday morning a group of somewhat eager volunteers assembled under the gaze of the stone lions of Glasgow’s George square, and wondered what activities would they perform today? Teaching children how to make paper lanterns? Or perhaps demonstrating calligraphy to Glasweigians? Au contraire, for once, they were to be treated to a day of relaxation and countryside leisure as a reward for a year’s work promoting Chinese culture.
We started the day out by taking a minibus north to Cashel woodland forest located near Loch Lomond. There we met with our woodland guide, Paul from Green Aspirations Scotland, who led us through the forest and identified many different plants, trees and fungi. We explored a patch of silver birch trees and discovered the bright red fly agaric mushroom which is apparently psychedelic. We walked along the enchanting woodland path past holly and brooms bushes and our guide presented us with wood sorrel which is an edible herb with a refreshing flavour. We then peered up to an ancient and mighty oak tree so large and towering that its branches were bent and broken due to their weight, and looking down we found little oak seedlings daring to display their lobed leaves above the moist fertile earth. Our guide was very enthusiastic to find a hazel tree, which has been used for various crafts for thousands of years in the UK. We passed through a small private orchard with short waist-height apple trees holding surprisingly large bright red apples, which we learned are called ‘Bloody Ploughman’ apples. Later while marching through the woodland we found a ferny glade, there stood a gnarled leafless tree heavy with lichen and mosses, which our guide told us was a crabapple tree. On closer inspection this dead looking old tree bore several tiny green apples which tasted sour.
After an enjoying morning walk in the forest we ate pizzas in Balmaha’s Oak Tree restaurant and took photos by Loch Lomond with the ducks and boats in view. In the afternoon we went to Tir Na Nog, single file we followed a meandering path past a tepee and an old manor house and through a forest decorated with hanging wooden spoons of all sorts of sizes and intricate styles. We assembled inside a large wooden cabin with open walls giving views of the woodland on all sides and a cast-iron kettle heating on a wooden fire. We diligently carved spoons from chunks of aspen wood using axes, saws, knives and gougers; all the tools were readily available on a large table and we were given detailed instructions and assistance (thankfully there was a first kit on hand).
We learned so much about the forest and wood craft on this special day. A wonderful time was had by all.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, this year on October 4th, from the Ricefield Team!
Here, Ricefield volunteer Xue Xia explains the importance of the festival in Chinese culture.
The Mid-Autumn Festival started in the Chinese Tang dynasty, around 1300 years ago, and is as significant as the other three traditional Chinese festivals; Spring Festival, Qingming Festival and Dragon Boat Festival. Influenced by Chinese culture, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also prevalent in some East Asian countries and South East Asian countries. During Mid-Autumn Festival, people will admire the full moon, eat mooncake, drink Chinese osmanthus wine and do other activities. Importantly, the Mid-Autumn Festival is particularly meaningful for Chinese people because they make wishes on the full moon, including for a good harvest from agriculture, to gain happiness, and especially for the reunion of family members who are far away from home. In culture, there are also many poets from ancient China who recorded and expressed their feelings of missing their families, friends and hometown in their poetry dedicated to this special day. Overall, the Mid-Autumn Festival is part of China’s precious cultural heritage.
Learn more about the festival through our lantern making workshops, booking details and prices available here.
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 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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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?’.