This month, Cypress Books caught up with Carl Gene Fordham, an Australian translator currently based in Xiamen, Fujian province. After learning Mandarin Chinese in primary school, Carl was lucky enough to enrol in one of Australia’s first Asian language immersion programmes back in 2000. He’s passed HSK Level 6, and wants to one day play his part in sharing the wisdom of ancient Chinese philosophy.
At the age of 13 Mr Xu Jianchu, calligraphy teacher at Guanghwa Books, first got involved in the painting of big-character posters during the Cultural Revolution.
Flash forward to 2016 and after numerous awards and international exhibitions, Mr Xu is now President of the UK Chinese Poetry Calligraphy & Painting Society, and Honorary Principal of the “Yancheng Shifu” Art College of China.Continue reading →
James Trapp was 14 when he sighted a small bronze figure of a seated leopard that was excavated in Hebei province from the tomb of a second-century BC princess.
It was this visit to the Royal Academy Chinese art exhibition that had him hooked on all things Chinese, especially Chinese art. For James, it proved a gateway to what we know as a fascinating culture and civilisation.
Steve Bennett, organiser of the London Mandarin Learners group on meetup.com, estimates he knows between 1,000 and 2,000 characters.
Though judging by his insights into the nuances of Mandarin Chinese and the texts he reads with his group, it’s probably far more. He’s been learning Mandarin Chinese at a steady pace for nine years, having enrolled in his first language classes when he was in China for a conference.