Nottingham Lakeside Arts welcomes the Year of the Pig, which officially begins on Tuesday 5 February, with a celebration of Chinese traditional and contemporary culture in which people of all ages can participate and enjoy.
This year’s programme features a contemporary film series, theatre shows and a table tennis competition, arts and crafts workshops, exhibitions, a Temple Fair and the much awaited Gala Performances.
On Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 February, the Centre of Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies, University of Nottingham will present a contemporary film series, Queer Chinese Representations on Transnational Screens as part of the university’s LGBT+ Month and Chinese New Year programmes.
The free screenings will take place at Lakeside Arts’ Djanogly Theatre and will all be followed by an In Conversation event with each director, chaired by Fr Hongwei Bao with Dr Jamie J Zhao.
Lakeside will also host a screening of Left Lion’s documentary film Lord of Milan, telling the remarkable story of Herbert Kilpin, a butcher’s boy born at 191 Mansfield Road in 1870 who went on to found European football giants AC Milan. Due to AC Milan’s huge Chinese fanbase the film was selected to appear at the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Olympics by BODA (Beijing Olympic Development Association) and was screened at both the Birds Nest National Stadium and the Watercube in August 2018.
Marking the 149th anniversary of Kilpin’s birthday and the documentary’s success in China, the film is released digitally and on DVD to football fans across the world and is presented at Lakeside’s Djanogly Theatre on Thursday 29 January.
Theatre and music lovers will be treated to several impressive events.
On Friday 1 February, Chinese Arts Now and Concert Theatre will present Lao Can Impression, a dramatic adaptation of the classic story The Travels of Lao Can by the famous Chinese writer Liu, reimagined in a concert form.
Audiences can expect a fantastic experience brought by two actors and live musicians playing Debussy’s music.
A funny and moving real-time live audio drama piece, Citizens of Nowhere? will be performed in the Gallery Café on Monday 4 February. The actors will be seated among the audience who listen to their conversations through headphones, eavesdropping on a family at a moment of conflict as they prepare for a family wedding.
On Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February, the Djanogly Theatre will host the Nottingham Confucius Institute’s Chinese New Year Gala Performance where audiences will experience a kaleidoscope of fresh and fascinating performances including Chinese Erhu, Guzheng and Bamboo Flute music and spectacular group-coordinated Kung Fu routines. All proceeds from these performances will be donated to the Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Centre.
Families can visit the Temple Fair on Saturday 2 February at Old Market Square to try out calligraphy and paper cutting, and to see traditional storytelling, music and dance, including the Chinese Dragon Dance.
Audiences over the age of 12 years can sign up for Brush Painting Workshops at Lakeside – for either beginners’ level (Wednesday 30 January) or advanced sessions (Thursday 31 January) – and can also attend the Lunar Festival on Tuesday 5 February for a collection of performances from multiple student groups which will display different talents including martial arts and musicians celebrating Asian culture. On Saturday 9 February the public will be able to take part in the free drop-in Chinese Arts and Crafts workshops at Lakeside where participants will be able to try traditional Chinese craft activities.
Until Sunday 17 February visitors to Lakeside’s Wallner Gallery can enjoy Katrin Moye’s stunning exhibition of artworks investigating our special relationship with objects of personal significance. Using descriptions by Chinese students of cherished things from home, Katrin has recreated those objects in ceramic form. Through her art Katrin reveals the cultural disconnect and communication difficulties experienced when living in an unfamiliar environment.
As part of the UK Young Artists City Takeover, Lakeside also hosts an exhibition of the work of young Chinese artists from Yiyuan Tang Art Shake in the Angear Visitor Centre, which is free to visit until Sunday 24 February.