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WWB Weekend: Monkey Business for the New Year

By Susan Harris

The Chinese New Year kicks off on February 8. On your way to the party, why not Monkey around with the Chinese and Taiwanese graphics in our archives? “King-Ma Has Come,” Wei Tsung-cheng’s martial arts take on political culture in Taiwan, includes a mock-heroic stand-off between Mao and Chiang Kai-shek. “The Cat’s Coming (in a Left-Handed Version),” Chihoi's adaptation of Xi Xi’s sly story “Davin Chan Moves Out,” depicts an even fiercer conflict, this one between a young man with a cat and his ailurophobic sister-in-law; she gets rid of the kitten, and he gets rid of her. Li-Chin Lin wants to discard her “vulgar” Taiwanese dialect and ascend to the elevated diction (and status) of Mandarin, only to find herself “Tongue-tied.” And state artist Li Kunwu teams with French diplomat Philippe Ôtié to produce “A Great Step Forward: Memoir of the Famine.” We’ve published other pieces on the brutal famine of 1959 through 1961, but Kunwu's searing images bring those grim days to life—a sobering reminder at this time of holiday abundance.

Image: from “King-Ma Has Come,” by Wei Tsung-cheng, translated by Nancy Tsai

Published Feb 5, 2016   Copyright 2016 Susan Harris

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