Projects funded by the Simon Deng Li Fund for 2016

The New Zealand China Friendship Society (NZCFS) is pleased to announce that five projects are being funded by the Simon Deng Li Fund for 2016.

Most of them should help promote the NZCFS among younger people which gives a good fit with the desired aims of the Society in that regard.

Below details are given of the five projects, including a brief description and their status, as of late January, 2016.

The total funding is NZ$44,000 – ranging from NZ$3400 for the ‘NZ China Pop Album’ to NZ$14000 for assisting Hawkes Bay Youth Choir to sing in Guilin (Hastings’ Sister City) and Shanghai.

Details of the Projects:

1. New Zealand China Pop Single

To help fund the production and release for the third single, called “Holding onto You”, which will complete a pop album of 10 original songs, each with its own Mandarin and English versions, with projected international release in March 2016. The associated publicity will raise the profile of the NZCFS, especially with younger people.

We hope to introduce New Zealanders and Chinese to each other’s unique and interesting cultures, sparking interest and conversations between the two countries. The song has been written in both English and Mandarin with lyrics that were inspired by Lawrence Larson’s first trip to China and the experiences he had there. The song will have a string arrangement accompanied by two traditional Chinese instruments, the erhu and guzheng.

“The lyrics and music should open people’s understanding to the kinds of emotions and stories we all relate to, despite our cultural differences.”

Applicant: George Andrews – National Vice President (North Island).

Funding: $3400   

Status (January, 2016): The studio work is in hand.  

2. NZ Environment Delegation to China, 2016

Envronmental Problems (traffic, smog, 3 Gorges)This project is an “Environmental delegates’ tour of China”. It comprises six environmental professionals visiting China for two weeks in October 2016. The group would be based in Beijing, Chengdu and Kunming with trips out of the cities. This will be an excellent opportunity for New Zealanders who already have an understand of dealing with environmental problems to meet their Chinese counterparts and to visit sensitive environmental sites and innovative projects in China.

Applicants: Dave Bromwich, National President.  This project is also backed by Beijing Youxie

Funding: $11250

Status (January 2016):  Two of the six places are already filled (**see below) and applications are called for to fill the remaining four places. Closing date is February 21, 2016.   For more details, click here.

**The two initial delegates are:

Deborah Robertson is a policy analyst at the Ministry for the Environment and was a 2014 NZCFS YFA. Her background is in environmental planning and impact assessment of large development projects.  Click here for an article on her work as YFA.

Emma Hill is an analyst in the climate change team at the Ministry for the Environment. Her background is in marine conservation and she is interested in how indigenous cultures view and manage the environment.

The four additional delegates will be selected by a panel that includes a NZCFS representative.

3. Hawkes Bay Youth Choir       

Hawkes Bay Youth Orchestra practicing

Hawkes Bay Youth Orchestra practising

This project is to send 30 members of the Hawkes Bay Youth Orchestra including conductor and orchestra manager, with 10 accompanying parents, to Guilin for five days and Shanghai for four days to perform at schools and in public, to participate in music workshops, to meet families of young musicians, to attend Chinese musical performances, and to have FUN.

It is hoped that this visit will lead to a return visit by young performers from Guilin.

 Applicant: Hawkes Bay Branch

Funding: $14000

Status (January 2016):  Allotted funds are currently held in NZCFS National Executive Account.  The Orchestra has already started rehearsing for the trip.

4. Bay of Plenty IRIS students to Nanchang       

IRIS ( Independent Research Internships for Secondary school students) is a programme developed in the Bay of Plenty to send senior secondary students to develop particular research projects in China.  In October 2016 a small group of graphics students from Mount Maunganui College will visit Nanchang University arts departments, public art galleries, meet with professional artists, practice various areas of graphic arts and exchange their knowledge and skills with students at Nanchang Foreign Language School where a special arts programme has been arranged for them.

On return to New Zealand the students will receive various awards based on the presentations they make to community groups and the general sharing of their China experience and their involvement in NZCFS Youth. (The awards are also financed by the Simon Deng Li Fund).

This research project continues what is now a tradition in the Bay of Plenty where secondary students have developed research topics into such diverse areas as Chinese education, international business and trade, horticulture and Chinese music thus introducing Kiwi students to China, it’s culture and people.

Applicant/Mentor: Tauranga Branch

Funding: $6500

Status (January 2016):  Allotted funds are currently held in NZCFS National Executive Account.

5. Contribution to Victoria University’s project to create a Chinese Scholar’s Study

Chinese Scholar's Studio

A typical Chinese Scholar’s study: “The Studio of Gratifying Discourse”— from a large Ch’ing dynasty (1644-1912) residence located in the West Tung-t’ing Hills district of Lake T’ai in the village of Tang-li, dated to 1797.  After the reception hall, the library or study (shu-fang) can be considered the most important room in a traditional upper class Chinese home. From http://archive.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/architecture/chinese-scholars-study.cfm

To  make a contribution to Victoria University’s project to create a Chinese Scholar’s Study which will provide an exciting space to showcase unique Chinese New Zealand initiatives with the wider community.  The publicly-accessible studio space would reflect the special New Zealand context of Chinese heritage.

The study would house traditional Chinese furniture, musical instruments and scholarly material, including New Zealand’s only original restored collection of Chinese printing-type.  The study would provide a focus for Victoria University’s Chinese-related programmes and for scholars interested in Chinese research and study as well as a space for community-outreach work.  The work of the NZCFS could be promoted through the studio and members would be encouraged to use the space. It would also provide an important link to other Chinese cultural heritage in Wellington such as the Chinese Garden that Wellington City Council is proposing and the Chinese historic district on Haining and Frederick Streets.

The study will provide a home for the restoration and conservation of New Zealand’s only surviving collection of original Chinese printing type, which would be used again for new Chinese language printed publications.  The collection was used by the NZ Chinese Commercial Growers Press to print its monthly newsletters and was recently rediscovered in a farmer’s field in Pukekohe!  The collection holds significant cultural history for the Chinese community and Victoria University is seeking to conserve it and repatriate it to Wellington.

Applicant: Wellington Branch

Funding: $8850 (Simon Deng Li Fund grant) & $2650 (Wellington Branch grant)

Status (January 2016):  The Chinese printing type has been inspected for transport to Wellington.  Victoria University to provide updates on progress in due course and receipts for payment.

See the related NZCFS website article for more details.

We wish every success to everyone involved with these Projects and that they will achieve all their objectives.

– Duncan France

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