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Diana Yeh: Art, Migration and the Complexity of Belonging
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Diana Yeh: Art, Migration and the Complexity of Belonging

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To what extent are identity and belonging related to birth and birthplace? How do processes of art making and experiences of migration complicate this question? By illuminating little-known stories......

To what extent are identity and belonging related to birth and birthplace? How do processes of art making and experiences of migration complicate this question? By illuminating little-known stories of artists and writers of Chinese descent in Britain, this talk explores how their lives and works challenge our commonsense ideas about Chinese identity and belonging. While family, ancestry and birthplace are often vital to our sense of who we are, this talk highlights how they relate to identity and belonging in complex and often unexpected ways.

Diana Yeh's research lies in the interdisciplinary fields of art and migration. Her work explores the translocal lives and works of artists of Chinese descent in order to interrogate 'racial'/ethnic and national paradigms of identity and belonging. She is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of East London and is affiliated to its newly launched Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging.

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  • 1. Art, Migration and the Complexity of Belonging Diana Yeh, University of East London, d.yeh@uel.ac.uk Shih-I & Dymia Hsiung Li Yuan Chia Anthony Key
  • 2. Shih-I Hsiung and Dymia Hsiung, c. 1930s
  • 3. (Left to right): Shih-I Hsiung, director Gabriel Pascal(?), George Bernard Shaw and actress Wendy Hiller, c. 1941, possibly at Malvern Theatre Festival
  • 4. Programme for Lady Precious Stream at the Kingsway Theatre, London
  • 5. (Second from left): Dymia and Shih-I Hsiung with Eleanor Roosevelt
  • 6. Esmé Percy, Maisie Darrell and Roger Livesey in Lady Precious Stream, 1938 Carol Coombe as Lady Precious Stream, 1935
  • 7. Shih-I and Dymia Hsiung with their friend, the writer Chiang Yee, The Weekly Illustrated London, 12 September, 1936.
  • 8. Dymia Hsiung, Flowering Exile: An Autobiographical Excursion , 1952
  • 9. Photographs captioned ‘Off to do some gardening’ and ‘Reading is a favourite occupation with all the Hsiungs, and this is a usual scene’, from ‘The Happy Hsiungs’, Goodhousekeeping , 1946.
  • 10. Li Yuan-Chia
  • 11. The Li family home, Cha Dong, Guangxi Province, 2006
  • 12. 1960, 26.3 x 38.8 cm
  • 13. The Ton Fan group, mid-1950s
  • 14. Folding scroll, 1963
  • 15. Exhibition leaflet for 3+1 show, Signals Gallery, London 1966
  • 16. Points, installation view, Camden Arts Centre, 2001
  • 17. Points, Studio Exhibition, Boothby, Cumbria, 1968
  • 18. Poem Discs, Environment, Little Missenden Festival, Buckinghamshire, 1970
  • 19. Cha Dong, 2006
  • 20. Bankside, Cumbria, 2005
  • 21. Disrepairs to the LYC Museum, 2005
  • 22. Sports facilities for a new generation, Cha Dong 2006
  • 23. LYC Museum and Art Gallery, 1972–1983
  • 24. LYC Art Room, late 1970s
  • 25. The LYC Museum and Art Gallery, January 2005
  • 26. Photograph, 1993, hand-coloured black and white print, 24 x 30 cm
  • 27. Relief with moveable parts, 1993–1994
  • 28. 35mm transparency, 1990
  • 29. Anthony Key, in front of his work Bok Gwai (White Ghost) (2005)
  • 30. Soy/Ketchup (1997) Bread/Noodles (1997) Chopsticks/Knife Fork (1997)
  • 31. Yellow Peril (1997)
  • 32. Jerusalem (2003)
  • 33. Wish You Were Here (2005)
  • 34. Soy/Newspaper Painting (1995)
  • 35. Free Delivery (1999)
  • 36. Trespassing (2000)
  • 37. Walcot Chapel (2002)
  • 38. Stills from Home (2004). DVD, 45 mins