• Jul 12 , 2024 | Culture
    The Past and Future of US-China Cultural Relations | Carla Canales
  • Jul 12 , 2024 | Culture
    Life as an American Cultural Envoy and Artist in China | Carla Canales
  • Jun 18 , 2024 | Culture
    From popular songs and online gaming to luxury brands, the traditional Chinese game of Mahjong effortlessly engages people of all ages and from all walks of life.
  • Jun 05 , 2024 | Culture
    Physical training in ancient China formed part of religious ritual as well as a way to train men for battle and self-defence.
  • May 08 , 2024 | Culture
    The Hong Kong Maritime Museum is a crosspoint for history, art, science—as shown in its new exhibition about Victoria Harbor. It tells the unique story of Hong Kong and its relationship with the water, and how over centuries this has brought people together in the cause of peace and prosperity.
  • Apr 02 , 2024 | Culture
    The ancient festival of Qingming is celebrated by Chinese communities around the globe, as a way of remembering and honoring departed loved ones.
  • Feb 27 , 2024 | Culture
    The recent exhibition at London’s British Museum provided a fascinating insight into the lives of individuals in 19th century China, with over 300 artifacts from emperor’s clothing and impressive scrolls to a straw cape, brought together under one roof for the first time.
  • Feb 09 , 2024 | Culture
    A beautiful exhibition has just arrived in London with the treasured clocks from the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City being brought together for the first time in the UK.
  • Feb 06 , 2024 | Culture
    It’s Chinese New Year. The China Current wishes you fortune and good health in the coming year.
  • Feb 02 , 2024 | Culture
    Featured in films, host to annual events, and used as a research center for plant conservation, the Humble Administrator’s Garden is widely considered to be the finest garden in all of southern China.
  • Jan 02 , 2024 | Culture
    With a history dating back over 2000 years, dim sum is a delightful Chinese culinary tradition featuring an array of bite-sized savory and sweet dishes, often enjoyed with tea.
  • Dec 14 , 2023 | Culture
    In this interview with our Host James Chau, Author & Cultural Commentator Ian Huen explores the beauty and history of the written Chinese language, which is considered a unifying element of China.
  • Dec 05 , 2023 | Culture
    In many ways, tea is a simple drink, composed of simply water and leaves. But tea culture is a rich tapestry of tradition and technique that dates back to ancient times. China’s centuries-old traditions and tea-making customs have earned their place on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
  • Oct 22 , 2023 | Culture
    China has many hidden gems, like villages tucked away in the rural mountains and remote communities not often given the spotlight but bursting with culture. Recently, travelers and explorers have begun to uncover some of China’s small towns —helping bring their stories to light and sharing them with the world.
  • Oct 17 , 2023 | Culture
    While China is known for its bustling cities, it’s also home to many enchanting, off-the-beaten-path villages ready to be discovered by tourists and explorers.
  • Sep 29 , 2023 | Culture
    Known around the world and especially in Asian cultures, Lunar New Year is a time of joyous gathering and celebration. Central to this momentous holiday and many others in Asia is the moon. Every fall, you’ll find Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations on par with any other major holiday in China, and overseas Chinese also take part in the festivities. In this episode, our Host James Chau shares the mythology behind the festival, and how lunar-oriented cultures recognize the holiday.
  • Sep 21 , 2023 | Culture
    The oldest known metal tools date back thousands of years, and were made from metals such as copper and even iron from meteorites. Today, many of the world's most famous metal tools and hardware products are produced by the crafters of Yongkang, China.
  • Sep 15 , 2023 | Culture
    With nearly 2 million relics, the Beijing Palace Museum is home to one of the biggest treasure troves of Chinese history and culture. It’s already the world's largest and best-preserved wooden palace, and it’s about to get even bigger.
  • Sep 01 , 2023 | Culture
    The Xiqu Centre, a new performing arts centre in Hong Kong, is a two-theatre venue featuring Cantonese opera and Chinese traditional theatre (xiqu).
  • Aug 26 , 2023 | Culture
    Chrysanthemums are a beautiful flower that have many hidden properties, making it an important part of Chinese culture, cuisine, and medicine.
  • Aug 22 , 2023 | Culture
    How Bonsai growing supports the environment and is viewed as a symbol of harmony and balance.
  • Aug 18 , 2023 | Culture
    Representing long life and happiness, the chrysanthemum is not only a beautiful flower but was the inspiration behind a multi-award winning Chinese film.
  • Aug 05 , 2023 | Culture
    Exploring the World of Chinese bun-making and the globalization of this versatile snack.
  • Jul 28 , 2023 | Culture
    With the 2000-year-old story of star-crossed lovers dating back to the Han Dynasty, the Qixi Festival is the oldest form of Valentine’s Day and holds a cherished and deep cultural significance in Chinese folklore.
  • Jul 24 , 2023 | Culture
    How a pivotal voyage in the Han dynasty became the foundation of the famous Silk Road.
  • Jul 21 , 2023 | Culture
    From the bustling streets of Hong Kong to the far corners of the globe, Bruce Lee's influence carries on for half a century. 50 years later, we still commemorate Bruce Lee as an iconic figure, both for Hong Kong and also martial arts.
  • Jul 20 , 2023 | Culture
    Bruce Lee passed away 50 years ago, but his spirit lives on.
  • Jul 18 , 2023 | Culture
    What mesmerizing art is so rapid that even modern technology cannot capture its secrets? The 300-year-old art form of Face Changing, or Bian Lian, is a cultural heritage so important that it was once classified as a second-level state secret, but nowadays you can be entertained whilst enjoying delicious Hot Pot!
  • Jul 17 , 2023 | Culture
    Tea time for many cultures around the world is an intentional moment to gather with friends and loved ones. In Hong Kong, tea shops hold a special place in the hearts of the locals.
  • Jun 28 , 2023 | Culture
    A journey through the colorful world of Chinese folk dances, their history and significance.
  • Jun 23 , 2023 | Culture
    Exploring the history, development and beauty of Chinese classical dance.
  • Jun 12 , 2023 | Lifestyle
    How the magnificence of the natural world inspired the creation of the now globally popular and beautiful miniature ornamental trees
  • Jun 08 , 2023 | Culture
    While all people come from different backgrounds with unique traditions, learning a new language is not only a way to communicate with one another, but also promotes global economic and social development.
  • Jun 08 , 2023 | Culture
    The colorful Dragon Boat Festival was originally celebrated to ward off disease and poisonous animals and nowadays is celebrated all over the world with boat races, drums and dumplings.
  • Jun 02 , 2023 | Culture
    How communities are brought together in celebration through the beauty and power of two iconic dances
  • May 31 , 2023 | Culture
    The sport of Cuju, dating back 2000 years in China, has been recognised by FIFA as the earliest form of football and is now used as a platform to enhance and promote cultural exchange.
  • May 24 , 2023 | Culture
    The Great Wall of China is one of the most famous archaeological wonders in the world. It was originally built and maintained to repel foreign influences and invaders, but in recent years, the Wall has faced a new challenge: tourists.
  • May 18 , 2023 | Culture
    Umberto Bombana is recognised as one of the world's most renowned chefs, and the first to be awarded three Michelin stars for an Italian restaurant outside of Italy. He lives in Hong Kong and now he's turning his skills to Chinese dim sum, a simple but complex delicacy to make.
  • May 17 , 2023 | Culture
    Chef Bombana has spent his career inside the world's most famous restaurants. But his life began in the Italian alps where he grew up surrounded by the magical countryside. Our James Chau has been asking Chef Bombana about his indelible link to nature, and for his thought leadership on the future of sustainability.
  • May 11 , 2023 | Culture
    Which creature originating in China increases its size 10,000 times, lays 500 eggs in 5 days and eats 3,500 pounds of the same diet during its one-month long life?
  • May 05 , 2023 | Culture
    An insightful conversation with leading pianist, Mary Wu, on the connections between two Classical traditions and the importance of patience and balance in performance.
  • Apr 25 , 2023 | Culture
    The Spice Route was a network of trade routes that connected the East and West for centuries. And some of its traveling condiments became so sought after that they could establish and even destroy empires.
  • Apr 20 , 2023 | Culture
    Nestled in the heart of China's Qinghai province lies the Chaka Salt Lake — a mesmerizing natural wonderland. With its stunning salt formations and shimmering reflection of the sky, this unique destination is a true feast for the senses.
  • Apr 12 , 2023 | Culture
    Hong Kong is back again and better than ever. Among the 80,000 visitors at this year's Art Basel was Bernhard schwartländer, a global health envoy who enjoys different cultures.
  • Mar 16 , 2023 | Culture
    Architecture can transport you to different times, cultures, and places. And China is home to some of the world’s most remarkable architectural designs.
  • Mar 14 , 2023 | Culture
    Jiaxin Cheng explains how cultural icons such as Lang Lang and Yuja Wang have inspired a whole generation of young people in China to embrace classical music and consider it the future.
  • Mar 13 , 2023 | Culture
    The Ancient form of Chinese Cuisine, Hotpot, is not only a versatile and nourishing dish, but a perfect way to socialise. Nowadays you can eat Hotpot all over the world so I went to a famous restaurant in London to find out how it was all done.
  • Feb 24 , 2023 | Culture
    Ken Hom gives his succinct thoughts on authenticity, the essence of Chinese cuisine, and the most soothing food to eat in this final episode of his conversation with Culture Contributor Tasmin Little.
  • Feb 17 , 2023 | Culture
    Ken Hom explains how Chinese cookery fits in with our lifestyle and how the comments and questions from the public inspired him to create ever more authentic dishes.
  • Feb 15 , 2023 | Culture
    The ancient city of Pingyao in the central part of China’s Shanxi Province has a history that dates back more than 2,700 years and is one of the two ancient cities in China listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site. And this small town was the birthplace of China's banking industry, and served as the financial center of the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Jan 16 , 2023 | Culture
    Since at least the Shang dynasty, chopsticks have been used as eating utensils by generations of Chinese who, in turn, passed their culinary culture onto other Asian countries. Our Host James Chau speaks with author Ian Huen.
  • Jan 12 , 2023 | Culture
    The Chinese New Year has arrived with the ideals and values that are intrinsic to this traditional festival. At a time when the world can feel complex and even dark, the Year of the Rabbit promises renewed hope and unity. This story by our Host James Chau.
  • Jan 05 , 2023 | Culture
    Naadam is an annual festival and sporting event in Mongolia that celebrates the country’s modern identity and past glory, bringing together competitors in horseback racing, archery, and wrestling. In 2006, the Naadam festival was listed as a UNESCO National Intangible Cultural Heritage, as the sporting competition is closely knit with Mongolia’s history, and exhibits Mongolian grassland life and cultural traditions.
  • Dec 23 , 2022 | Culture
    Chinese characters are one of the oldest written languages in human history, with a history of at least four thousand years. And about a century ago, Chinese archaeologists discovered the Yin Ruins — a massive archaeological find of oracle bone inscriptions. To date, these artifacts are the most vivid and best-preserved type of writing discovered thus far.
  • Dec 19 , 2022 | Culture
    Chef Ken Hom has touched the hearts of millions of people through his books and television programs. Now he speaks to Tasmin Little about Chinese cuisine as a gateway to community-building, and his concerns for global food security.
  • Dec 06 , 2022 | Culture
    Acupuncture is incredibly popular in China and its origins date back to the Stone Age.Over the years, this treatment has gained some momentum, and now people around the globe use acupuncture to help restore their health. This is the story of how a traditional Chinese therapy with an ancient history made its way across the globe.
  • Dec 02 , 2022 | Culture
    Umberto Bombana is the only chef to be awarded three Michelin stars for Italian cuisine outside of Italy. Now, he's opened a Chinese restaurant that specializes in Cantonese and Chau Chow delicacies, including small dishes of world-famous dim sum. Our Host James Chau met Chef Bombana at Nove, his newest restaurant in Hong Kong.
  • Nov 23 , 2022 | Culture
    Across the globe, cave dwellings are still used as houses. Cave homes are energy-saving, ecological buildings that provide their dwellers with an atmosphere that’s warm in winter and cool in summer. Today, throughout northern Shaanxi in China, caves are still considered the primary type of residence for citizens, especially in rural areas.
  • Nov 14 , 2022 | Culture
    The Chinese invented paper, printing and the compass, but they have also been using their own refrigeration technology for thousands of years. This allowed people to store and consume food safely — and shaped modern innovations today. This story from our Host James Chau.
  • Nov 11 , 2022 | Culture
    Once known as a “cultural desert”, Hong Kong is now home to major institutions including the newly opened M+ and Hong Kong Palace Museum, as well as the Hong Kong Museum of Art – which is celebrating its 60th birthday. Our Host James Chau speaks to Nancy Lee, Chair of the Friends of HKMoA.
  • Nov 03 , 2022 | Culture
    Before the arrival of modern air-conditioning, people kept cool in warm weather using hand-held fans. But these delicate, decorative objects are also known as an expression of folk art, particularly in China where they hold significance for rituals and ceremonial occasions. Our Host James Chau looks deeper at this unique cultural heritage.
  • Oct 23 , 2022 | Culture
    A variety of silk known as 'fragrant clouds' truly lives up to its name. But the textile is not only delicate, but is highly breathable, water resistant, and largely crease-free. Our Host James Chau ventures into silk producing areas and explores the techniques by which they make and dye the material.
  • Oct 07 , 2022 | Culture
    Have you seen hair that is more than six meters long? In the "long hair village" of Huangluo Yaozhai in Guangxi, China, it is custom for ladies to grow their hair long. Hongyao women do not cut or discarded their hair casually. They will only cut their hair once in their life, on the day of their coming-of-age ceremony. Our Host James Chau shares the story.
  • Oct 03 , 2022 | Culture
    An English Family and their Century with China | Sarah Hawkes
  • Sep 30 , 2022 | Culture
    Salt production in Tibet dates back 1,300 years ago to a historic village where generations of families have inherited unique skills and knowledge. This is a story about cultural heritage, local industry, and the women who ensure that this unique way of life continues to thrive. Told by our Host James Chau.
  • Sep 14 , 2022 | Culture
    In eastern China, most known for its booming urban centers, a small but precipitous mountain enclave has yielded over 1,000 new species discoveries over the last century. Our Nature Contributor Kyle Obermann shares the story of Wuyishan National Park, one of China’s first five official national parks.
  • Sep 06 , 2022 | Culture
    Mid-Autumn Festival is an important time in the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s a time for family reunions, gatherings with friends, admiring the moon, and eating delectable mooncakes. Our Culture Contributor Tasmin Little shares the history and legends of the holiday.
  • Aug 30 , 2022 | Culture
    There’s a strong relationship between music and nature in Chinese culture. Tasmin Little, well-known violinist and Culture Contributor for The China Current, looks at four pieces of music which demonstrate that special connection.
  • Aug 22 , 2022 | Culture
    The calendar may be divided into four seasons, but for the Chinese people — among other East Asians — their year is shaped by 24 solar terms. Throughout history, this tradition has guided farmers growing crops, and determined traditional holidays like the Mid-Autumn Festival. Our Host James Chau has more.
  • Aug 16 , 2022 | Culture
    The Forbidden City was home to the emperors of China for over five centuries, and is known for the distinctive vermillion that color its walls. Now, 20 craftsmen have been handpicked to inherit the skills and knowledge of generations of artisans who keep this monument alive. Our Host James Chau tells this story.
  • Jul 18 , 2022 | Social Good
    Tanzania is a country in east Africa, that faces the Indian Ocean on one side, and a myriad of countries on the other. It's also where a teacher from China called Ya Ya is sharing her language, cuisine, and culture. It's a way of bringing young people closer together, but it also provides new skills that are matching them to jobs and opportunities. Our host James Chau tells us more.
  • Jul 05 , 2022 | Culture
    Even today, millions of school students across China learn how to write using a traditional ink brush. It returns them to their inherited history — and opens them to a visual art that was regarded as a ‘fine art’ long before the emergence of painting. This story by our Culture Contributor Tasmin Little.
  • Jul 01 , 2022 | Culture
    Cultures can be distinct to geography. But we explore the relationship between Chinese painting and Western classical music — where the ink brush and the violin bow are used in similar and extraordinary ways. This story by our Culture Contributor Tasmin Little.
  • Jun 09 , 2022 | Culture
    Mangoes are abundant in China, the second largest producer of the so called “king” of fruits. But the mango is not native to this part of the world — having only been introduced via Beijing in the late 1960s. Tasmin Little, Culture Contributor to The China Current, tells this story.
  • May 27 , 2022 | Culture
    For almost a decade, Art Basel has positioned Hong Kong on the global map of contemporary art — and created a community that is second to none. Leading that movement is Adeline Ooi, who is bringing 130 galleries to this year's edition. She speaks with our Host James Chau as part of The China Current's collaboration with the world's most important art show.
  • May 25 , 2022 | Culture
    With mountains, rivers, and waterfalls, Chinese artists have long enjoyed a close connection with the natural world that continues to fascinate them. Daphne King, Director of Alisan Fine Arts, speaks with our Host James Chau about how today's artists are finding a modern language for a historic form of painting. This interview is part of The China Current's collaboration with Art Basel.
  • May 22 , 2022 | Culture
    For a third year, The China Current is collaborating with Art Basel on a special series of interviews. In this video, we feature Johnson Chang, one of Hong Kong's best-loved cultural figures. For 40 years, he has showcased Chinese classical and later contemporary works — long before their importance in the global art market. Our Host James Chau speaks with the Founder of Hanart TZ Gallery.
  • May 19 , 2022 | Culture
    Tucked away in China’s Sichuan Province is a waterway built in 256 BCE that is still in use by the local community today. The Dujiangyan irrigation system is the oldest water conservancy system in the world. Our Host James Chau shares the story behind this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • May 16 , 2022 | Culture
    In northern China, a canyon gapes through green mountains, exposing sheer rock faces sparkling with waterfalls. The Taihang Grand Canyon marks the dramatic end of northern China’s Taihang Mountain range, which curl down southward from northern Hebei, past Beijing, and into Henan province. Our Nature Contributor, Kyle Obermann, explores the park with us.
  • May 13 , 2022 | Social Good
    The Tibet highlands are so vast and remote that few have witnessed the region. This is the land that migratory antelope call home. Our Host James Chau shares their story.
  • May 11 , 2022 | Culture
    Concert violinist Tasmin Little delves into the music, folklore, and story of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto, one of the best-known works for violin in the 20th century Chinese repertoire. As Culture Contributor for The China Current, Tasmin returns us to the 1950s when the concerto was composed by two students at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
  • Apr 30 , 2022 | Innovation
    America has many beautiful train journeys, including the overnight service from Seattle to Los Angeles that gives passengers an unrivaled view of the West Coast. The equivalent in China is the Huang-Hang Railway that allows you to see the dawn rise on Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain, and be back in time in downtown Hangzhou for sunset — tracing the footsteps of Marco Polo, the Italian explorer who traveled through China in the 13th century.
  • Apr 22 , 2022 | Culture
    Tasmin Little has joined The China Current as Culture Contributor after a three decade career as one of the world's leading concert violinists. She will look at the music and instruments of China, but so much more — including the ideas, traditions, lifestyles that shape the lives of 1.4 billion people today. In this episode, Tasmin looks at her own story and how it connects to her videos for us.
  • Apr 13 , 2022 | Social Good
    Yading, a nature reserve in China, is one of the most enchanting places in the world. Our Nature Contributor, Kyle Obermann, shares how his 6-day trek through the mountains of this region inspired his work.
  • Mar 29 , 2022 | Culture
    China’s Miao people are known for their rich culture. One Miao tradition is similar to that in Europe — bullfighting. Southeast Guizhou is a historical home of bullfighting, where an agriculture-based economy means generations of people have grown up with cattle, rearing them and living off them. Our Host James Chau shares the story.
  • Mar 25 , 2022 | Culture
    The Emperor Qianlong ruled China for 61 years in the 18th century. During his long reign, he loved eating Huaiyang food, one of four traditional Chinese cuisines — and the newest UNESCO World Capital of Food. Our Host James Chau tracks its history and how it played a special role in the founding of a new nation.
  • Mar 11 , 2022 | Culture
    Julian Lloyd Webber is known the world over for his music. As a cellist and conductor, he has performed internationally including in China where the love for 'western' classical music has grown exponentially. He speaks to our Culture Contributor Tasmin Little.
  • Feb 28 , 2022 | Culture
    The flute is a mainstay of classical orchestras and was recently made popular again by American singer-songwriter, Lizzo. Its origins can be traced to ancient China, where early forms of the instrument were excavated close to the Yellow River. Our Host James Chau delves into a story that also fascinates researchers at The Met in New York.
  • Feb 20 , 2022 | Culture
    The last day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated with a Lantern Festival — lights, color, and family. There’s also a special rice ball infused with sesame, peanut and red bean. Here’s our Host James Chau with the story.
  • Feb 18 , 2022 | Lifestyle
    The big winner at the Beijing Olympics is Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot encased in an astronaut’s outfit. Long lines have formed outside stores in Beijing, while factories are trying to keep up with demand. Our Host James Chau looks at the “ice panda” winning hearts everywhere.
  • Feb 15 , 2022 | Culture
    Eileen Gu is the face of the Beijing Olympics, winning gold for China in the freestyle halfpipe before heading to Stanford University in the fall. Our host James Chau looks at her story, and the women in her family who made her a champion.
  • Feb 01 , 2022 | Culture
    The Chinese New Year is more popularly known in China as the Spring Festival for the start of a new season, or Lunar New Year because the calendar is determined by the moon. In this video, our Host James Chau takes a deep dive in the meaning behind the traditions in the Year of the Tiger.
  • Jan 26 , 2022 | Culture
    The women of the Miao community are renowned for their jewelry, textiles, and music — passing down generations of skills to their daughters and granddaughters. Jehanne de Biolley has been traveling to the mountains of southern China where they live, and researching the lessons we can all learn from the "slow movement" they lead. She speaks to our Host James Chau.
  • Jan 26 , 2022 | Culture
    Nothing is more fascinating than seeing the Miao people of southern China live among the mountains wearing their intangible heritage. Silver headdresses, ornate jewelry, and clothing that requires years to embroider. Jehanne de Bioley has traveled through the region and speaks with our Host James Chau about the ways of the Miao — from preservation to sustainability.
  • Jan 26 , 2022 | Culture
    The China Current is pleased to present a series on the Miao people, who have a presence mainly in China, but also across in the United States and France. In this introductory video, we look at their origins, historys, and unique ways of modern living — including the embroidery and jewelry they still wear today. This story by our Host James Chau.
  • Jan 18 , 2022 | Culture
    The China Current is proud to introduce its new Culture Contributor, Tasmin Little. The world renowned violinist first visited China in 1982 as a student at the Menuhin School. In this podcast, Tasmin pays tribute to Chi Chi, the giant panda born in the wild of Sichuan — who later made her home at London Zoo.
  • Dec 24 , 2021 | Culture
    The giant panda is almost unique to China, but entirely universal in its appeal. It is the inspiration for the global conservation movement. One of the best-known pandas of the 20th century is Chi Chi, the basis of the original logo drawn for the World Wide Fund for Nature. Tasmin Little, concert violinist and China Current Culture Contributor, finds out why one animal enjoys a central role in the future of our planet.
  • Dec 20 , 2021 | Culture
    In 1958, a panda born in China's Sichuan province arrived at London Zoo, where she would make her home for the next 14 years — despite being scheduled to stay for only three weeks. She became one of the world's best known animals and was loved by children and adults alike. Tasmin Little, concert violinist and China Current Culture Contributor, recounts her own early interaction with Chi Chi.
  • Dec 09 , 2021 | Culture
    For centuries, waterways have provided an avenue for trade and transportation, as well as a needed resource for agriculture. UNESCO has deemed the Jing-Hang Grand Canal a World Heritage Site, as it continues to be an avenue for regional economic and cultural growth, exactly as intended 1,500 years ago. Our Host James Chau dives into the history and significance of China’s famous canalways.
  • Nov 29 , 2021 | Culture
    Ginkgo trees are a species native to China and today retain great cultural significance. One Ginkgo tree planted in the courtyard of an ancient temple lives close to where the terracotta statues were buried in Xi’an China. And this tree has lived nearly 1,400 years. Our Host James Chau shares the story and cultural heritage of the Ginkgo tree.
  • Nov 25 , 2021 | Culture
    China’s southern province of Yunnan is home to living and thriving matriarchal communities. For the Naxi people, women are known to be the economic drivers of their household. Our Host James Chau explores and shares the culture and customs of this fascinating group.
  • Nov 22 , 2021 | Culture
    Tucked away in China’s southern province live the Naxi people, a matriarchal community whose culture and hometown of Lijiang have been honored as a World Heritage site. Our Host James Chau shares the story of a textile worker in one of these rural communities.
  • Nov 20 , 2021 | Culture
    The Yungang Grottoes are a collection of more than 51,000 statues carved into the sandstone caves in China’s Shanxi province. Few people are able to see this UNESCO Heritage Site wonder in person, and its age and natural decay mean it will not last forever. But today, archaeologists are taking half a million images of the site every month, which can be used to create three-dimensional replicas, to preserve history for future generations. Our Host James Chau tells about the merging of ancient art and the newest tech.
  • Nov 11 , 2021 | Culture
    With 42% of the country made up of wilderness, China is one of the best places to see a brilliant array of fall foliage. Our Nature Contributor Kyle Obermann gives insider tips on some off-the-beaten-path destinations in China that are worth visiting this season.
  • Nov 08 , 2021 | Culture
    Many people know that China is the birthplace of fireworks. But did you know that their use dates back more than 1000 years to the Tang and Song dynasties? Today, fireworks light up the skies for all kinds of celebrations, from holidays, to baseball games, and even weddings. Our Host James Chau looks back at the history of fireworks, and tells the story of their evolution and place in global culture.
  • Nov 04 , 2021 | Culture
    Many people know that China is the birthplace of fireworks — but did you know that their use dates back more than 1000 years — to the Tang and Song dynasties? Today, fireworks light up the skies for all kinds of celebrations — holidays, baseball games, even weddings. Our Host James Chau looks back at the history of fireworks, and tells the story of their evolution and place in global culture.
  • Oct 25 , 2021 | Culture
    In the 1800s, China was a mix of rebellion, monarchy, and commerce. John Thomson, a prolific Scottish traveler and photographer, ventured into Asia and documented the changes he witnessed in person. In time for the centenary of his birth, an exhibition on Thomson has returned to Scotland. Our Host James Chau looks at his legacy and the works that illuminated early understandings of China — its culture, architecture, and people.
  • Oct 15 , 2021 | Innovation
    Accessibility to fresh produce year-round hasn’t always been easy to come by, but with innovation comes new solutions. Communities in northeast China once had to conserve their food, due to the harsh winters that interrupted food supply. But thanks to innovation, they now not only have enough to eat, but a huge surplus to feed the rest of the country. Our Host James Chau looks at how one town transformed into a produce powerhouse — and sustained a nation through a pandemic.
  • Sep 29 , 2021 | Culture
    Global events have deeply impacted a small corner of New York City, where one of the world's oldest Chinatowns is located. Yet, its community continues to thrive, by adapting and supporting small, family-run businesses that characterize this neighborhood. Our Host James Chau speaks with longtime resident and storyteller, Annie Tan.
  • Sep 25 , 2021 | Culture
    Chinese laborers brought ideas and wealth back home from working in the US in the early 20th century, inspiring some now-famous architecture. Kaiping, a southern city in China, is home to a World Heritage site that honors some of the world’s most unique architecture. Our Host James Chau draws connections between the birth of American industry and the creation of a Chinese style.
  • Sep 09 , 2021 | Culture
    At the height of America’s industrial growth, new arrivals, originally from Kaiping, China, came to the US seeking work. From the construction of its first continental railroad to the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinese laborers were fundamental to America’s construction and growth. Our Host James Chau tells their story.
  • Aug 20 , 2021 | Culture
    There’s an art form so well-known and celebrated that it was named after a country: fine china. Ceramic dates back thousands of years to China where they began life, before slowly spreading to other parts of East Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Through the years, Jingdezhen, a town in Jiangxi province, has been an artisan center where clay and craftsmanship unite. Our Host James Chau looks back at its historic beginnings, the evolution of cobalt, and its modern applications today.
  • Jul 23 , 2021 | Culture
    China is home to 56 ethnicities, each with their own distinct cultures and their own traditional sports. As Asia stages two Olympics in less than a year, we explore China’s traditional sports and the people who keep them alive. With annual national games in China, some of these competitions are experiencing a revival as the next generation take the torch and carry on their legacy.
  • Jul 10 , 2021 | Culture
    Many Chinese painters of the past century were acutely aware of the importance of nature. Humans, after all, are just guests on this magnificent planet. Artists used their literature, calligraphy, and spirituality to explore the world around them. Our Host James Chau speaks with the exhibit curator for Hong Kong’s M K Lau Collection, co-presented with Sotheby's in Hong Kong.
  • Jul 05 , 2021 | Culture
    20th century Chinese art often depicts the relationship between humans and nature. Currently on display, the M K Lau Collection, co-presented with Sotheby's in Hong Kong, features Four Seasons by Zhang Daqian. These paintings skillfully display the changing of time through the lens of nature. Our Host James Chau speaks with the exhibit’s curator about co-existing with nature and the different artists’ expressions of rural life.
  • Jul 02 , 2021 | Culture
    The foundation of Chinese art is silk or paper, ink, and a brush. ‘A Taste of the Masters’ is a collection of 20th century Chinese paintings from the M K Lau Collection, co-presented with Sotheby's in Hong Kong. Our Host James Chau speaks with the exhibit’s curator, exploring the works and how the simple tools of ink and brush create dynamism and motion in these historical pieces.
  • May 28 , 2021 | Culture
    Jingdezhen, an eastern Chinese city, is the center of China’s ceramics culture, and has driven the export of “fine china” to the world. Artist and studio owner Amber Lei shares the history of how ceramics came to be so celebrated in China and beyond with our Host James Chau.
  • May 25 , 2021 | Culture
    Chinese ceramics brought Amber Lei to China from the UK. Now, she operates a studio and gallery in Hong Kong. Amber meets with Host James Chau to discuss her journey and exploration of her craft and her heritage.
  • May 15 , 2021 | Culture
    As a young child, Charles Ray's imagination was captured by National Geographic. As an adult, he served as an overseas envoy, moving to China in the early 1980s. He was stationed in Guangzhou and Shenyang — two cities in the south and northeast that were largely unknown to the outside world. Our Host James Chau speaks to Amb. Ray about his story, and how it began in a Texan town called Center.
  • Apr 15 , 2021 | Culture
    In this second episode with international concert violinist Tasmin Little and yangqin player Reylon Yount, they explore the relationship between our planet and the music they perform. As one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, China's culture has a strong link to the natural world, from the designs on its traditional instruments, to the melodies that inspired its composers. Tasmin, our new music contributor, draws on Reylon's background as an environment major at Harvard and how he merges this interest with his musical career.
  • Apr 11 , 2021 | Culture
    The yangqin is a traditional Chinese instrument that originated from Iran when connections created by the Silk Road opened up ideas and cultures. In her first interview as our Music Contributor, international concert violinist Tasmin Little speaks to Reylon Yount, a Chinese American graduate from Harvard who plays the yangqin as a soloist and with Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. He recalls his unlikely story with the instrument, which he began learning in San Francisco and later in Beijing where his mother's family are from.
  • Mar 31 , 2021 | Culture
    Tucked between Beijing’s crowded streets are a labyrinth of alleys and courtyard houses. Together, they form a historical community that has found new life in today’s mega metropolis. Our Host James Chau explores the alleys and courtyard homes known locally as ‘hutong’ and ‘siheyuan’.
  • Feb 25 , 2021 | Culture
    Preserving cultural traditions across the globe compels us to appreciate a meaningful way of life and cherish the earth. The Chinese province of Yunnan is rich with traditions inspired by the vast amount of flora and natural sights surrounding the area. It’s also home to the Bai people, whose custom of fabric dying is considered an “intangible cultural heritage.”
  • Feb 22 , 2021 | Culture
    China is known for inventing some of the most important tools in the history of mankind. One of these inventions is paper. Finnish artist Juho Könkkölä uses Chinese rice paper to create immaculate paper samurais using a historic paper folding technique. Our Host James Chau explores the extensive history of rice paper and how it is used to connect cultures.
  • Feb 19 , 2021 | Culture
    We are always looking to the next frontier and what the future could mean for us. The US has, in many ways, shaped global tastes — from the music of Gershwin and Motown, to the films of Hollywood and Disney. But other cultures, including those in the global East, have something to offer as well, especially in an age where technology and innovation have created a more inclusive playing field. Our Host James Chau looks at some of the emerging trends and the likely impact for everyone.
  • Feb 18 , 2021 | Culture
    Wang Yuyang is an artist whose works are known internationally — particularly his intricate paintings and photographs of the moon’s surface. His artistic portrayal of the solar system evokes a hopeful message, especially at a time when the world is experiencing a pandemic. Based in Beijing, but born in Harbin, Wang looks back at his childhood, and the transformation from poverty to better opportunities.
  • Feb 15 , 2021 | Culture
    Throughout history, the moon has captured the human imagination — serving as a symbol in many cultures and traditions. From Neil Armstrong's 1969 landing to China's recent lunar mission, our relationship with the moon has taught us to reach for the stars. Our Host James Chau speaks with artist Wang Yuyang about his fascination with the solar system.
  • Feb 04 , 2021 | Culture
    Celebrating Lunar New Year during a global pandemic brings new meaning to the holiday. Also called Spring Festival, this holiday celebrates the arrival of a new moon and follows a zodiac made up of 12 animals, representing a 12 year cycle. This Lunar New Year welcomes the Year of the Ox, which astrologers say will bring honesty and positivity. Our Host James Chau explores the meaning of the ox zodiac and the light it may shine on 2021. Happy Lunar New Year!
  • Feb 03 , 2021 | Culture
    Gathering for a meal with loved ones is a classic holiday tradition, but this Lunar New Year will be different. Eating with loved ones is a central part of Lunar New Year, as millions make the long journey home each holiday season to gather at the table with friends and family. While this is normally the world’s largest annual migration of people, this year many are choosing to celebrate remotely due to the ongoing pandemic. Wherever you’re celebrating, our Host James Chau and The China Current hope you can enjoy a meal with someone you love and wish you a Happy Lunar New Year!
  • Feb 01 , 2021 | Culture
    Billions across the globe will celebrate Lunar New Year this week. While many will travel home to visit their loved ones, others will celebrate remotely, making the best of this challenging time. Our Host James Chau and The China Current wish you a safe and happy Lunar New Year.
  • Nov 06 , 2020 | Culture
    Diplomat and author Kishore Mahbubani has recently released a book– “Has China Won?”– about China and its people, and the power the country exercises on the global stage. Our Host James Chau speaks with Kishore about his book and his inspirations. As a long-time Singaporean diplomat, Kishore shares his experiences with China and its leaders, giving a glimpse of China’s past and where it might be heading.
  • Oct 27 , 2020 | Culture
    The pressures of modern life have made dating more difficult in our rapidly evolving world. Today’s high cost of living, matched with evolving dynamics of education to employment has led to a decrease in marriage, and an increase of single-person households in countries around the world. Our Host James Chau dives into the phenomenon of “singlehood”—and how technology, culture and tradition play a role in partnership.
  • Oct 16 , 2020 | Culture
    A quaint looking small town near Shanghai is an international powerhouse when it comes to violin manufacturing. From humble beginnings creating budget violins, Huangqiao now produces a third of all violins worldwide, annually. Our Host James Chau breaks down how Huangqiao came to be the center of China’s violin industry.
  • Oct 15 , 2020 | Culture
    Many of China’s musicians have become well-known around the world. At the crux of cross-cultural music education stands the US-China Music Institute in upstate New York. This educational center, an initiative of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, has brought Chinese instruments like the pipa, erhu, and gu zheng to audiences in far-flung locales. Our Host James Chau examines the key figures who have shown the world the talent of China’s musicians, and how music helps us hear each other's stories, regardless of language.
  • Oct 09 , 2020 | Culture
    Culture and art have a newfound significance in a world burdened with a pandemic, where we are living much of our lives in isolation or with restrictions. Two gallerists have opened The Saachi Yates Gallery on Cork Street in London, a street made famous for its history in nurturing and birthing artists and gallerists, like Francis Bacon and Peggy Guggenheim. Gallerists Aurthur Yates and Phoebe Saatchi Yates have claimed this historical spot in London, as they say, “with one foot in the past, and one in the future”– looking to reinvent gallerying in these uncertain times. Our Host James Chau speaks with them from London.
  • Sep 24 , 2020 | Culture
    The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of Asia’s major holidays– and everyone who celebrates it is familiar with mooncakes– a pastry that comes in a variety of flavors that are baked special for the occasion. At Hong Kong’s Ying Jee Club, Chef Siu’s mooncakes have earned a coveted Michelin star. Our Host James Chau visited him to learn what makes his mooncake so special, and to hear the storied history of the mooncake in Chinese culture.
  • Sep 16 , 2020 | Culture
    Paper is an invention of ancient China– one of the most impactful creations of humankind. The papermaking craft has lasted over 1,200 years, with Anhui province becoming the center of the practice. There, papermaking has become a form of art, with some papers taking years to make. Our Host James Chau describes the intricate processes developed over centuries to make paper so durable that UNESCO has categorized it as a cultural treasure.
  • Sep 07 , 2020 | Culture
    In the southwest corner of China, a lush tropical environment inspired the creation of a gorgeous display of artistry practiced by the Bai people of Yunnan province. Our Host James Chau tells the story of how a thousand-year-old fabric-dyeing technique is still celebrated today, and how the natural landscape has influenced its inhabitants and their shared culture.
  • Sep 03 , 2020 | Culture
    Chinese film has delighted and intrigued international audiences for decades. With growing access and shareability across oceans and borders, Chinese filmmakers are finding their works resonating around the world. And the classics are having a comeback. The 1990s film “Raise the Red Lantern” is a tale of hidden romance and tragic endings. It portrays the complexities and traditions of ancient China– using rich visuals, elegant costume design, and an extraordinary score. Our Contributing Editor Laura De Belgique explains how the decade’s most poignant films allows us a view into the ancient world.
  • Jul 31 , 2020 | Culture
    “Both of my parents never finished high school, but they believed firmly in education.” China’s rise from poverty in the 80s was a herculean feat, lifting millions up by expanding trade and industry and building a more robust education system. The result was families like Elvis’, who, in a single generation, were able to rise above poverty. Elvis shares his childhood stories and family history with our Host James Chau.
  • Jul 29 , 2020 | Culture
    “As much as my experience as an American is not monolithic, I want to express that the Chinese experience is not monolithic at all.” When recent college graduate Maia arrived in China from the U.S., she experienced first-hand a fast developing nation with a rich, relatable culture. Maia speaks with our Host James Chau about her learnings and feelings brought about by her visit to China, as well as the resilience of recent graduates who are entering into a very uncertain future.
  • Jul 22 , 2020 | Culture
    Released in 2019, American Factory is an Academy Award-winning documentary follows a Chinese manufacturer that moves to Ohio. It tells the story of friendships, tensions, and cultural gaps, at a time when the US and China are leading the global economy. Our Host James Chau and Contributing Editor Laura de Belgique offer analysis on the acclaimed film.
  • Jul 08 , 2020 | Culture
    China’s thousands of years of history are filled with countless stories of human growth, culture, and civilization, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Liangzhu aims to preserve one such story of historical significance. The remains of the 5,000-year-old city contain traces of complex societal hierarchy, primitive technology, and unique artifacts that show the ways people lived millennia ago. In its place now stands modern-day Hangzhou, an innovation hub that is home to some of the world’s leading tech giants. This meeting point between the past, present, and future provides an important lens to view human civilization—and the ancient ruins of Liangzhu are a reminder of where that journey began.
  • Jun 02 , 2020 | Culture
    Although they are not with us today, our ancestors shine a continuous reflection on our lives, influencing our perceptions and interactions with the world in subtle yet powerful ways. In her latest film—The Farewell—actor, author, comedian, and rapper, Awkwafina returns to her Asian roots—telling the story of her grandmother’s last days and the ancestral background underpinning a new generation. It reveals the cultural nuances of an American woman finding comfort—and conflict—with her family’s heritage. Our Host James Chau speaks to our Contributing Editor Laura de Belgique about the importance of identity and ancestry.
  • Oct 10 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Chinese dumplings are enjoyed everywhere, but a group of young Yale and Peking University graduates are now popularizing a lesser-known style of Chinese comfort food in the US. Yong Zhao and Chef Lucas Sin are the co-founder and culinary director of Junzi Kitchen, which boasts a menu of thoughtful, northern Chinese comfort foods, such as noodles and "bings," a thin, savory pancake often sold as a street snack. With multiple restaurants already across New Haven and New York, Junzi Kitchen highlights the versatility and nuance of Chinese food and artfully leverages the appeal of global food culture with fast-casual dining to make this lesser-known cuisine accessible to everyone. Join James in New York, where he tries out Junzi's new branch near Bryant Park!
  • Aug 26 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    A new hit series is taking the Internet by storm – and it’s about life in China more than 1,000 years ago. ‘The Longest Day in Chang’an’ – similar in format to the U.S. show ‘24’ – breaks down one full day in the Tang Dynasty, complete with drama, intrigue, and mystery. With great acting and painstaking research, it’s bringing history back to life.
  • Jul 15 , 2019 | Culture
    Victo Ngai is an illustrator who is Guangdong-born, Hong Kong-raised, and Los Angeles-based. As a child, she was exposed to classical Chinese ink paintings and later trained in art with a teacher in Shenzhen. But today, she draws on many references: from Japanese woodblock prints, to American painter Norman Rockwell, and British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The result is unique and fascinating, with clients including Apple and GE.
  • Jul 15 , 2019 | Culture
    Alan Skalaski is an American artist in China to learn about art conservation and preservation. He is studying the art of Dunhuang, the oasis city in Western China’s Gobi desert, located at the religious and cultural crossroads of the old Silk Road and home to the renowned Mogao Caves, the UNESCO World Heritage site that features a network of 492 ancient Buddhist temples. This is his story.
  • Jun 11 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    Charles Stevens, a college student at the University of St Andrews, traveled along the Silk Road last year - the ancient route that has fascinated traders and travelers for centuries. Today, though, it has transformed into a modern journey full of opportunity and innovation that is charting a model for the global future. I sat down with Charles in Hong Kong, 60+ days after he left his home in London to begin his journey. It's an incredible real-life tale of adventure, business and infrastructure - but mostly, people.
  • Apr 16 , 2019 | Lifestyle
    A 200 year-old Swiss textile company finds inspiration from the snowy Forbidden City to historical motifs in Chinese design. Camilla Fischbacher talks to James Chau about her family's legendary brand, Christian Fischbacher, and how the melting pot of globalization is shaping contemporary design, fashion, art, and architecture across both the West and the East.
  • Mar 15 , 2019 | Culture
    Novelist and New York Times writer Ming Liu, who turns her voice to maybe China's greatest export – food. But what makes it so good? Interview by James Chau.