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Asia House

Cultural Programme September-October 2013

Cover Image: Hyelim Kim

Welcome to Asia House This autumn we offer a superb sequence of events designed to expand our understanding of Chinese history – the impact of the Cultural revolution with Frank Dikötter, modernisation under Empress Cixi with bestselling author Jung Chang, and the influence of Taosim on modern culture in our next exhibition. We take an alternative look at reporting in Syria – through the power of the sketchbook, poetry and prose. Closer to home, acclaimed young authors Sathnam Sanghera and Damien Barr will share their perspectives of being ‘On the Margins’ in contemporary Britain. Embark on a culinary journey to Burma at our next pop-up supper club and enjoy a performance of traditional Korean bamboo flute taegŭm – both wonderful ways to enjoy the grand surroundings of Asia House.

Image credit: Jung Chang by Jon Halliday

Image credit: Drawing of George Butler

Drawing of the Empreor

Jung Chang – Her talk on Empress Cixi

Syria – Through sketches, poetry and prose

Sharing Taoist Culture – Exhibition and lecture

This programme covers our events focused on arts and culture. For full details of our 2

business and policy programme and corporate membership please see our website.

Arts and Culture

Frank Dikötter – The Tragedy of Liberation


12 Sep

Beyond Taegŭm – Lecture and Performance by Hyelim Kim 17 Sep Burmese Supper Club

Syria – Drawings from the frontline Daoism and the West with Professor Tim Barrett Jung Chang – The Empress Dowager Cixi

‘On the Margins’ in Contemporary Britain Exhibitions

Harmonious Co-existence – Sharing Taoist Culture

Asian Business Leaders Awards Dinner 2013



10 Oct


22 Oct


1 Oct

16 Oct

4 – 31 Oct

Monthly Drinks – Oriental Club 17 Sep

Business and Policy


25 Sep

Young Leaders

Monthly Drinks – Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO Mitie


24 Oct

14 Oct




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Calendar Asia House


Business and Policy Highlights The Asia House Business and Policy programme presents private briefings, events and public conferences throughout the year.

For full details about our public events visit

Asian Business Leaders Awards Monday 14 October

The Trustees of Asia House are delighted to announce that Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro, will be awarded the 2013 Asian Business Leaders Award. The annual Asia House award recognises those individuals who embody the ‘Servant Leader’, economic success and professional excellence accompanied by moral leadership and service to society. Corporate tables are available for the gala event, the proceeds of which will support Asia House in delivering activities that promote a vetter understanding of the panAsia region through business, policy and culture.

To discuss table sales and sponsorship, please contact: Zoë Mosesson +44 (0) 20 7307 5431 5


Asia House

Young Leaders Our Young Leaders support our work and enjoy an exclusive programme of networking events and talks.

‘On the Margins’ in Contemporary Britain Tuesday 22 October 18.45 – 20.00 Join two of the country’s sharpest young writers as they explore their own perspectives of what it is to be different in contemporary Britain.

Young Leaders Networking Drinks Oriental Club

Tuesday 17 September 19.00 – 21.00 Young Leaders Talk

Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO Mitie

Thursday 24 October 19.00 – 21.00

Image Credit: John Angerson

Sathnam Sanghera is an awardwinning writer for The Times. His first novel, Marriage Material was chosen as one of Waterstone’s Best Fiction Debuts of 2013.

Ruby McGregor-Smith is CEO of MITIE and the only Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250 company. Ruby has been vocal on outsourcing, quotas for women on boards and gender diversity in management. Young leaders are invited to what promises to be a fascinating and compelling discussion.

To find out more about young leaders, contact: 6

Image Credit: Johnny Ring

Damian Barr is a writer, playwright and creator/host of the Shoreditch House Literary Salon. His highly acclaimed Maggie and Me is a humorous and timely memoir of surviving Thatcher’s Britain. Produced in partnership with the South Asian Literature Festival

Asia House

Arts Beyond Taegŭm Performance by Hyelim Kim

Tuesday 17 September 18.45 – 20.00 Enjoy traditional Korean music in the elegant setting of Asia House. During this performance, Hyelim Kim, musician, composer and researcher, will play traditional and contemporary compositions on the taegŭm, a traditional bamboo flute. To enrich the audience’s understanding of this instrument, she will explain how traditional music has been recontextualised in an increasingly globalised world. For all arts events: Tickets £10 AH Friends £6 Concession £8



Literature and

Current Affairs The Tragedy of Liberation A History of the Chinese Revolution Frank Dikötter in conversation with Jonathan Fenby

Thursday 12 September 18.45 – 20.00 The Samuel Johnson Prize winning author of Mao’s Great Famine draws on newly opened party archives, interviews and memoirs, to capture the impact of the Chinese 1949 revolution on millions of ordinary people. Frank Dikötter is one of the world’s leading historians on China. He’ll be speaking with Jonathan Fenby, the author of The Penguin History of Modern China and Tiger Head, Snake Tails.

Image Credit: Drawing of George Butler titled ‘Family’

Syria – Drawings from the frontline Tuesday 1 October 18.45 – 20.00 Frank Gardner, George Butler and Sir Timothy Ackroyd. Frank Gardner, BBC Security Correspondent interviews illustrator George Butler about his time spent drawing in Syria. The drawings capture refugees and children; field hospitals and old battle scenes showing a different perspective of a horrific war. Actor Sir Timothy Ackroyd will be reading poems and prose in conjunction with the work. An unusal format offering a different perspective on war reporting in Syria.

Image Credit: Fenby by Richard Jones

For all talks: Tickets £10 AH Friends £6 Concession £8


Jung Chang - The Empress Dowager Cixi - The Concubine Who Launched Modern China Wednesday 16 October 18.45 – 20.00 The bestselling author of Wild Swans and Mao: The Unknown Story, will be at Asia House to discuss her latest book, a groundbreaking biography. Conventionally viewed as cruelly despotic, Empress Cixi’s rule pushed China into the modern age, bringing virtually all the attributes of a modern state. Challenge what you know about China’s most famous female ruler in what is set to be a popular evening.

Friends Membership From £50 Become a Friend of Asia House and support our mission to build dynamic links between Europe and Asia! Enjoy a wide range of benefits and be part of a vibrant community celebrating the arts and cultures of Asia.

Become a friend of Asia House and you will enjoy •

Up to 40% off the great range of Asia House public events

Priority booking and private view for our special events

Special discounts at range of shops and exciting Asian restaurants

To find out more visit or contact Sidney Wang 0207 307 5454 9


Presented at Asia House

Exhibition Harmonious Co-existence Sharing Taoist Culture 4 – 31 October Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 18.00 Free Admission


Asia House

Exhibition Lecture Daoism and the West with Professor Tim Barrett Thursday 10 October 18.45 – 20.00 Join expert Tim Barrett for a talk on the traditions and history of Taoism, in conjunction with the Harmonious Co-existence exhibition. Daoism, or in older transcriptions Taoism, is a religious tradition in China with very ancient roots that has for centuries enriched Chinese civilisation. What do we now know about Daoism, and what are the prospects for the future? Tim Barrett has been a professor at SOAS and is the author of Taoism under the T’ang. Tickets £10 AH Friends £6 Concession £8



Asia House


Burmese Supper Club Wednesday 25 September 18.00 – 21.00 Sample the flavours of Burmese cuisine with a special pop-up dining experience. Burmese-born artist and food writer Debbie Riehl has devised a special five-course menu including Monlar Chin Yeahin (a sour white radish soup) and Panthe Kauskswe (a Burmese chicken curry) that explores the distinctive spices and flavours of the country on the crossroads of Asia. Debbie will explain the origins of each dish and share tips on the techniques and ingredients used.

Accompanying wines available to purchase on the night, or you can bring your own.

Debbie Riehl has hosted Burmese food pop-ups across London, including the National Gallery and in home as part of the Hush Hush Dining Club and was recently listed in The Independent’s Tastes of the Season column.

Tickets £45 AH Friends £40

Asia House Winter Fair

Save the date




Places are limited.

6 – 8 December








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Asia House is a centre of expertise on Asia. Our mission is to bring the UK and Asia closer through our pioneering events on business, policy and culture. We are the leading pan-Asian organisation in the UK, having built our reputation on our extensive network, our objectivity and our independence. We aim to deepen understanding of the cultural contexts in which we live, work and do business while preparing the next generation for greater engagement between Asia and the West. Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @asiahouseuk How to book Telephone +44 (0)20 7307 5454 Email: Online:

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Asia House Cultural Programme