Yearly Archives: 2017

From Shanghai with Love:
Fashion Show/Exhibition 24-25.08

After the sold-out success of 2017, Donghua Edinburgh Centre for Creative Industries is set to return Edinburgh Fringe this year. Join us in the stunning Playfair Library on either Friday 24th or Saturday 25th August for this combined exhibition and fashion show.  Discover elegant, enduring and electrifying Qipao fashion, Shanghai Style, through the ages and into the future.

Our exhibition features Shanghai style Qipao from 1910s-1930s – when Shanghai was known as the Paris of the east. Our runway will feature contemporary and futuristic Qipao designs using the latest high tech materials and techniques, combining tradition with modernity.

There are only two opportunities to attend this event and exhibition  Friday 24 August: 18.00 doors open 17.30 and Saturday 25 August 16.00 doors open 15.30. Tickets for Friday are almost gone! There are still tickets left for Saturday. Book yours now to avoid disappointment!

Visit our microsite here for more details here.

If you missed the show last year, here is a short video that was taken on the opening day, enjoy!


The venue for this unique event is the stunning Playfair Library. Doors will open 30 minutes before each show’s start time to allow viewing of the exhibition – or to try to secure front row seats!

A glass of fizz or a soft drink is included in the ticket price of only £8/£6.  Audience members can view the exhibition both before and after the fashion show.

Bookings via the Fringe Box Office
Fringe Venue No 311:
Playfair Library, Old College Quad, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL

Qipao: a widely worn one piece Chinese item of clothing featuring a mandarin collar. Origins of this  item are widely disputed by academics but today most people recognise Qipao as based on the stylish and often tight fitting dress created in the 1920’s in Shanghai.

The Chinese Common Reader: Joan Judge 15 Feb 2018 6pm

In Search of the Chinese Common Reader: Usuable Knowledge & Wondrous Ignorance in the Age of Global Science

How did late Qing and Republican Chinese common readers understand science, illness, and the natural world? To what extent did new concepts introduced into China from the mid-to late-19th century become integrated into the everyday lives of poorer urbanites and lower-level local elites? What can an investigation of these questions tell us about the ways knowledge was transmitted, and the degree of epistemological, social, and cultural integration in this period?

Join us to hear from Professor Joan Judge of York University, Canada in this lecture entitled In Search of the Chinese Common Reader: Usable Knowledge and Wondrous Ignorance in the Age of Global Science. In her presentation she will consider one of the great paradoxes of twentieth century Chinese history: the rhetorical prominence of “the people” in dynastic, reformist, Republican and communist discourse, and the relative invisibility of non-elite ways of knowing in the historical record.

It searches for the Chinese common reader in three distinct places: in the materiality of cheaply produced texts-books as objects; in the usable-and wondrous-information packaged in their crowded pages—texts as meaning; and in the spaces where this knowledge was consumed—reading as cultural practice. The texts include cheap, string-bound, lithographed books such as wanbao quanshu 萬寶全書 (comprehensive compendia of myriad treasures), together with daily-use, letter-writing, household, and health manuals. Their contents include age-old cosmologies and fanciful representations of foreigners, together with treatments for opium addiction, methods for preventing cholera, and ways to graft a plant. The apprentices, workers, housewives, and lower-level bureaucrats who consumed this knowledge often did so on the fly, in the streets. Sitting, standing or leaning at street-side bookstalls, they avidly sought both the useful information and the marvelous diversion necessary to negotiate the epistemological uncertainty—and promise—of China’s revolutionary twentieth century.


Joan Judge is Professor in the Department of History at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Republican Lens: Gender, Visuality, and Experience in the Early Chinese Periodical Press (2015), The Precious Raft of History: The Past, the West, and the Woman Question in China (2008), Print and Politics: ‘Shibao’ and the Culture of Reform in Late Qing China (1996), and co-editor of Women and the Periodical Press in China’s Global Twentieth Century: A Space of Their Own? (forthcoming), and Beyond Exemplar Tales: Women’s Biography in Chinese History (2011). She is currently engaged in a project with the working title “In Search of the Chinese Common Reader: Usable Knowledge and Wondrous Ignorance in the Age of Global Science, 1870-1955″.

The venue for this lecture will be Seminar Room LG.09, lower ground floor, David Hume Tower

Please book your seat via this Eventbrite link.

Chinese Brush Painting – Birds and Flowers Jan 2018

In the winter term, apart from our regular evening calligraphy class, we will also run a 5 week day time Chinese brush painting class starts from 24 January 2018 from 10am – 12.30pm.

Birds and flowers painting were often used as decorative elements in pottery, appeared in screens and utensils. From Tang dynasty around the 8th and 9th centuries in China until today, Birds and flowers painting is a special school of Chinese brush paintings and it is widely popular for centuries.

This 5 week course will start with introducing the history of Chinese painting then the common techniques related to the Chinese soft brushes and ink. Participants will have the option to select from a range of subjects demonstrated by the tutor, such as crane, oriole, kingfisher, lotus flower, Chinese orchid etc.

Students can anticipate completing at least one piece of Chinese painting artwork per class. Demonstration and plenty of personal attention will be provided during the class. This course is suitable for both beginners and advanced students.

There will be a maximum of 12 students in the class for which all materials are provided. The cost is £125 for 12.5 hours or £100 for concessions, which is offered only to full time students. Minimum enrolment of 6 is required to ensure the class goes ahead.

To book a place on this rewarding course please book online or complete and return the registration form below along with your cheque payment made out to the University of Edinburgh.  Cash payment can be made in person at the Institute office.

Registration formChinese Landscape Painting




Five Week Calligraphy Course January 2018

Discover the ancient art of calligraphy using the traditional Chinese brush and ink combination that has been in use for thousands of years.

The five week course starts on 23 January and runs to 20 February and will be led by Chi Zhang, the Institute’s experienced calligraphy teacher. Students will be introduced to the materials of ink, brush, stone and paper, and initially common techniques will be introduced.

This 5 week course will start by introducing common techniques related to the Chinese soft brushes and ink. Students will also learn the basic strokes of Regular Style (Kai Shu). Regular style is most common in writings and publications. This writing style is suitable for both beginners and students who learned Clerical Style before.

Students can anticipate completing at least one piece of Chinese calligraphy artwork per class. The contents of this work could be a selected Chinese poems or perhaps an ancient master’s quotation. Demonstration and plenty of personal attention will be provided during the class. This course is suitable for both beginners and advanced students.

With a maximum of 12 students in the class plenty of personal attention is guaranteed as well as clear demonstrations and instructions to help students develop their skills.  Both beginners and advanced students are welcome in the class.

The cost is £100 for the 10 hour course which runs Tuesday evenings from 6pm-8pm from 23 January. There is a concession rate of £80, which is offered only to full time students.  The fee includes all materials. A minimum of five students are required to ensure the class goes ahead.

To book download this Winter 2018 Half Term-Callig Reg Form then complete and return it to the Confucius Institute for Scotland with a cheque for the correct amount made out to the University of Edinburgh.


Course: Chinese Calligraphy Five Week Course
Date + TIme: Tuesdays Evenings 6pm-8pm 23, 30 Jan, 6, 13, 20 Feb.
Cost: £100 (£80) including all materials
Location: Confucius Institute for Scotland Campus, Abden House


HSK Exam 2 Dec – November registration deadline

Registration is now open for the December HSK Exam Diet.  The registration deadline for the online exam is Thursday 2 November.  The online exam has a later deadline of Thursday 16 Nov 2017.

We recommend that  only candidates who are proficient in using a keyboard to input characters should apply for the online exam.

For more information on the HSK and HSKK and to register please visit our main HSK page here.

Chinese Language Classes
April-June 2018

We offer a diverse programme of evening classes for the general public to enjoy learning Chinese. Our Spring 2018 courses will start week beginning 23 April, and booking for these classes is now open.  With a choice of classes for complete beginners – including a day time 5 weeks course – Chinese for Travellers – we think we have a class to suit you.

All classes take place on the Confucius Institute for Scotland Campus sitting in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. You can download a map showing the campus layout here – Conf-campus-map

LANGUAGE CLASSES April – june 2018

If you have some previous learning and have not yet started classes with us please get in touch and we can arrange an assessment to ensure you are placed in the most suitable class. For this, or any other questions please email You can also call us on 0131 662 2180.

Please note that course names have been changed to reflect the Common European Framework for Modern Languages.  The table below gives the previous names of courses in second position.

SPRING 2018 Timetable

CLass level Code Day(s) Dates-all 2018 Time Full Price / Student
Chinese for Travellers  CH058-301 Tuesday 24 April -22 May 10:00 12:30am £85/£70
Beginners 1
Chinese 1.1
CH060-301 Monday 23 April – 25 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Beginners 1
Chinese 1.1
CH060-302 Thursday 26 April – 28 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Beginners 2
Chinese 1.2
CH061-301 Monday 23 April – 25 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Beginners 3
Chinese 1.3
CH062-301 Thursday 26 April – 28 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Elementary 1
Chinese 2.1
CH063-301 Monday 23 April – 25 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Elementary 2  Chinese 2.2 CH064-301 Thursday 26 April – 28 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Elementary 3  Chinese 2.3 CH065-301 Tuesday 24 April – 26 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Intermediate 1
Chinese 3.1
CH066-301 Monday 23 April – 25 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Intermediate 2
Chinese 3.2
CH067-301 Thursday 26 April – 28 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Intermediate 3
Chinese 3.3
CH068-301 Wednesday 25 April – 27 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Intermediate 4
Chinese 4.1
CH069-301 Thursday 26 April – 28 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Intermediate 5
Chinese 4.2
Wednesday 25 April – 27 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Intermediate 6
Chinese 4.3
CH071-301 Monday 23 April – 25 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Upper Intermediate 1
Chinese 5.1
CH072-301 Tuesday 24 April – 26 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Upper Intermediate 2
Chinese 5.2
CH074-301 Tuesday 24 April – 26 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Upper Intermediate 3
Chinese 5.3
CH073-301 Thursday 26 April – 28 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Advanced Chinese 1
Chinese 6.1
CH002-307 Wednesday 25 April – 27 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Advanced Chinese 2
Chinese 6.2
CH075-301 Tuesday 24 April – 26 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Advanced Chinese 3
Chinese 6.3
CH077-301 Tuesday 24 April – 26 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87
Upper Advanced
Chinese Advanced
CH076-301 Monday 23 April – 25 June 6.00-8.00pm £130/£87

An absolute beginner can join us at the start of each term. Any student who has some previous experience in learning the language is welcome to contact us and arrange to drop in for an initial assessment to help determine which class would best suit.

Evening classes run for two hours on the same evening for a ten week term. No assessment is carried out but students are encouraged to test their developing skills by sitting the globally run HSK test.

Excellence in teaching is paramount. Our teachers are seconded from Fudan University which regularly send us experienced senior teachers and a number of Masters candidates in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages. You can see the profiles of our current and previous teachers by clicking here.

Our classes are geared for adult learners.  For younger learners please enquire about private classes.

Changes in China-The Fudan Lectures: Thurs 9 Nov 6pm

Join us to hear from two visiting professors from our Confucius Institute partner, Fudan University.  Each speaker will reflect on the impact of different aspects of recent changes in China on the wider society and economy. An outline synopsis from each speaker is below. This event will take place in the UoE Business School.  You can book your place here.


How Urbanization Changes China’s religious landscapeFAN Lizhu

Under Chinese government plans nearly 70% of the population will live in urban areas by 2035. The drastic urbanization has triggered massive demographic mobility in the past 30 years. This presentation will discuss how urbanization widely changes the religious landscape in China. Our preliminary findings are:

  • a large and unprecedented flow of population not only generates new economic and demographic dynamics, but also has great impact on the mode of religious development;
  •  religious group and belief connections play a functional factor to help migrants settle down and start new life in the cities;
  • new religious movements now develop their own features through urbanization.

The Green Development of China’s Economy – LI Zhiqing

China is experiencing serious environmental problems after almost 40 years rapid economic growth since 1978, which means China has to transfer to the green development in the near future. The lecture will discuss the topics including factors behind the environmental problem during these decade of economic growth, the current connection between environment and economy in China, the possible solutions for fixing the problem and how to achieve a new balance between the environmental and non-environmental sector.


FAN Lizhu 范丽珠 is Professor of Sociology at Fudan University. Director of Globalization and Religious Studies. As a pioneer scholar on the study of sociology of religion in China, she has engaged in historical and ethnographic studies of Chinese folk religious beliefs, sociological theories of religion, and the study of the trends of folk religious beliefs in modern Chinese society. Her most significant works include The Religion and Faith Transition of Chinese in the Contemporary Era: Field Research of the Adherents of Folk Religion in Shenzhen; China and the Cultural Sociology of Religion (co-authored with James Whitehead and Evelyn Whitehead); Sociology of Religion: Religion and China (co-authored with James Whitehead and Evelyn Whitehead). Academic articles include “Conversion and Indigenous Religions in China” (Co-authored with CHEN Na) in the Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion; “The Cult of Silkworm Mother as a Core of Local Community Religion in a North China Village” in China Quarterly, etc.. As an internationally recognized scholar, she taught at many distinguished universities, such as University of Chicago, University of California at San Diego, Lund University, Queen’s University, New School, Wabash College, University of British Columbia, Bergen University, University of Stockholm, University of Tokyo, etc.

LI Zhiqing is Assistant Professor of Economics, School of Economics, Fudan University. His research interests are: Environmental & Energy Economics; Public Economics; Political Economics; Economics of Climate Change; International Climate Policy; China’s Modern Economy

In addition to his current post, since 2006 he has held the post of Deputy Director, Center for Environmental Economic Studies and he is also Director of the Office of Professional Degree Program, all in the School of Economics, Fudan University.

For the period 2006-2009 he held the post of Director of the Shanghai Forum Office while from 2009-2011 he was Director of the Fudan Office at Yale University,

These talks will take place in the University of Edinburgh Business School in LT1A from 6pm.  After the talks and the Q&A session there will be a networking drinks reception. 

Please help us by booking your seat via this Eventbrite link.


Chinese Films On Friday
Oct-Dec 2017 2pm

Join us if you can for the regular programme of Chinese Films on Friday.  All films screened have sub-titles.  Viewing from 2pm-Screening Room, Room G04,  No 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LH

Autumn Term SEPT-DEC 2017

China in Revolution 1911-1936 (Documentary)
Labourer’s Love (Zhang Shichuan, 1922)
Friday 22 September
China in Revolution 1937-1949 (Documentary)
The Dream of the Western Chamber (Hou Yao, 1927)
Friday 29 September
 Daybreak (Sun Yu, 1933) Friday 6 October 
The Goddess (Wu Yonggang, 1934) Friday 13 October
New Year Sacrifice (Sang Hu, 1956) Friday 20 October
Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi 1937 Friday 27 October
Shop of the Lin Family (Shui Hua, 1959 Friday 3 November
The Girl from Hunan (Xie Fei, 1986 Friday 10 November
Myriad of Lights (Shen Fu, 1948) Friday 17 November
Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu, 1948) Friday 24 November  
This Whole Life of Mine (Shi Hui, 1950) Friday 1 December   

Our Free Films on Friday programme is curated by Chinese Studies senior lecturer Dr Julian Ward whose core specialism is in Chinese literature and film.

The University library holds more than 600 films spanning China’s 20th century film history which are available for loan to those who have a library card.

All welcome, no booking is required.

Winter Term Jan-april 2018

Friday 19 January                  Before the New Director Arrives (Lü Ban, 1956)

Friday 26 January                  Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige, 1984)

Friday 2 February                   Black Cannon Incident (Huang Jianxin, 1985)

Friday 9 February                   Black Snow (Xie Fei, 1990)

Friday 16 February                 Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991)

Friday 23 February                 Flexible Learning Week – no screening

Friday 2 March                       Red Sorghum (Zhang Yimou, 1988)

Friday 9 March                       A Summer at Grandpa’s (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1984)

Friday 16 March                      In the Heat of the Sun (Jiang Wen, 1994)

Friday 23 March                     In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)

Friday 30 March                     A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, 2013)

Friday 6 April                         Black Coal Thin Ice (Diao Yi’nan 2014)

Mapping learning on China and Chinese in Scotland

A recent initiative by SCEN, assisted by the Confucius Institute for Scotland, saw a nationwide survey of schools take place seeking information on activities and levels of learning about China and Chinese language.

The survey results will help all stakeholders to better understand levels of engagement across the country and has resulted in a digital map showing the distribution of China related learning in schools across Scotland.

A comprehensive report on this initiative by Judith McClure, Chair of the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) can be accessed via this link

The map itself can be accessed here.

Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema: Weekly on Thurs 6pm

Did you know regular filmmaking on Taiwan only started in the 1950s? With a Taiwanese-language film industry? Between then and the 1970s, 1000+ Taiwanese-language features were made. However, the budgets were miniscule, the companies short-lived, and there was no archive. They were quickly forgotten, and only 200+ survive.

With the establishment of the Chinese Taipei Film Archive in 1979 and the end of martial law in 1987, Taiwanese-language cinema of the 1950s–1970s, once seen as a disposable entertainment, is now being revalued as an art form and window on old Taiwan.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first Taiwanese-language film in 2016,Professor Chris Berry (King’s College London) and Dr. Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley (Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS) have co-organised the “Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema: Recovered and Restored” project, jointly supported by the Ministry of Culture of the ROC (Taiwan), King’s College London and the Taiwan Film Institute (previously Chinese Taipei Film Archive).

The films, which are all subtitled in English, will be shown on Thursdays in October and November at 18.10  in the Screening Room, G04, 50, George Square.  See the listing information below.

Thursday 12 Oct 2017
The Best Secret Agent  (1964)

The Best Secret Agent, the first ever Taiwanese-language spy movie produced in Taiwan, is a remake of a 1945 movie of the same name that caused a sensation in Shanghai. Fuelled by a dog-eat-dog plot and the many changing faces of the protagonist, the film created a new Taiwanese box office record in the early 1960s and kick-started the popularity of the Taiwanese-language spy film genre for years to come.

Ms. Teresa Huang from theTaiwan Film Institute will talk about the restoration project and introduce this first film in the run.

Thursday 19 Oct 2017
Early Train from Taipei  (1964)
A classic town-and-country melodrama.

Thursday 26 Oct 2017
Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters (1968)
Martial arts action.

Thursday 2 Nov 2017
Dangerous Youth  (1969)
A critique of materialism and greed subverting the conventional gender hierarchy.

Thursday 9 Nov 2017
Brother Wang and Brother Liu Tour Taiwan  (1959)
Laurel and Hardy-inspired comedy.

For more information on the individual films, please go here: