- A World Legacy
Chinese culture, one of the most ancient cultures
in the world, developed along the Yellow River
and Yangtze River. The breadth and depth of Chinese
culture resulted from the continuous assimilation
of hundreds of tribes in Asia since the Stone
Age. From the unearthed artifacts, the Chinese
Dragon, a totem in Old Stone Age has evolved to
become the symbol of Chinese people and culture.
Today, the 1.3 billion Chinese call themselves
"Children of the Dragon." Some characteristics
about Chinese culture are briefed as below:
Hanzi - China is a nation of
1.3 billion population and the home of 56 nationalities
with 1.2 billion of Han, the biggest single nationality
in the world. The other 55 ethnic minorities are
Mongolian, Uighur, Dai, Yi, Korean, Russian, Manchurian,
and many others. Hanzi, or Chinese characters,
is the only active ideographic writing system,
where characters are developed from pictures and
symbols. The first record of nova was carved in
hanzi on a turtle shell some 3,400 years ago.
This is antedated by unearthed clay wine vessels,
called "zun" from 4,500 years ago. Hanzi is the
one written language in which all Chinese people
Confucius (551-479 BC)- The
great Chinese philosopher and teacher, Confucius
believed in education to all people and selecting
government officials from the most learned and
capable through examinations. His philosophy for
academic excellence has influenced generations
of Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and
people of many other Asian countries.
Sunzi (around 600 BC) - Authored
by Sunzi, the book The Art of War is studied in
military academies and the business world today.
National and world conventions to study his strategies
and philosophy are taken places every year.
Performing arts - Chinese dance,
music, and kung fu were developed from religious
and hunting rituals that were daily activities
of primitive tribes. The oldest Chinese musical
instrument still played today is called "xun",
a clay pot with wind holes, invented 7,000 years
ago. As early as 200 BC in the Han Dynasty, performing
arts described as "bai xi" or hundred acts, were
highly sophisticated, even by today's standards.
Nowadays, Chinese kung fu, dance, music, acrobatics,
and magic shows, continue to dazzle audiences
all over the world.
Technology - Taoism is regarded
the father of technological development in China.
Rooted in the philosophy of the Yellow Emperor,
China's legendary chief of antiquity. Taoism's
goal is to pursue a life of peace, health, and
longevity. In this pursuit, Taoists developed
alchemy, chemistry, biology, medicine, astronomy,
etc. that were considered advanced science in
the world before the 17th Century. Sir Francis
Bacon (1561-1626) in his book Novum Organum, praised
printing, gunpowder, and the compass as the greatest
inventions of mankind. The ancient Chinese were
also credited for the inventions of silk, paper,
porcelain, cast iron, cross-bow, horse saddle,
kite, deep drilling, and others, according to
Joseph Needham (1900-1995,) a member of Royal
Society of London for the Advancement of Science
(once chaired by Isaac Newton,) a biochemist and
archeologist, the most recognized authority in
history of Chinese science and technology. In
his 20-volume publication, Science and the Civilization
in China, he easily listed 26 inventions transmitted
from China to the West through the Silk Road,
and he could only name four inventions originated
from the West to China: screw, force-pump for
liquid, crankshaft, and clockwork. Needham concluded
that the advancement of technology in the West
is built on the technology learned from the East
Ocean culture - Joseph Needham
called the ancient civilizations "river cultures"
as major cultures were developed independently
along the world's great rivers: Yellow and Yangtze
Rivers, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, River Niles,
and Ganges River. He analogized the modern civilization
to "ocean culture," as all rivers flow toward
the ocean, a process now called "globalization."
He wrote, "Certainly it is that no people or group
of peoples has had a monopoly to the development
of science. Their achievements should be mutually
recognized and freely celebrated with the joined
hands of universal brotherhood."
Why Chinese came to America?
In the past 2,000 years, cultural and technology
exchanges flowed through Silk Road and other channels.
China's World trading flourished until Qing Dynasty
(1688-1910). The Qing government adapted the "close
door" policy. Since then, China to the West, was
an unknown in a never, never land. In the notorious
Opium War, 1840, the eight powers of the world
forced China to open its door. China lost the
war, and she was to pay the foreign invaders astronomical
sums of money. The burden lay on the people of
Kwongtung Province where the Opium War took place.
The unbearably high taxation was the main reason
for the Cantonese fleeing during 19th Century
to overseas, mainly to America. As US became a
world power in 20th Century, the American dream
attracted even more people from all over the world.
Note: Any topic from above
can be developed into a master thesis. Readers
are encouraged to get more information from local
libraries or from websites.
飛揚藝術團 - 成立於1991年，乃一非營利藝術機構。其宗旨為介紹和弘揚中華文化，以促使其成為美國多元文化社會中不可或缺之一元。本團以表演方式與大眾分享豐富、優秀的中華藝術。本團的創作節目教育與娛樂並重，使觀眾達到娛樂身心的目的，同時得到資訊與啟發。觀眾不需要到中國也能得到中華文化的薰陶。本團製作的《中國舞蹈-五千年巡禮》包括了許多傑出編導的作品，在美國及加拿大各地作巡迴表演。節目長達兩小時，展示了中華文化燦爛之錦繡一角。
西元十九世紀李約瑟（Joseph Needham, 1900-1985）及許多漢學家經研究認為道家是中國古代科技發展的先驅。道家起源於中國傳說中四千年前各部落的領袖黃帝，道家崇尚以“無為”為健康長壽之道。在道家思想引領之下，過去幾千年在冶金，化學，生物，醫藥，天文等各領域都是世界最先進的。十七世紀曾是中國科技的鼎盛世紀。
被譽為現代科學之父的十七世紀英國大臣培根（Lord Francis Bacon, 1561-1626）曾在他的著作《新領域》中寫道：“印刷、火藥、指南針這三個發明改變了全世界的面貌”。他讚揚這是世界上最偉大的發明，當時他並不知道這三大發明都是來自古老的中國。
Mission of Chinese
Performing Arts of America (CPAA)
Introduction - The cosmopolitan Bay Area, encompassing
the beautiful city of San Francisco and the world-famous
Silicon Valley, is renowned for its diversity.
This diversity contributes to the area's strength
in business and quality of life. The Bay Area
has the largest population of Chinese-descent
in USA, and they have preserved many aspects of
the Chinese heritage including family value, respect
to the seniors, Chinese cuisines, visual and performing
arts, martial arts, tai chi, acupuncture, herbal
medicine, etc. A large percentage of Chinese Americans
engage in hi-tech in Silicon Valley are influenced
by the philosophy of Confucius, which promotes
a high respect for academic achievement. As the
global economy network continues to expand, there
is a growing interest in understanding the culture
of 20% of the world's population representing
20% of the world market. Chinese Americans, who
make up 10% of the Bay Area population, can serve
as a bridge between the East and the West.
CPAA - Founded in Silicon Valley as a nonprofit
organization in 1991, CPAA is chartered to introduce
Chinese culture as an integral part of American
society through performing arts. CPAA presents
these arts of exceptional beauty and richness
so that these cultural treasures can be shared
by the people of the world.
The core members of CPAA are the highly trained
professional artists from China under the direction
of the artistic team:
- Creative Director: Ann Woo, award winning
- Artistic Director: Yong Yao, award winning
- Music Director: Phil Young, award winning
- Costume/Stage Designer: Ching Shyu, award
winning visual artist
Entertainment and education are the criteria
for CPAA's programming. Audiences will find the
programs delightful, enchanting, and inspiring.
It is a wonderful way to experience the highlights
of Chinese culture through colorful and dynamic
performing arts. Since 1991, CPAA performing company
has presented many original works including Sorrow
of the Great Wall in 1995; Dragon2000 in 2000;
Middle Kingdom - Ancient China in 2005; Moon Reflection
on Crystal Spring in 2006 ; Shaolin Kung Fu Monks
in 2006; New Dream of the Butterfly in 2009, and
Fantasy of Silk Road in 2010. These wonderful
creations have established CPAA as a highly acclaimed
performing arts institute in US.
CPAA Culture & Arts Center - Founded in 2003
as a subsidiary of CPAA, the Center is the CPAA's
headquarters and the home of over 40 artists of
Chinese, Indian, Latino, Iranian ethnic groups.
With 14,000 sq. ft., professionally built and
managed, the Center is an excellent facility for
the local artists to create and teach their arts
to 1,200 art enthusiasts in a wide variety of
art classes of: Chinese and Indian classical and
folk dances, piano and folk instruments, ballet
and hip hop, ballroom and line dances, martial
arts, and painting. Since 2005, CPAA Culture &
Arts Center holds its annual IntMAT-PIVD International
Arts Competitions throughout the year. One of
a kind, CPAA Culture & Arts Center is a true multi-culture
and multi-discipline event center.
CPAA with its performing art company and the
culture center serves over 40,000 citizens every
year. CPAA owes its achievements to the broad
support of local governments, foundations, private
corporations, media, and many individuals.
CPAA is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.
Donations to CPAA are tax-deductible.
Address: CPAA, 6148 Bollinger Road, San Jose,
CA 95129, USA