Events

Exclusive Out-of-hours Guided Tour of Science Museum’s new exhibition Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍: Clockwork Treasures from China’s Forbidden City

Time: 6pm, Thursday 9th of May 2024
Venue: Science Museum (meet at the the group entrance, see instructions below)
Price: Free (donations encouraged, see below)
Booking Details: Please email themeridiansociety@gmail.com to book a place before the 6th of May. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come basis.

In the 1700s, China’s emperors collected ornate clockwork automata known as zimingzhong and cherished them for their intricate design and technical innovation. Now, the Science Museum’s new exhibition Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍: Clockwork Treasures from China’s Forbidden City showcases a unique collection of 23 stunning pieces, on display in the UK together for the first time.

This exhibition invites you to discover the outward beauty and inner workings of these centuries-old timepieces, and their historic role in early cultural exchanges between Britain and China. Translating as “bells that ring themselves”, zimingzhong were far more than just clocks; they combined timekeeping with sophisticated musical technology and flamboyant aesthetics. Their designs incorporated motifs such as cranes and lotus flowers, expressing British perceptions of a Chinese culture that held powerful sway over the country’s imagination.

These opulent treasures will transport you to the Chinese trading port of Guangzhou and the home of the emperors in the Forbidden City for a fascinating insight into early trade between Britain and China, and a tour de force of artistry and spectacle.

The exhibition curators have kindly offered The Meridian Society members an exclusive guided out-of-hours tour of the exhibition at 6pm on Thursday 9th of May 2024. The places are limited so please make your booking by emailing as soon as possible.

The museum is operating a ‘Pay What You Can’ system for tickets. A donation for the museum would be greatly appreciated. Income from this exhibition will help support our future exhibitions and activities. At the end of the exhibition, there will be a donation station which accepts both cash and cards.

Instructions for the day:

– Please meet at the ‘Group Entrance’ to the Science Museum at 17:50 on 9 May. This can be found on Imperial College Road. Please see the attached map for details of where to find this. Our director Jocelyn Konrad-Lee will be waiting for you there.
– The guided tour will start from 18:00 before leaving the group to explore the Lates events as they wish from around 18:45 onwards. For details of the wider Lates event see here: https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/create-lates
– There is step-free access to the museum and gallery.
– There is no parking.

We look forward to seeing you there!

TMS China Tour 2024

Our planned dates are 11th-21st September 2024

Hi all,

After a long hiatus, our planned tours to China are now back! This year we’re planning an 11-day journey to Shanxi Province. Highlights from the tour include the Yungang Buddha Grottoes (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the world’s tallest wooden pagoda, the Fenjiu distillery, the Datong Jinhuagong Palace National Mine Park, and the ancient towns of Qikou and Pingyao. Along the way, you’ll be tasting local food and delicacies like traditional Dahuicai, knife-cut noodles, Wantuan, and Liangpi, and staying in 3 star hotel accomodation.

For more details on the tour including an itinerary, please download the brochure here.

Pricing Details

Special Price for Meridian Society Members, SACU Members: £1,785 per person *

Price for Non-members: £1,830 per person *

*Please note: prices are based on confirmed bookings for a minimum of 10 persons by the deadline and cover all tour inclusions in a shared twin bedroom

Single room supplement: £190 per person

The deadline for booking and payment of the deposit is the 15 May 2024.

The deadline for final payment is the 17th of July 2024.

The price does not include flights to/from the start/end of the tour, visa fees, travel insurance outside China, drinks, personal expenses, unspecified meals, optional tours, or gratuities.

To confirm attendance on the tour, please download (click here) and fill in our booking form and email it to us at themeridiansociety@gmail.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!

We’ve spent a lot of time ensuring this tour will be a fantastic experience for everyone coming, and we’re looking forward to going ahead with it! Please, don’t be shy, and email us if you have any queries about the tour.

 

Chinese New Year 2024

Lunch + Film on Saturday 10th February

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with us! 2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon. In Chinese culture, wood represents vitality and creativity, while the dragon is related to success, intelligence and honour. This combination means that people born in the Year of the Wood Dragon are full of energy and drive. They dream of changing the world and are good at coming up with innovative ideas and implementing them.

This year, The Meridian Society will be starting the day off with lunch at Culture Grub, 84 The Cut, London SE1 8LW. There will be a variety of dishes, including vegetarian options. The restaurant is a short walk away from BFI Southbank, where the celebration continues!

Delicious dishes.

Programme for the day:
12:00 Arrive at Culture Grub, 84 The Cut, London SE1 8LW for lunch at 12:30
15:10 Screening of ‘FATHER’ at NFT3, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT. Please gather by the Ticket Office at 14:45 to collect your ticket (seats are not numbered).

We are delighted to announce that BFI Southbank will be showing the UK premiere of ‘FATHER’, a documentary feature directed by young Chinese filmmaker Deng Wei and produced by British Chinese documentary film director and producer Peng Wenlan. There will be a Q&A with Deng Wei and Peng Wenlan after the screening chaired by Chris Berry, Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London.

FATHER (90 mins, Chinese with English subtitles) captures the fraught relationship between the director’s father, a property developer, and his grandfather, a blind fortune-teller, as they negotiate past resentments and an uncertain future. The film has garnered several awards at international film festivals around the world.

Synopsis
Filmmaker Deng Wei’s grandfather Zuogui has been blind since the age of three, living most of his life as a fortune-teller to raise his family. He has grown increasingly embittered towards his son Donggu (Wei’s father), a property developer set on earning the respect not afforded him as a child. Although the signs portend failure for him, Donggu persists in his pursuit of money, exacerbating the discord between him and his father. “What must be, must be. Everything is determined by fate, not humans,” warns Zuogui. As the frail elderly man approaches the final chapter of his life, will fate forever keep father and son apart, or can it heal the very wounds it created between them?

Father, a film by Deng Wei.

As time is short and seats at BFI Southbank are limited, please make your reservation(s) indicating whether you want lunch, lunch + film show, or just film show by emailing. themeridiansociety@gmail.com. When booking the meal, please indicate if you are vegetarian, gluten intolerant or have other dietary requirements. Once your place has been confirmed, please send in payment immediately and no later than 26th January.

We hope to see you there!

CHINA’S HIDDEN CENTURY

Date: Friday 1st December, 2023
Time: 9:00-21:00
Venue: Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS Main Building,10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

The Meridian Society is delighted to present the above event in association with the Royal Asiatic Society, the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding and the SOAS Chinese Culture Society.

Visitors to the exhibition CHINA’S HIDDEN CENTURY at the British Museum over the past months will no doubt have been astonished by the cultural creativity that emerged during the last hundred years of the Qing Dynasty despite the social, economic and political upheavals of the time. We are therefore very pleased to invite Jessica Harrison-Hall, the museum’s Head of China Section and the exhibition’s lead curator, to give a retrospective view of the exhibition.

Following the talk, Ms Harrison-Hall will be joined by Dr Lars Laamann, Senior Lecturer in the History of China at SOAS, and Dr Hwee-San Tan, Research Associate in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, for a panel discussion on this period of history.

The talk will be topped and tailed by performances of Qing court music performed by the SOAS Sizhu Ensemble. 

The event is free, but donations are welcome and all proceeds will go to the SOAS Sizhu Ensemble to fund their trip to Portugal next year. 

ase RSVP to themeridiansociety@gmail.com if you are planning to attend. 

Out-of-hours Guided Tour of British Library’s ‘Chinese and British’ Exhibition

22nd of March 2023
British Library (meet at the main foyer entrance)
Free admission

The exhibition ‘Chinese and British’ at the British Library explores the long history British
Chinese communities and culture through photographs, manuscripts and interviews with those who have lived through it. The exhibition curators have kindly offered The Meridian Society members an exclusiveguided out-of-hours tour of the exhibition.
The places are limited, and therefore please make your booking as soon as possible.

Please email themeridiansociety@gmail.com to book a place. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come basis.

Sunday 5th February

Delicious dumplings and more on the eve of the Lantern Festival, followed by a screening at BFI Southbank of What about China? – an insightful visual diary of writer/filmmaker Trinh Minh-Ha’s visit to rural China in the 1990s.

CLICK HERE for more details and booking information.

Peng Wenlan in Conversation with TELLY LEUNG
followed by an evening at the theatre!

Allegiance has moved from Broadway to London! Based on the personal story of the legendary TV and film star George Takei (of Star Trek fame) and his internment in an American concentration camp during World War II, the musical is currently on at Charing Cross Theatre. (https://allegiancemusical.com)

The Meridian Society is delighted to have the opportunity of inviting co-star Telly Leung, who plays the son of George’s character, to meet us in the middle of his busy schedule. Telly is an American actor, director, singer and songwriter and a strong campaigner for LGBTQ rights. Our society director Peng Wenlan will be holding a conversation with him about his career and ambitions and his role in the musical.

CLICK HERE  for more details and booking information.

Open discussion: Mainstreaming ESEA British Theatremakers

Friday 3rd March, 2023

This session will be followed, as entertainment, by an evening play reading of This Is Not A True Story, presented by the student SOAS Chinese Culture Society, followed by an informal Q&A.

Click here for more  information and booking details.

Hot on the heels of Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan’s moving speeches at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards, The Meridian Society and UK trade union for creative practitioners Equity will be collaborating on a roundtable discussion on the challenges facing actors of East  Southeast Asian background in England

Later in the year

The Meridian Society will partner with the British Library to hold an afternoon of honest, humorous, and definitely heartwarming, presentations on Chinese
Identity with wellknown personalities.

Watch this space!