Uncle Ng Comes to America
Evening discussion with Co-Editors Bell Yung, Professor of Music, Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, and Eleanor S. Yung, Founder, Asian American Arts Centre
Drinks reception: 6:30 pm
Discussion: 7:00 pm
Close: 8:00 pm
Uncle Ng Comes to America is a multimedia publication of narrative songs from southern China, including audio recordings, documentary video, song texts and English translation, and introductory essays. The songs, recorded in the early 1990s in New York City by the Asian American Arts Centre, were sung by Ng Sheung Chi, or Uncle Ng, of Toisan County (Taishan in Mandarin) in the Pearl River Delta. A farmer all his life but also a superb singer of a type of narrative folksong called muk'yu ("wooden fish"), Ng immigrated to New York in 1979 at the age of 69, and continued to sing his beloved muk'yu songs, on Chinatown street corners, in neighborhood parks, in community centers, and anywhere else, with or without an audience. In 1992, Uncle Ng became the first Chinese American to receive a National Heritage Fellowship.
The original recordings and the video documentary, part of the Asian American Arts Centre's work to collect, document, and exhibit community arts, preserve Uncle Ng's artistry and captures precious moments of his singing and ruminations about life and music. The publication is a testimony of Uncle Ng not only as a singer of unheralded folk music in its pristine form, but also of his contributions to the Chinese American community in New York City.
Bell Yung, Professor of Music, Emeritus, at the University of Pittsburgh, is the recipient of numerous honors and fellowships including the Guggenheim, Mellon, Ford, ACLS, NEH, Fulbright, and Chiang Ching Kuo, and, in Hong Kong, from the Research Grants Council, Arts Development Council, Kwan Fong Foundation, and Bei Shan Tang Foundation. A specialist in the music of China, he has published ten books and over 60 scholarly articles, as well as a DVD, several CDs, and museum catalogues.
Eleanor S. Yung is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. She combines this with her teaching of Taichi at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and classes in the West Village in New York City. Formerly, she was the Artistic Director of the Asian American Dance Theatre, and founder of the Asian American Arts Centre, serving on Advisory Panels of the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Creative Artists Public Service Program.
Presented in collaboration with MCCM Creations and the SOMA project at CityU.