Thursday, January 24, 2008

Grandma's Mugshot...Sort of.

This is a photograph of my grandmother and a policeman. The photo was taken in January, 1947, she was 26 years old.

A few days ago, my mother was watching a TV series at home in Shanghai. The series is called "Unclosed Case of China" which is about all the famously unfinished law-related cases in the Republic of China era (1912-1949). When the show starts talk about a fire case that was happened in the Chinese New Year of 1947, that a lane of houses in downtown Shanghai was on fire, one of them was the house of my grandparents'. The firemen was failed to save most houses. This case later turned into a long and complicated investigation on the cause of the incident. Of course, the result of that investigation remain a mystery.

So, mom was already extremely surprised and excited about this blurry family history unfolding on TV. But not until they showed this above image with a caption of "Wife of the Tongzuo Factory owner Shen Qiuling (my grandpa)", she was totally stunned. Nobody had ever seen this photo, not even my grandma herself, it was digged from the old record for this documentary. According to the decumentary, my grandma was the first person who noticed the fire and call the fire department immediately. Later, after she gave a statement to the police department, Well, I guess she was a hero so they need to take a photo with her. And here it is, after 60 years, this photographs surfaced with so much memories and history. Isn't it just amazing!

She is now 87 years old and rarely mentioned the fire. She doesn't seem to remember the picture moment very clearly, but she sure saved the many lives, I am kind of a little bit speechless...

You can see the entire documentary (in Chinese) here.
PS: She is totally a fashionista, look at that cool coat and the hair!

Friday, January 11, 2008

2008 Manhattan Community Arts Grant

Almost Naked has been awarded a 2008 Manhattan Community Arts grant. This is my second year of winning this grant. Last year, I received this grant award for my series Concubines of New York, a documentary project of Chinese opera in New York City. The grant helped me tremendously on creating and post-production of the project, Concubines of New York has already been collected and published in China. Manhattan Community Arts grant is funded by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and New York City department of Cultural Affairs. The 2009 application for this grant is due Jan. 22, 2008.