2016 Events

2016 Events

Mystique of ‘Shangri-la’

We are starting our Autumn series of events with a talk by Amy Ng, playwright of ‘Shangri-La’ and others in discussion. Some of you will have seen Amy’s play, which presented several issues including tourism, ethnic national identity and environmental preservation and change in the ‘sacred’ mountainous region of the Tibetan-Yunnan borderland. It is planned to project photographs of the region from the recent Meridian Society tour to this region.

Playwright Amy Ng trained on the Royal Court Theatre’s Critical Mass Programme and the British East Asian Writers’ group supported by The Young Vic. She has written a number of short plays and is also a historian with a research interest in multinational empires, imperial decline, and nationality conflict. Amy is the author of Nationalism and Political Liberty (Oxford University Press).

The discussion after Amy’s talk will be joined by Thupten Kelsang, a Tibetan student of History of Art at SOAS and the founder of the Tibet Art Collective which aims to connect contemporary Tibetan artists and writers globally.

We hope to see you all there!

Membership for the Meridian Society is an annual fee of £35 a year (£20 for concessions). Please visit our website for more details.

Please reply to indicate your intention of attending the event to the Meridian Society at themeridiansociety@gmail.com

Date: Wednesday, 28th September
Time: 6-8pm
Venue: Chinese Tea Life Cafe, 21 Museum Street, London WC1A 1JN (facing British Museum)
Entry: £5 for Meridian Society and SACU members; £8 for non-members; £6 for students, to include Chinese tea.
Payment at the door.


Join our 10th Anniversary Celebration

The Meridian Society has completed its first 10 years – an achievement made possible by our members, friends and supporters. We will be celebrating with an informal lunch prepared by The Bamboo Flute, a pub-style quiz to test your knowledge of Chinese (pre-kindergarten level) and the society’s past events, musical entertainment on the erhu showing the amazing versatility of this two-stringed instrument, and convivial chat over cake and Cava. This promises to be a memorable and fun-filled event. All – members and non-members alike – are invited to join our anniversary celebration!

Order of events:

  • 12:45 Lunch
  • 13:45 Musical entertainment
  • 14:15 Quiz with team prize
  • 15:15 Anniversary cake and Cava

Lunch Menu

  • Doufu with mixed vegetables
  • Beijing braised pork
  • Silk chicken with fried noodles
  • ‘Three treasures of the earth’ (potato, aubergine and green pepper in a savoury sauce)
  • Guo Yue’s Hutong special fried rice

Note: Membership for the Meridian Society is an annual fee of £35 a year (£20 for concessions).

Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment. Please book by emailing themeridiansociety@gmail.com.

The deadline for booking is FRIDAY 17th JUNE and the deadline for receipt of payment is MONDAY 20th JUNE.

Note for Meridian Society members: those attending both the AGM at 11.30 and the Anniversary Celebration should stay on after the meeting, as both events are in the same venue.

Date: Saturday 25th June
Time: 12.30pm–4.00pm
Venue: Upper Room, All Souls Clubhouse, 141 Cleveland Street, London W1T 6QG. (For directions please go to allsoulsclubhouse. The nearest tube stations are Great Portland Street and Warren Street.)
Entry: Members of TMS £15; Members of SACU and TMS family £17.50; Non-members £20


China’s Dreams of Order – Talk by Jeanne-Marie Gescher

Jeanne-Marie Gescher, a highly respected China observer who has lived in Beijing since 1989, argues that China’s importance really lies in a 5,000 year question about order: is order only to be found under a single top-down ruler or does it depend on the voices of human beings? And if the latter, what ‘kind’ of human beings are required?

In her talk she will cover many of the issues of law and governance, the rulers and the ruled – All Under Heaven – referring to China’s ancient history and how it relates to the contemporary state and social changes up to the present.

Weaving together the inspirations, ideas, wars and dreams that have shaped the way China’s people have thought about order from the ancient past to the recent present, Gescher reveals a story of China as an epic and continuing battle about order that strikes at the heart of what it means to be Chinese. With the past in perspective, the clashes between China’s people and the Party come to life as never before—and the importance of China’s question becomes clear for everything, including economics.

In a thought provoking conclusion, Gescher invites readers to make their own, informed, views about how order might be found in China—and then to take one step further and apply China’s question to the wider world.

Founder of one of the earliest private advisory firms in China, she has also observed and advised policy institutions on the social, human and environmental changes that have taken place and on their implications, for China and the wider world.

Jeanne-Marie has been honorary legal advisor to successive British ambassadors to the PRC from 1989 to 2015; she is a twice-elected former chair of the British Chamber of Commerce in China.

Prior to China, she worked as a legal advisor with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as a trade and competition lawyer in Brussels, and as a lecturer in law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London University). In 2001, she was awarded an OBE for her China work. She is a Leaders Quest Ambassador.

Jeanne-Marie was born in Canada. She is a graduate of the universities of Durham and Aix-en-Provence, and a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Note: Membership for the Meridian Society is an annual fee of £35 a year (£20 for concessions).

Please book by Friday 15th of April by emailing us at: themeridiansociety@gmail.com.

Date: Wednesday 20th of April
Time: 6:30-8pm
Venue: Room VG06, Vernon Square, SOAS King’s Cross Campus
Entry: SOAS students and members of TMS and SACU free; Non-members £5 donation


The Meridian Society’s 2016 Chinese New Year Celebration!

On Saturday the 13th of February the Meridian Society invites you to join us for our Chinese New Year celebration. Firstly, we will be going for a Chinese new year lunch at The Bamboo Flute where owner, Guo Yue, will entertain us not only with delicious food but also wonderful music. Afterwards, we will be going to BFI Southbank for the UK premiere of the Chinese feature film ‘The Calligraphy Master’ with an introduction by our director Peng Wenlan. The two can be booked separately or together.


As spaces in both venues are limited, please e-mail us at themeridiansociety@gmail.com to reserve your place and avoid disappointment. The deadline for booking is Sunday 17th January with payment as soon as possible and no later than Friday 22nd January. Priority will be given to current Meridian Society members, supporters who book for both events, then on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. More information on the event (including the lunch menu) will be available nearer the time.

The Calligraphy Master is a biopic about the life of Qi Gong, China’s most prestigious calligrapher and ink painter, whose dedication to teaching his art influenced many generations of Chinese artists.

A lifelong yet unconcerned victim of forgery (‘they do it better than me’), Qi Gong suffered for his calling, particularly during the Cultural Revolution. Yet throughout his life he showed a tolerance and generosity of spirit that made him a beloved teacher and an icon for traditional Chinese Culture.

China 2015
Directed by Yinnan Ding, Zhen Ding With Enran Ma, Fuli Wang, Shaogang Zhang, Xiangyu Kong, Dang Ding
110 min, Digital
Mandarin with English subtitles
China Youth Film Studio, Financing City, CCTV6, Zhujiang Film Group, China Film Association, Beijing Bodei Golden Film Media Co. Ltd.