Driftwood Transcultural Forum

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Named after the Chinese-Canadian poet Lo Fu's masterpiece Driftwood, the Driftwood Transcultural Forum engages with his unique aesthetics of exile and his concerns for displacement and drifting as the everlasting fate of humanity, and aims to establish itself as a globally oriented and locally grounded platform to facilitate transcultural debates, discussions and dialogues.

The inaugural event will take place at Harbour Centre on August 6, 2016. It will start with a morning panel with presentations by Lo Fu and experts of his work on his aesthetic thinking, and a roundtable discussion on the cosmopolitan imaginations of Asian-Canadian artistic and cultural production. The afternoon program offers one more panel presentation and a roundtable discussion by invited participants to further explore the transcultural appeal of literary and artistic productions from ethnic minority groups and the challenges for their transcultural communication.

This year’s event is jointly sponsored by:

  • Vancouver Chinese Culture & Arts Foundation
  • David See-Chai Lam Centre for International Communication, SFU
  • Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, SFU
  • Global Communication M.A. Double Degree Program, SFU

We are most excited to host Lo Fu, Chinese-Canadian poet, translator, Nobel Prize in Literature nominee, and Chairman of Driftwood Artists Association and invite you to join us!

Please RVSP before July 31:  https://websurvey.sfu.ca/cgi-bin/WebObjects/WebSurvey.woa/wa/survey?249142639

Driftwood Transcultural Forum: A Cross-boundary Academic Experiment

On August 6, Driftwood Transcultural Forum took place at SFU’s downtown campus. Engaging with well-known Chinese-Canadian poet Lo Fu’s unique aesthetics of exile and his concerns for displacement and drifting as the everlasting fate of humanity, the forum was established as a globally oriented and locally grounded platform to facilitate transcultural debate, discussion, and dialogue. Over fifty scholars, writers, artists, media producers and commentators as well as members of the general public from Canada, Mainland China, and Taiwan participated in this interdisciplinary and cross-boundary academic experiment.

This all-day event started with a morning panel consisted of presentations by Lo Fu and experts of his work, which strived to unfold the poet’s illuminating ideas about the “Aesthetics at the World’s Edge", and a following roundtable discussion to further discuss the particularities and universal appeals of Asian-Canadian artistic and cultural production. In the afternoon session, invited speakers and audiences had a series of dynamic, rigorous, and reflexive discussions, further dissecting the dilemma of multiculturalism, the limitations of “nation-state” framework, and the possibilities and challenges of transcultural communication from a variety of perspectives, including political economy, cultural policy, gender politics, racial issues, pedagogical practice, media industry, translation, literary publishing.

Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, arrived at the Forum to honor Lo Fu on behalf of the Canadian federal government in recognition of his outstanding artistic achievement and contribution to transcultural debate, discussion and dialogue. At the end of the event, Orient Star Media, a Richmond-based bilingual media company, announced two scholarships for the M.A. Double Degree Program in Global Communication at SFU with the purpose of encouraging more young scholars to participate in the endeavors of transcultural communication.

Born in Mainland China in 1928 and moved to Taiwan in 1949, Lo Fu and his wife Wu Qiongfang moved to Canada in 1996 and have been living in Richmond, B.C. since then. He wrote his masterpiece Driftwood, a 3000-line poem, while in Canada. Now at the age of 89, the couple plans to move back to Taiwan this September.

SFU’s M.A. Double Degree Program in Global Communication contributed to the organization of this event.  

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Date: August 6, 2016 (Saturday)
Time: 9am - 8pm
Venue: Vancouver Harbour Center Room 1400 - 1410
Presentation  details