Saturday, February 23, 2013

John Zane in Shanghai

The Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Its Great Hawaiian Musicians: Origin of the Steel Guitar
Lorene Ruymar
Centerstream Publications, 1996

page 39: Another steel guitarist who once lived in Shanghai (now Waimea, Hawai’i) Ernest Kurlansky, reported,

“In 1927 a friend of mine came to Shanghai from Honolulu, a cartoonist named Johnny Zane. He operated a Hawaiian Music Studio there, teaching Hawaiian guitar, Spanish guitar, and ukulele. During 1935–37 there were a lot of Chinese boys from Hawai’i from well-to-do parents who were attending American Missionary Colleges in Shanghai at St. John’s University, Ling Nam in Peking. They studied medicine and law, etc. I met most of them through Johnny. They were all evacuated during the Sino-Japanese was together with all other U.S. citizens in August of 1937 on the Dollar Line passenger ship President Hoover, which incidentally was bombed by the Japanese military during its departure from Shanghai.

“Ernest Kawohioalani (Prince Kawohi), Ernest (Bobby) Ka’ai Jr., Billy Lee, Joe Kanapu’u, and Sonny Lewis were all musicians in Shanghai. Ernest KAwohi as he was known then came to Shanghai with Walter Downing, the father of famed beach boy Surfer Downing of Waikiki. Ernest Kawohi played a pancake Rickenbacker with Billy Lee and Joe Kanapu’u at St. George’s Night Club. Bobby Ka’ai was the band leader at the Del Monte Night Club. All were evacuated from Shanghai in August of 1937 during the second Sino Japanese War.”

(Next post March 1: Keye Luke in the Tolo 1922)

Friday, February 22, 2013

John Zane”s Identity and Travel Documents

Form 430
1921
(click images to enlarge)

Passport Application
1921

Chinese Exclusion Act Interview
New York, 1924

Form 430 and interview photocopies at
the National Archives in New York City.
Passport application at Ancestry.com.

(Tomorrow: John Zane in Shanghai)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

John Zane to the Rescue

New York Evening Post
October 11, 1924

The New York Times
October 11, 1924
(excerpt)
When the first engines arrived flames were shooting through the superstructure and about 200 coolies of the crew, asleep below, had been confused by smoke and were shouting for help. Watchmen, firemen and policemen helped them off after they had been quieted by John Zane, a Chinese cartoonist on the China Press of Shanghai, who is working his way around the world as a member of the crew. A few Chinese jumped into the water and were fished out. They gathered with the rest on the pier, which also was aflame for a time, and cheered Zane for having saved them from panic and its consequences.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yang Ling-fu at the Sesquicentennial Exposition

Ancestry.com Passenger List

Name: Ling Fu Yang
Gender: Female, Single
Age: 30
Language: Chinese and English
Birthplace: Tientsin, China
Race/Nationality: Chinese
Last Residence: Peking, China

Height: 5 feet 3 inches
Complexion: Yel
Hair: Blk
Eyes: Dark

The name and complete address of nearest
relative or friend in country whence alien came:
Mr Z.Y. Horn
c / o Jairt Saving Society Peking China

Purpose of coming to United States:
To attend exposition at Philadelphia Pa
Length of time: Less than 1 yr

Ship Name: S.S. President Jackson
Departure Date: October 12, 1926
Port of Departure: Shanghai, China
Arrival Date: October 26 / 27, 1926
Port of Arrival: Seattle, Washington

Seattle Daily Times
(Washington)
October 27, 1926
tenth line from bottom
(click image to enlarge)

October 28, 1926
Her English name was Edith Young.

Stanford University Press, 2008

About the Sesquicentennial Exposition


Yang Ling-fu returned ten years later.

Name: Ling Fu Yang
Gender: Female, Single
Age: 33
Calling or occupation: Artist
Language: Chinese and English
Birthplace: Wuish, Kaingsu, China [sic]
Race/Nationality: Chinese
Last permanent residence: Peiping, China

Height: 5 feet 3 inches
Complexion: Dk
Hair: Blk
Eyes: Blk

The name and complete address of nearest
relative or friend in country whence alien came:
Mr Yang Shu Nan
West City Tai Ping Bridge 53 Peiping, China

Purpose of coming to United States:
K.H. Chow Director Chinese Exhibit
Texax Centennial Dalax Texas [sic]
Length of time: 1 mo

Ship Name: S.S. Kathleen
Departure Date: October 26, 1936
Port of Departure: Vancouver, BC
Arrival Date: October 27, 1936
Port of Arrival: Seattle, Washington

Friday, February 15, 2013

Yang Ling-fu in Who’s Who in China

Who’s Who in China
Biographies of Chinese Leaders
Fifth Edition
The China Weekly Review, 1936
page 272, column 1
(click images to enlarge)

Miss Yang Ling-fu, artist and poet; native of Wusih, Kiangsu; born of a family distinguished for scholastic attainments; received a thorough Chinese education in her youth and took special interest in poetry and painting; wrote exquisite verses while still young; also fond of philosophy and literature; gained fame as a painter in China and was awarded medals by both President Yuan Shih-kai and President Hsu Shih-chang for her productions; participated in the Philadelphia Exposition with her productions in 1926 which made her widely known in the United States; was invited to partake in the joint Sino-Japanese Art Exposition during the time of the coronation of the reigning Japanese emperor in 1928 at Tokyo, where her work was highly praised and awarded prizes; between these two exhibitions, she spent two years in reproducing the portraits of the Manchu emperors and empresses at the Palace Museum of Mukden; one of her special feats in art is a complete model of the Summer Palace in Peiping which won her much admiration from many Chinese and foreign artists; author of a volume on poems and paintings and several novels.


A biographical sketch of Yang Ling-fu is in the book, Artists in California, 1786–1940, which can be read here. Tomorrow: Yang Ling-fu at the Sesquicentennial Exposition.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yun Gee in Life Magazine

Life
January 3, 1944
“Department Stores Popularize Art”
page 43, row 2, column 2
here is the link: Yun Gee, Central Park Lake

(Tomorrow: Yang Ling-fu in Who’s Who in China)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yun Gee in Who’s Who in China

Who’s Who in China
Biographies of Chinese Leaders
Fifth Edition
The China Weekly Review, 1936
page 68, column 3
(click images to enlarge)

Chu Yun-gee (Chu Yuan-chi) 
Chu Yun-gee, artist; born at Canton, Kwangtung, Feb. 22, 1905; studied Chinese classics and literature in his native village and at age of 13, he wrote the essay “The Morality of the Chinese in the Times of the Three Kingdoms,” in which he expressed radical ideas resulting in serious difference of opinion between him and the school authorities and his leaving the institution; it was at this time that he made his first attempt to paint and chose as his first subject “Kwan Yu,” the famous Chinese warrior-saint in the Three Kingdoms; from that time on, his sole desire was to become a painter and at age of 14 (1921), he went to America, entering the California Art School where he made phenomenal progress and met the well-known modern painter, Otis Oldfield; during the term of his studies, he accumulated some 200 canvasses, but to his awakened spirit, they seemed to be the works of a man who had long been lost in blindness and symbols of his one-time slavishness to the academic and he destroyed them in a bonfire with a prayer, pledging to forget and abandon the academic and to devote his efforts to the vital living art; under the stimulation of Otis Oldfield, he organized an exhibition at the Modern Artists Gallery, San Francisco, which brought his unique talent to public notice and he became well-known as one of the modern painters of that city; after the exhibition, he organised “The Chinese Revolutionary Painters’ Club” there; finding that San Francisco no longer offered him a chance for growth, he went to Paris at age of 20 in the hope of learning more of the painting of the West which he could fuse with that of the East; after his arrival at Paris, he installed himself in a studio in the Latin Quarter and his work received the highest praise in many French art journals; in Dec. 1927, he held his first European exhibition at the Carmine Galleries which was an unparalleled success and during which, he sold most of his paintings, three of which were purchased by the Princess Lucien Murat; shortly after that he held another exhibition at the Salon des Independants and his exhibit, “Confucius,” was declared to be the finest painting done by a Chinese artist since the days of the Sung Dynasty; at about this time, he became acquainted with Raymond Duncan who expressed great admiration for his art and the famous connoisseur, Paul Guillame also extolled him as one of the most charming artists; after having stayed in Paris for three years with a half-year's sojourn in Spain, he returned to America in 1930 at the age of 23; shortly after his arrival in San Francisco, he held an exhibition at the Balzac Galleries and is now still in America doing research work in art; his rise in the art world has been meteoric and in spite of his youth, he has already become internationally known as one of the most outstanding painters of today.


The 1936 book is available at the Internet Archive. The 1931 Who’s Who in China has the above entry (plus a few words) which was based on the biography in the China Weekly Review, February 7, 1931:

Yun Gee, artist; born at Canton, Kwangtung, Feb. 22 1905; son of Mr. Quong On Chue, who once traded in America; studied Chinese classics and literature in his native village; at the age of 13, he wrote the essay “Morality of the Chinese in the Times of the Three Kingdoms”, in which he expressed radical ideas and thereby caused a serious difference of opinion between him and the school authorities, finally resulting in his leaving the institution; it was at this time that he made his first attempt to paint and chose as his first subject “Kwan Yu” the famous Chinese warrior-saint in the Three Kingdoms; from that time on, his sole desire was to become a painter and at age of 14 (1921), he went to America, entering the Californian Art School where he made phenomenal progress and met the well-known modern painter, Otis Oldfield; during the term of his studies, he had accumulated some 200 canvasses, but to his awakened spirit, they seemed to be the works of a man who had long been lost in blindness and symbols of his one time slavery to the academic and he destroyed them in a bonfire with a prayer, pledging to forget and abandon the academic and to devote his efforts in future to the vital living art; under the stimulation of Otis Oldfield, he organized an exhibition at the Modern Artists Gallery, San Francisco, which brought out his unique talent to the public notice and he became well-known as one of the outstanding modern-painters of that city; after the exhibition, he organised “The Chinese Revolutionary Painters’ Club” under the sponsership [sic] of Fain-Chaing and Dr. Yung, two, well-konwn [sic] residents in San Francisco; shortly after this, he held another exhibition, of his works and those of his young disciples in Frisco Chinatown which also won him many admirers; finding that San Francisco no longer offered him a chance for growth, he went to Paris at age of 20 in the hope to learn more of the painting of the West which he could fuse with that of the East; after his arrival at Paris, he installed himself in a studio in the Latin Quarter and his work received the highest praise in many French art journals; in Dec. 1927, he held his first European exhibition at the Carmine Galleries which was an unparalleled success and during which, he sold most of his paintings, three of which were purchased by the Princess Lucien Murat who became his great admirer and patroness; shortly after that he held another exhibition at the Salon Des Independants and his exhibit, “Confucious [sic],” was declared to be the finest painting done by a Chinese artist since the days of the Sung Dynasty some seven centuries ago; it was about, this time, he became acquainted with Raymond Duncan who expressed great admiration of his art and the Famous connoissur [sic], Paul Guillame also extolled him as one of the most charming artists; after having stayed in Paris for three years with a half-year’s sojourn in Spain, he returned to America in 1930 at the age of 23. Again in San Francisco, he held an exhibition at the Balzac Galleries and is now contemplating to hold another exhibition in which he will present to American public all of his works now on their way from Paris; Yun Gee’s rise in the art world has been meteoric and in spite of his youth, he has already become internationally known as one of the most outstanding painters of today.


Standard Union
(Brooklyn, New York)
November 22, 1931


Regarding Yun’s birth year, Joyce Brodsky in her book, Experiences of Passage: The Paintings of Yun Gee and Li-lan (2008), said: “Yun Gee (Gee Wing Yun was his Chinese name) was born in Gee Village (now called Chu Village), Yanglu Town, Kaiping County, Guangdong Province, China, on February 22, 1906, the second son of Quong On Chu and Wong See….”

The China Weekly Review also published Arthur A. Young’s article, “Yun Gee, Chinese Interpreter of East to West”, in its October 18, 1930 issue. His piece was printed in Yun Gee: Poetry, Writings, Art, Memories (2003).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yun Gee in Paris

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
August 31, 1930
(click image to enlarge)

This article, without the photographs, is in the book,
Yun Gee: Poetry, Writings, Art, Memories (2003).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Yun Gee’s First Marriage?

Reno Evening Gazette
(Nevada)
December 3, 1928
(click images to enlarge)

Is Yun Gee, in the notice, the
San Francisco artist of the same name?


(Tomorrow: Yun Gee in Paris)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Charlie Low, the Lightning Chinese Artist

Boston Herald
(Massachusetts)
November 15, 1903
(click images to enlarge)

The New York Clipper
November 21, 1903

These two newspaper clippings are all that I have found on Charlie Low. He has not been  found in the census, books or magazines. I'm not sure he is even Chinese. A description of a lightning artist is here. Tomorrow, Yun Gee, Chinese Modernist.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wong Kai Wee a.k.a.

Wong Kai Kee was also known as Wee Kai Wee.

The World
(New York)
July 19, 1900
(click images to enlarge)

New-York Tribune
July 23, 1900
(see yesterday’s post)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wong Kai Kee in Jail

The Call
(San Francisco, California)
June 1, 1910
(click images to enlarge)

New York Herald
June 1, 1910

 The Sun
(New York)
June 2, 1910

The Call
June 2, 1910

(Tomorrow: Wong Kai Kee a.k.a.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wong Kai Kee in Hiding

New-York Daily Tribune
July 22, 1900
(click images to enlarge)

The World
July 23, 1900

New York Herald
July 23, 1900

The World
July 24, 1900

New York Herald
July 24, 1900

New-York Daily Tribune
July 26, 1900

1900 U.S. Federal Census
Manhattan, New York, New York

“Wong Ki” was born in China in August 1853. He immigrated in 1887 and married in 1892. His occupation was painter. Wong, his wife, “Wong Toy”, and nephew, “Tong Gow”, lived at 43 Mott Street (45 was crossed out by the enumerator).

(Tomorrow: Wong Kai Kee in Collier’s Magazine)