Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1043-W681



Release Date: September 4, 2017



Topic: Introduction about "Wandering and Singing For Freedom - Chinese Literature and Art from Exile Series" Published by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation (Ciping HUANG)

标题:关于魏京生基金会出版“为自由而浪迹天涯 -- 中国流亡文学及艺术系列”的说明(黄慈萍)


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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Introduction about "Wandering and Singing For Freedom - Chinese Literature and Art from Exile Series" Published by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation


-- Ciping HUANG

September 4, 2017



Earlier this year, Mr. Wei Jingsheng brought back for me a big gift that really surprised me, from Dr. Jonathan Xingyu Chen, a board director of the Wei Jingsheng Foundation.  It is a beautiful calligraphy panel by Dr. Chen, recording the poem "Quatrains in the Summer" by Li Qingzhao, a well-known poet of the Song Dynasty:

    To be heroes as we live,

    To be heroes as we die;

    To this day I am thinking of Xiang Yu,

    Who refused to cross the river to the east [for safety].


Dr. Xingyu Chen is also an alumnus of the University of Science and Technology of China, where I studied as a teenager nearly 40 years ago.  He was also the President of IFCSS (Independent Federation of the Chinese Students and Scholars, USA) during its 2nd term in 1990.  He has all sorts of artistic and intellectual capacities and I consider him as the top intellectual of IFCSS.  I still remember when I was young, I would make a stop over in Washington DC to meet with him and other IFCSS friends during my business trips to the Eastern USA.  More than a dozen of us gathered at his home and we would talk all night long.  He was capable of talking about every subject of astronomy and physics, geography, history, literature and art, etc.  These were really fun times.  However, now we are separated so far away and hardly can see each other.  But I do know that usually when friends gather in his place, they would drink and read, then find someway to lure him to write his unique and beautiful calligraphy.  Those who got his calligraphy would treat it as the highest achievement of the gathering.  Yet I receive one without even able to be there and to ask for one.  My grateful heart is self-evident.


Moreover, this poem by Li Qingzhao is my favorite ancient poetry.  The whole poem is short and pithy, catchy and easy to understand, full of righteousness, courage, and the spirit of braveness.  How can I not be touched by such an encouragement from Dr. Xingyu Chen?  I can only sigh: "The one who knows me, Xingyu!"  To have a true friend like Xingyu, is the biggest fortune of my life!


Li Qingzhao (1084-1155), pen named as YiAn JuShi, was a poet born in Shandong during the Song Dynasty.  She is my favorite female Chinese poet.  Her life during her younger years was easy and in prosperity.  However, after the soldiers of the Jin Dynasty invaded the Central Plains of China, she became an expatriate in Southern China and lived in loneliness.  Her Chinese lyrical poems during the earlier part of her life described the leisure life she had, while the lyrical poems during the later part of her life were full of sentimental sighs, as well as her remembrance of the Central Plains.  Her poems touched politics and history, with a sense of braveness in high spirit.  I like Li Qingzhao, not only because of my sympathy for her life, admiration for her talent, but also because of her brave and strong integrity, which is still unforgettable until now.


Her sentences "To be heroes as we live, to be heroes as we die; To this day I am thinking of Xiang Yu, who refused to cross the river to the east" was her refusal to take the lure of a high official position (of her husband) for the invaders, as well as her spirit and determination to rather spend the rest of her life in poverty never to compromise and surrender herself to those in power.  In the end, Li Qingzhao achieved her life with the principles she pursued.  Even as the life in her final years was poor, her spirit was rich, which is still admired and commemorated by the people.


The General Xiang Yu in Li Qingzhao's poem was the most courageous general in the thousands of years of Chinese history.  Even when he was eventually trapped in Gaixia, he never surrendered to the enemy.  The last song of his life is well known to many:

"My strength plucked up the hills, My might shadowed the world;

But the times were against me, And my horse Zhui runs no more;

When Zhui runs no more, What then can I do?

Ah, Yu, my love Yu, What will your fate to be?" 

However, I am more touched by the last song of his beautiful lover, Consort Yu, in response to his song:

"The Han army has conquered our land;

Surrounded with the singing of the Chu Country;

My lord's spirits are low;

Why then should I live?" 

This beautiful Consort Yu committed suicide with his sword after her singing.  There are some similarities between this Chinese poem and the poem by Sandor Petofi, a Hungarian national poet and a key figure in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 who died in the battlefield for Hungary's independence yet left his poem that is eternal:

"Liberty and love,

These two I must have. 

For my love I'll sacrifice

My life. 

For Liberty I'll sacrifice

My love."


Two thousand years later, history is still evolving in spiral curves while different characters on the historic stage leave their own roles and marks.  Do we want to be the heroes of our times, or a coward bear?  This remains to be the choice we select for ourselves.  Under the strong suppression of the Chinese Communist regime, it has become very difficult to choose.  However, in the land of China, we never lack of heroes.  We have these heroes as examples.  We should carry on this heroic spirit.


This spirit is also one of the reasons the Wei Jingsheng Foundation began to publish its "Wandering and Singing For Freedom - Chinese Literature and Art from Exile" series.  Not only do we want the world to understand and to support our goals and responsibilities, we also want to show the world both our life and feelings.  We are in exile for refusing to surrender our principles to our enemies.  We are separated from our homeland in order to be persons of honesty and integrity.  But even in a foreign country far away from our homeland, our lives are of multiple dimensions and multiple colors, our sense of justice and responsibility deep.  Our humanity can still be demonstrated through our literature and art, to be spread in the world and continued on into future generations.


The Wei Jingsheng Foundation wants to express its gratitude to the suggestions and contributions made by Dr. Yuejun Qian in Germany, thus being able to initiate this "Wandering and Singing For Freedom - Chinese Literature and Art from Exile" series.  We will start this series from our Foundation's existing and related literatures and art collection, and accept the contributions and suggestions of other comrades and friends.  We also welcome volunteers to translate Chinese into English for our English readers.  We will credit your translation if you like.  This Foundation is unable to pay the copyright and royalties of any relevant publication, and the original authors and the collectors will maintain their own corresponding copyrights after publication unless specified differently.


-- Ciping HUANG

Executive Director

the Wei Jingsheng Foundation



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1043-W681



Release Date: September 4, 2017



Topic: Introduction about "Wandering and Singing For Freedom - Chinese Literature and Art from Exile Series" Published by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation (Ciping HUANG)

标题:关于魏京生基金会出版“为自由而浪迹天涯 -- 中国流亡文学及艺术系列”的说明(黄慈萍)


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)








关于魏京生基金会出版“为自由而浪迹天涯 -- 中国流亡文学及艺术系列”的说明

-- 黄慈萍

































魏京生基金会感谢德国的钱跃君博士的相关建议与贡献。我们将在今后发布相关的“为自由而浪迹天涯 -- 中国流亡文学及艺术系列”文学作品与艺术品介绍。目前,我们将从本基金会已有的和相关的文学作品与艺术品来展开这个系列。我们也欢迎其他同道和朋友们的建议与贡献。我们更欢迎有兴趣为我们义务翻译文艺作品者的参与,我们可以在发表时注明译者。本基金会无力支付任何相关出版物的版权及稿费,除非另有法律文书,出版后原作者及收藏者保持相应版权。















欢迎投稿(暂无稿费)或批评建议,请寄信箱: HCP@WEIJINGSHENG.ORG


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