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Chinese Historical Society Of America Museum

A special tour of the Qipao Exhibit

Friday, August 14: 1pm – 3pm


Members of the press are cordially invited to attend a special curator’s tour of the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum’s exhibition “From Manchu to China Chic: the Evolution of the Qipao – Part II: Adornment Craze” Hear from textiles expert, author and curator Sally Yu Leung, who presents the qipao in its historic and cultural context. The tour will be conducted along with members of San Francisco Fine Arts Museums Textile Arts Council and volunteers from the Asian Art Museum. With renewed interest nationwide in Chinese art and fashion, this tour and exhibition is a rare opportunity to explore exquisite examples of qipao, and examine the history and symbolism embedded in these unique fashions.

The CHSA Museum premiered the exhibition “From Manchu to China Chic: the Evolution of the Qipao” in March 2015. This exhibition is curated by Sally Yu Leung is currently on view in the CHSA Museum’s Yick Gallery. This exhibition is a three-part series. it is currently on “Part Two: Adornment Craze” reflecting the more stylized, elaborate, over-detailed, multi-colored, and multi-thematic styles of women’s wear in China. The qipao (mandarin gown or cheongsam) has a hybrid design combining elements from Han Chinese, Manchu and Western clothing. The exhibition features dresses, old posters, and accessories on loan from private collections spanning 1890s to 2000s. Visitors will see the qipao’s evolution: from when it was fashionable to socialites, to being a symbol of a bourgeois lifestyle, eventually becoming a cultural icon.

Sally Yu Leung is an independent lecturer, author and curator of Chinese decorative arts. From 1983–2000, she was a board member of the Chinese American International School. Since 2001, she has also assumed the role of Chinese culture and calligraphy instructor for Pixar Animation Studios. She is the consultant and chief designer of the Interior Cultural Enhancement Project for the International School of Beijing at Shunyi, China. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Woman Warrior Award in the Arts. From 1999–2009, she served as a commissioner for the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. In June 2012 she was listed in the Chinese Ministry of Culture’s Hall of Fame of those who contributed to the protection and preservation of Chinese cultural heritage.

Founded in 1963, CHSA is the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to the documentation, study, and presentation of Chinese American history. Through exhibitions, publications, and educational and public programs, CHSA promotes the contributions and legacy of Chinese America. In 2001, CHSA relocated to the historic YWCA building, designed in 1932 by prolific and innovative architect Julia Morgan. The Chinese Historical Society of America Museum is located at 965 Clay Street, San Francisco, CA 94108. For information contact (415) 391-1188 or info@chsa.org or go online to www.chsa.org