Fans & Legends season opens at QUAD

image credit: susan pui san lok Trailers video still 2015
 susan pui san lok Trailers video still 

A season of ‘Fans & Legends’ inspired by The Condor Trilogy Chinese martial arts influenced books, fantasy films and TV shows takes place in QUAD in October and November.

Programmed to accompany the new exhibition in QUAD by the artist susan pui san lok, entitled ‘RoCH Fans & Legends’, the Fans & Legends season examines the place of martial arts in the public consciousness, as well as other legends and pop cultural phenomena.

It also examines the role of the fans, who dedicate much of their free time to follow something they feel passionate about. The season features exhibitions, talks, film screenings and educational activities and events and continues in QUAD, along with the exhibition, until  November 15.

The first season event will be a talk by Mike Donaghue entitled, Chinese Martial Arts: From the Battlefields of Ancient China to Olympic Possibilities.

Derby-based Mike Donoghue has a vast amount of experience coaching many world-class Wushu practitioners, and will present an illustrated lecture on the history and origins of Wushu, also discussing his own career. Mike Donaghue’s talk will take place in QUAD Gallery on  October 7 at 7pm, the cost is £3.

Later in October QUAD offers parents and children the opportunity to try a taste of China through traditional Chinese music and folk stories with musician and storyteller Ling Peng. A classically trained Chinese musician and storyteller, Ling Peng has performed throughout Europe with tales of the mythical Chinese dragon, along with Chinese music and songs.

Ling Peng: Chinese Story-Telling & Live Music takes place in QUAD on October 24. There are two sessions, each lasting approximately one hour, at 11am and again at 2pm. The sessions are suitable for anyone aged five and above and cost £5 per person.

In November QUAD’s Satori Screen film strand presents a Fans & Legends Screening Day. Chinese myths, legends and literature have all had a huge influence on both the big and small screens, and will be represented by three film features; Ashes Of Time, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ip Man plus two of the first episodes from the classic TV serial Monkey. Fans & Legends Screening Day takes place in QUAD cinema on November 7 from 1pm. Normal ticket prices apply for each film screening or a Day Pass (covering all four films) is available for just £20.

Artist Talks & Brush Painting Social will be led by artists and curators from Nanchong and Chongqing; YanYan, He RenJun, Yin DongHai and Liu Yun. The Artist Talks & Brush Painting Social takes place in QUAD on November 11, 7pm QUAD Gallery. Tickets are £3, materials and refreshments will be provided.

A panel discussion, Trilogies: Martial Arts & Visual Cultures will debate the role of martial arts in modern culture, through the prisms of contemporary art and film. The panel will feature artist susan pui san lok who will discuss her new work based on The Condor Trilogy martial arts film and TV productions.

Other speakers include Gary Needham and Dr Nikki J. Y. Lee from the Globalisation and East Asian Cultures Research Group at Nottingham Trent University, who have both written and lectured extensively on Chinese cinema, with an emphasis on martial arts. Trilogies: Martial Arts & Visual Cultures Panel Discussion takes place QUAD Gallery on November 13, from 6pm-9pm, tickets are £5 per person.

There will also be free exhibition tours in the main QUAD Gallery and also in QUAD Extra Gallery Spaces during the season, every Wednesday at 12noon and 5:15pm and every Friday at 12noon, those wishing to join the tour can just meet at QUAD box office.

The main Gallery exhibition RoCH Fans & Legends features new commissioned video works and digital animations by susan pui san lok that draw on fan uploads of over forty different media adaptations of The Condor Trilogy, a classic ‘new wuxia’ epic first published in the 1950s.

‘RoCH’ stands for Return of the Condor Heroes, the second book in the trilogy; wuxia is a genre of Chinese fiction, television and cinema often featuring the adventures of male and female ‘knight errants’, martial artists, and swordplay.

RoCH Fans & Legends explores some of the genre’s fantasies, landscapes, and archetypes, the trilogy’s numerous translations across popular culture, and recurring images of weightlessness.

Crouching Fan, Hidden Legend, in QUAD Extra Gallery Spaces, is an exhibition which takes inspiration from susan pui san lok’s exhibition and further explores ideas of adaptation and appropriation.

Since its emergence in the late 1950s, the Condor Heroes series has been adapted over 40 times in various forms, from novels, television, films and video games.

These adaptations could be considered as fan fiction, in the way they are inspired by the original series but introduce new, sometimes radical, additions to The Condor Trilogy ‘universe’. Yet this figure does not include the vast number of fan fiction works published on forums and websites by fans of the series from across the globe.

susan pui san lok: RoCH Fans & Legends and Crouching Fan, Hidden Legend exhibitions are on display in QUAD Gallery until November 15. To buy tickets for any of the events or for more details please call QUAD Box office on 01332 290606 or go to