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"Chinese Modern History & the Lust for Rare Wildlife Products"

Explorers Club Public Lecture Series with Mary Ting

Mary Ting will give a visual oriented historical, cultural and personal presentation that examines the complex issue of the Chinese market for endangered species products and the quest for power, status, and immortality. From elephant ivory to elephant skin, rhino horn, shark fin, pangolin scales, tiger and lion parts, sea cucumber and rosewood - the list of desired luxury items is long and growing as species dwindle and “new traditional” products appear. In order to get behind the how-and-why this came to be, it is necessary to look at history.

Guests will sprint through 200 years of history spanning the Century of Humiliations, the Communist takeover, the Economic Reforms to the Belt & Road expansion, all through the lens of the wildlife trade. Chinese traditional symbols, gift tradition, shopping, Western influences, and societal changes in the meaning of basic words and societal mores, will all be discussed. Ting’s talk ends with suggestions and hope from within China itself.

Mary Ting is a Chinese American artist, cultural thinker, educator, independent curator, and writer. She teaches at City University of New York at John Jay College in both the studio art department and the Environmental Justice program.

Mary is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 2016 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency, 2010 Gottlieb Foundation grant, Lambent Fellowship, and a Pollack Krasner Foundation among others. She curated the recent exhibition, ENDANGERED! and COMPASSION: For the Animals Great & Small. Along with a MFA in fine art, she has an advanced degree in Chinese folk art studies from the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing.

Mary worked as a consultant for UNICEF Beijing and organized nine photography exhibitions on its social welfare development programs in China. Earthjustice featured her work in the blog post; "The Earth Needs a Good Artist".

Date: Monday, January 14

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Program

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, NY, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $25

Student Ticket Price: $5 with a valid student ID

Reservation Notes:

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