Last week I talked about Paul Levitt, one half of an amazing duo -- friends Paul and Robin who live in Hawaii. Paul just published a memoir of his visit, as a young art student, to the Paris studio of Man Ray, the great Dada artist. Update! In addition to being in the Museum of Modern Art bookstore, Paul's book, "Gathered Reminders" will be carried at the Whitney.
Now it is time to focus on Robin Lung, a documentary film maker, and weave in with her story, our visit to the splendid exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "China through the Looking Glass." The exhibit is particularly apt, because for the past six years, Robin has been working on a documentary called "Finding Kukan," the story of a lost Academy-Award-winning film about war-torn China, made in 1942.
Robin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
exhibit, "China through the Looking Glass,"
standing in front of a clip from the film, "The Last Emperor."
"China through the Looking Glass" is collaboration between the Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art. It is a splendid, exhilarating exhibit marrying high fashion, Chinese costumes, masterworks of Chinese art and stunning cinematic segments.
The Met's exhibit depicts the impact of
Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion.
Filmmaker, Robin Lung bathed in red light.
For the past six years, Robin Lung has been creating her film, "Finding Kukan." What Robin had to find, was an Academy-award-winning documentary called "Kukan."
Realizing that China was suffering great losses at the hands of the Japanese in World War II, a Chinese-American woman named Li Ling-Ai decided to make a film to bring attention to the war in China. She hired a photographer, Rey Scott, to go to China and film scenes of war. Made in 16 mm Kodachrome color, the film was a success and and won an Academy Award in 1942.
Robin at the Met creating a shadow
play against a cinematic sky.
Li-Ling Ai and Rey Scott
Although "Kukan" was Li-Ling's production,
she was uncredited in the film.
By finding a copy of "Kukan," and making this
documentary, Robin in addressing that
omission some 70 years later.
Li-Ling Ai could have worn this
seductive number shown with
an ancient Chinese robe.
Blue and White gowns showing Chinese influences.
A Jeanne Lanvin gown with an
imperial Chinese motif.
Me at the Met with a gilded
Please take a look at Robin's website, here
You can watch a trailer for "Finding Kukan," and if
the spirit moves you, donate and help Robin
finish her wonderful film.