Our deepest gratitude to Professor Rulan Chao Pian for her generosity, donating her life-time acquisition of music and cultural resources to the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Library. Donated materials include manuscripts, correspondences, diaries, photos, teaching materials, over 7,000 audio-visual materials, more than 6,000 books and journals, musical instruments, etc.
Born in the United States, Professor Rulan Chao Pian (1922–2013) was a world renowned scholar in Chinese music. She started teaching the Chinese language in 1947 at Harvard and ended up with being a Professor Emerita of Music and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations in 1992. In addition to her frequent visiting professorship at the Chung Chi Music Department, Professor Chao was also a Wei Lun Visiting Professor of CUHK in 1998. In her fieldwork days, she never stopped carrying with her heavy video and audio equipment all over East Asia and took hundreds of audio and video recordings. In addition to music materials, the Rulan Chao Pian Collection covers extensively literature, history, drama and related performing arts in the Chinese Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. It is practically a living archive of twentieth-century East Asia.
The exhibition not only showcases the collection, but also enhances the significance of CUHK in Asian studies.