Yaji – An Elegant Gathering
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14:00 to 17:00

A yaji 雅集is an “elegant gathering” – a group of creative individuals getting together to enjoy art and various kinds of performance. It was a popular custom among the literati in China’s Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). Drop in as we re-create this vibrant atmosphere in the 21st Century with a chance to explore this fascinating Chinese tradition through music, calligraphy, painting, tea culture and other artistic mediums.

Guqin Performance

Thanks to the UK Chinese Ensemble – the UK and Europe’s leading Chinese music agency, we will welcome a group of Guqin artists and amateurs from the London Youlan Qin Society to perform on site. Formally established in 1998, the UK Chinese Ensemble is a dedicated professional Chinese music organisation comprising renowned Chinese virtuosi resident mainly in Britain. Its founding members include world-class guqin master professor Li Xiangting, Daoist and erhu music expert Chen Dacan and pipa/guqin virtuoso and ethnomusicologist Dr Cheng Yu. In Europe and beyond, the musicians have performed at the festivals of WOMEX (Spain), WOMAD (Canada, Sweden and Finland), Spoleto (Italy), Masala (Germany) and Babel Med Music (France). Apart from many published CD albums, the musicians are in demand for film and TV music recordings such as Disney’s film Mulan and Shanghai Noon and the BBC’s Wild China documentary. The UKCE has initiated and supported its award-winning group the Silk String Quartet and the popular Silk and Bamboo Ensemble as well as a Chinese-Western mixed ensemble, the Flowing Water Ensemble.


Visual Artist Performance


Shoran Jiang is an artist specialized on Chinese painting and Chinese Calligraphy. She began to learn Chinese painting and Chinese Calligraphy since very young. After studied Chinese painting for six years in Nankai University, then she came to the UK studied fine art in Chelsea College of Design and Art. Now she also devotes to art education and art publication.


Modern Teaware Display

The China Design Centre will present a series of teaware designed by Kun Liu who graduates from Jingdezhen College of Ceramic Arts. The China Design Centre showcases the unique design vision emerging from a country with a long history and rich culture, and whose dynamic economy is generating a new wave of talent in Architecture, Art and Craft, Furniture, Products and Materials. While fostering the cross-cultural exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise, our venue is an ideal place to explore collaborative opportunities between designers from China, UK and the rest of the world.


Tea Ceremony

The Chinese Tea Company is a tea retailer based on Portobello Road, London. The Chinese Tea Company started from humble beginnings selling tea to Friends and work colleagues from a small amount of tea that Juyan would bring back from China each year and grew into a large speciality tea company.  Over the past seven years, The Chinese Tea Company has painstakingly compiled a great range of single origin, rare and obscure teas. Our teas are not only good, but they also come with passion and a wealth of knowledge, distilled from the experiences and discoveries we have gained over the years.


Contemporary furniture pieces designed by Samuel Chan, courtesy of Channels

British furniture designer Samuel Chan is known for works of uncompromising visual purity and subtle detailing, superbly crafted to express the qualities of wood in contemporary ways. He was named British Furniture Designer of the Year 2015, and has received numerous industry awards. Born in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Samuel‘s studio – Channels – was established in 1995. He is also founder of the contemporary British furniture collective Joined + Jointed. His work ranges from private commissions to commercial projects, including an extensive collection of furniture designs for the Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai.

Admission is free but advance registration is necessary. Our 2017 edition was one of our most popular events ever. Book your place for free now to avoid disappointment.

The 2018 yaji is created in partnership with the UK Chinese EnsembleLondon Youlan Qin SocietyChina Design Centre; the Chinese Tea Company and Channels Design.

China in Context is organised by China Exchange and Cypress Books.

To learn more about the Yaji, please click here.