Expert on Confucianism presents UQ CI Public Lecture

25 March 2019

Confucianism and its relevance to the world today was the topic of a University of Queensland Confucius Institute (UQ CI) Public Lecture in March, presented by world-renowned expert, Professor Biao Zuo, from Shanghai Maritime University. The lecture was part of the second annual BrisAsia Symposium, hosted by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and supported by UQ CI.

The public lecture discussed ancient Chinese philosophy and the role it plays in tackling contemporary challenges. Mr Ben Kelly, Business Manager from UQ CI and host of the public lecture, introduced Professor Zuo to a large, enthusiastic audience.

The Symposium explored the theme Belonging with an exciting, diverse line-up of artists and speakers including celebrity cook, writer and television presenter Adam Liaw, in the Cremorne Theatre on Friday 1 March, 2019.

Presented by Brisbane City Council BrisAsia Festival in partnership with QPAC and Sounds Across Oceans, BrisAsia Symposium 2019 - Belonging brought together different cultures and disciplines from Brisbane's Asian communities for an intimate, thought-provoking event that sought to strengthen bonds, foster a sense of shared identity and communal belonging, and inspire and connect individuals passionate about cultural change.

The all-day event at QPAC featured interactive panel discussions and forums examining topics from ancient philosophy to cultural diplomacy, as well as artistic performances with local and international thought leaders.

The Thresholds: Intercultural arts practice panel began the event, featuring live performances from Carnatic vocalist Charulatha Mani, dance artist Sandi Woo and theatre director Ling-Hsueh Tang to provoke interactive panel discussion, moderated by performance maker Dr Jeremy Neideck.

Sarah Mak, Co-Founder of TheStoryBoxes - a team of storytellers driving change through real stories - hosted the Driving Change forum, featuring a panel of nationally renowned thought leaders including technology strategist and video producer Susan "String" Nguyen, local food entrepreneur and celebrity chef Margaret Nguyen, actress, performer and comedian Dianna Nguyen and social change entrepreneur An Le.

The Cultural Diplomacy in the 21st Century: Cultivating the seeds of belonging panel reflected on the evolving nature and direction of cultural diplomacy, and the role of the arts in sharing cultural knowledge, preserving heritage and promoting communal understanding. Led by Professor Caitlin Byrne, Director of the Griffith Asia Institute, the panel featured University of Queensland researcher and academic Dr Natsuko Akagawa, filmmaker and director of Double Wire Productions Douglas Watkin and musicians from QPAC's newest ensemble in residence JADE New World Collective with guest artist Pongsaporn Upani.

Finishing a day of thought-provoking discussion, ABC Radio National presenter Paul Barclay hosted 'Do you want ice with your tea? - The dumbing down of Asian culture', a live recording of Big Ideas with Adam Liaw, author, journalist and television presenter Indira Naidoo and Brisbane local and Vietnamese hip hop artist and broadcaster, Chong Ali.

Festival Artistic Director Dr Anthony Garcia thanked the UQ Confucius Institute for arranging the public lecture.

“I am so thankful to the UQ Confucius Institute for supporting the 2nd Annual BrisAsia Symposium,” Dr Garcia said.

“Professor Zuo was fantastic and I have received a great deal of positive feedback about his lecture presentation,” Dr Garcia added.