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Distributed for Hong Kong University Press

Datong

The Chinese Utopia

Hong Kong Arts Festival New Play Selection 2015 A trail-blazing political reformer and visionary thinker at the turn of the 20th century, Kang Youwei (1858–1927) envisioned a global utopia of human equality and solidarity. However, his advocacy of a constitutional monarchy, instead of a revolution, has caused him to become the bête noire of modern Chinese history. Datong The Chinese Utopia focuses on this Guangdong native’s years of exile in Europe, Asia and America, as he and his daughter Kang Tongbi campaigned for a better future for their compatriots at home and abroad—which culminated in an anti-American boycott (1905–1906) to beat back the Chinese Exclusion act, and two meetings with a conciliatory Theodore Roosevelt. Writer/filmmaker Evans Chan, a descendant from Kang’s hometown, used his award-winning film Datong The Great Society (2011) to develop the libretto for this chamber opera.

144 pages | 4.75 x 7.25


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