Xu Zhimo exhibition in the Chapel

Xu Zhimo

A photographic exhibition about the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo and his connection with Cambridge will be held in the Chapel from 1 July to 31 October.

Xu Zhimo (1897-1931) was a research student at King's in 1921-2. He read literature and moral sciences and was tutored by eminent King's Fellow Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson. It was here that he began writing poetry.

In a letter to Roger Fry he said: ‘I have always thought it the greatest occasion in my life to meet Mr. Dickinson. It is due to him that I could have come to Cambridge and been enjoying all these happy days; that my interest in literature and art began to shape and perpetuate itself.’

He went on to become one of the most famous and influential of 20th-century Chinese poets. He revisited Cambridge in 1928 and wrote his most well-known poem 'Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again', the first and last two lines of which are inscribed on Beijing marble by the King's Bridge.

The photographic exhibition will feature more than 80 images and is being hosted in association with the Haining International Cultural Exchange Association (Haining is Xu Zhimo's native city), King’s College Archives and Xu Zhimo’s family. It is being managed by Professor Alan Macfarlane (King’s Fellow) and Zilan Wang, his colleague in the Cambridge Rivers Project, with Dr. Tony Hsu (Xu Shanzeng), the grandson of Xu Zhimo, as an advisor.

Some photographs in the exhibition have never been seen by the public before. An accompanying catalogue and an online digital archive with a set of wider materials will be available for both a Chinese and English audience.

Access to the exhibition is included in the price of a Chapel entry ticket.

The exhibition has been covered by the Chinese media, including CCTV and the Xinhua News Agency.

29 May 2014