"...striking a person’s name from his or her family’s genealogical records used to be one of the most dreaded punishments in China."-
"To recognize the massive surge in popularity of tracing one's ancestry, Congress has officially designated October as National Family History Month."
I pulled two quotes from articles which address our fascination with our ancestry. The articles are careful to note that this is by no means a new fascination- one can imagine that with improved access to information the process of finding ancestry is improved to the point that "family history research now ranks as the second largest and among the fastest-growing hobbies in the United States."
My interests goes further: I first took a realization of the different surname that we possess (Sam-Sin) when I moved to Suriname from The Netherlands as a 7-year old. Discovering that we had Chinese heritage and that my ancestor was known as Soong Sam Sin was an interesting mind-twist, but once I learned the history of Suriname in the schooling I received while there (age 7-14) things crystalized better and it made sense. The longer story here is how Suriname gained its diversity- through colonization and beyond, mostly for economic reasons; a discussion for perhaps another occasion.
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was granted to me via the generous commission of Asia Society Texas Center to travel to China, trace my ancestry, record the visuals and sonic landscape of what that journey entailed and then have the opportunity to create music and visuals to document this incredible expedition. The exhibition of this voyage and all it means to me, will happen on October 3, 2015 at Asia Society Texas Center, here in Houston. It will involve a new musical score created by yours truly and performed accompanied by the visuals from the trip. The video footage, captured by videographer Jasmine Lee Richardson (JLR), will be presented by JLR and Tim Steinke, through interactive video presentations.