Carlyle Campbell Library (CCL) constantly strives to be a place our campus can come together to gain knowledge and learn more about the world beyond our beautiful corner of the globe. Everyone who walks through our doors can now easily learn about Chinese culture as we are the proud host of a Chinese Cultural Exhibition thanks to Dr. Grace Huey-Yuh Lin. In our lobby both display cases are full of artifacts from everyday life in China. Some of the items come from Dr. Lin’s personal collection and two beautiful paintings, one of a lotus plant and one of a tea tasting, are from Elon University. There are also more items located inside, included a pair of Tibetan Buddhist handheld prayer wheels, also from Elon, along with a Chinese themed book display. Dr. Lin got the idea for the display earlier this year to celebrate the Chinese New Year on February 8, when it was suggested by Dr. Veronique Machelidon, the Department Head of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Meredith.
Dr. Lin’s love and appreciation for her homeland’s culture has spanned more than twenty years. Being surrounded by western culture in Texas, Dr. Lin really began to appreciate the beauty of the Chinese way of life. Dr. Lin went back to school after her son was grown to pursue a doctoral degree. After graduating she has continued to devote her life to discovering and sharing Chinese culture with all she comes into contact with, especially her students. Her passion for Chinese literature, art, the language, way of life, philosophies, and architecture, are evident in her lectures, conversations and the current displays.
The three major philosophies of Chinese culture, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are represented throughout the displays. As you walk in and take in the lotus painting and calligraphy, Dr. Lin’s hope is that people will observe the art and have a clear and calm mind that aligns with the practice of Chan mediation. In the left case there are knotted works that are given to families to signify blessings aligning with Confucianism’s emphasis on the importance of family values and familial relationships. The painting of the tea tasting encapsulates a scene that shows harmony socially and with nature which is a tenet of all three philosophical systems. All of the works give a sense of how the Chinese live their everyday lives and strive to harmonize with nature, people, and themselves. Dr. Lin and the staff at CCL hope you will appreciate the culture and artifacts on display through April. To find out more details about each, please see the descriptions compiled by Dr. Lin.
Submitted by Amanda Sullivan and Dr. Grace Lin