When Chiang Yee arrived in Britain in 1933, he was determined to study for a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and then return to China, where he had left his wife and four children under the care of his brother. He was 30 years old and knew just a handful of English words. Yet Yee went on to become a popular artist, bestselling author, poet, designer, academic and hugely influential cultural ambassador of China to the west. Now, 40 years after his death, his contribution to British and Chinese life has been honoured with a blue plaque unveiled yesterday in Oxford. Organised by author Paul French, a specialist in modern Chinese history, and Anne Witchard from the University of Westminster, Yee’s plaque comes in response to a campaign launched by English Heritage in 2016, calling for a more representative celebration of history. According to the charity, which oversees the blue plaque scheme in London, only 14% of the 900 plaques in the capital celebrate women and just 4% are dedicated to black and Asian figures. Yee is the third Chinese figure to be granted the honour; writer Lao She’s blue plaque stands in Notting Hill, while Sun… Read full this story
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