Chinese Museum Mysteries: Liminal Language 谜团:此岸到彼岸

How does language shape our ability to communicate? Learning a new language opens up possibilities for cross-cultural interaction. In turn, it can also be a limitation when no available words are sufficient to convey what we mean.

Chinese Museum Mysteries: Liminal Language is a family-friendly and interactive exhibition developed from the Chinese Museum’s collection. There will be many artefacts on display, including the unique Ying u Tsap Ts’un (Chinese and English Instructor), a set of Chinese–English phrasebooks produced in Canton in 1862. The show invites visitors to start a conversation with other guests by using flash cards made solely from phrases from these historical books.

一句 “ I would like a cup of skinny flat white.”也许曾让初來澳洲的你觉得莫名其妙。原来这是要点一杯由脱脂牛奶冲泡的,咖啡所占比例较拿铁更多的澳式馥芮白。一门语言就像是通往一种文化的大门。这扇门为我们开启了跨文化交流的途径,也带来了言语沟通的迷思。语言究竟如何塑造我们交流的能力?中英翻译到底能不能够传达出我们的本意?

《谜团:此岸到彼岸》将为我们揭开澳华历史博物馆一段尘封百年的往事。以1862年印刷于中国广东的《英语集全》为线索,来自墨尔本大学艺术策展专业的学生 Ella Shi, Wenyue Quan,和 Sofia Yao Wang按图索骥,探寻150年前来到澳洲的中国人学习英文的历史。展览特别设置的互动环节鼓励参观者使用写着中英双语的卡片进行交流。在此过程中,我们希望参与者共情百年前的华人在运用英语交流时的障碍与挫折。

我们期待您走进博物馆,与我们一起追忆从此岸到彼岸的那些事儿。

Download Media Release of this exhibition.