I spent a delightful Saturday revisiting Chiang Yee -the charming artist who was ‘The Silent Traveller in Oxford etc. I first encountered his books when I ran the Jam Factory (1987-1998) and I loved them. After a symposium at the Ashmolean including an empathetic presentation by his biographer Prof Da Cheng (Boston) we walked to 28 Southmoor Road for the unveiling of a Blue Plaque in his memory. He lodged there with the Keen family for 12 years. In 1942 Rose Keen was 3 and she unveiled it!
The modern day Chiang Yee is my friend He Weimin. Weimin was not only artist in resident at the Ashmolean, at the ROQ and the Bodleian but he has constantly sketched Town as well as Gown including me! I first met Weimin when he curated China Prints at the Ashmolean and I had the privilege of reviewing it. I then cast him away on Oxtopia and recorded his impressive work at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. For 3 years my poem inspired by him was on a hoarding there. Bless him – he gave me a wonderful acknowledgment in Tower of the Winds! The British Museum has bought one of his prints. Here are a couple of the many features I have written about him.