Sister Cities International Award, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC March 2014 –Suzhou and Portland, USA has jointly received a US-China Sister Cities Award in the “Economy and Trade” category.

The two cities, along with other award winners, were honored at a special Awards Ceremony on March 27th the Sister Cities International US-China Conference in Washington DC. A delegation from both Portland and Suzhou were in attendance to accept the award. Representing Portland were Martha Pellegrino, Director of Government Affairs; Michael Gurton, Portland Development Commission; Cathy Chinn, PSSCA President; Robert Fraser, PSSCA Immediate Past President and Lynne McIntyre, PSSCA Past President. Representing Suzhou were Mr. Xu Ming, Vice Mayor; Mr. Xu Huadong, Director of Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office and Ms. Dorathy Lu, Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office.

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The awards granted by Sister Cities International, recognize the accomplishments of outstanding US-China sister city programs and their contribution in building strong people to people ties between the two countries.

There are awards in several categories including Best Overall, Longest Relationship. Community Involvement, Youth, Arts and Culture, Economic Development and Trade, Most Innovative and Outstanding Individuals.

Suzhou and Portland established sister cities in 1988. The two cities have cooperated in economy, culture, education and grassroots exchanges ever since.

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PSSCA-2014-SCI-US-China-Conference-Medium

Companies from Portland have successfully expanded their companies in Suzhou. Among them is Nike, Inc. which opened a shoe manufacturing plant in Suzhou in 1996 and has based its largest distribution center in Suzhou’s county level city of Taicang in 2011.

The award recognizes the two cities for outstanding achievements in trade and economic exchange. Suzhou is the only city in China to have won in this category. (Both Suzhou Daily and PSSCA contributed to this story.)

Majestic Mountains and Shimmering Water Art Exhibit July 29 to Aug 1 2014

An art exhibit by Portland artist and PSSCA Board member Maihwa Frances Li has been created using acrylic to provide for a series of colorful paintings depicting memorable Oregon sights in all four seasons. While she traveled all over Oregon, Maihwa found much natural beauty, similar to Chinese landscapes, majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, scenic beaches, and abundant wildlife which inspired her for the creation of this exhibition.

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Exhibit Dates:  July 29 to August 1, 2014 - 9am to 5pm

Exhibit Location:  Portland City Hall, North Atrium (1st floor)

Opening Reception: July 30 - 3pm to 5pm, Portland City Hall, North Atrium

Maihwa Frances Li was born in Shanghai, China, and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She loves painting--all through her youth she took lessons from different masters to learn both traditional Chinese-style and Western-style paintings. In 1970, Maihwa came to the US to further her graduate studies at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, met her husband Hehching Harry Li and married him in Rolla, Missouri in 1972.

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painting-aspent-trees-web

While raising two children in Upstate New York, Maihwa taught throughout the Upstate New York school districts, Chinese schools, and community colleges--instructing students in traditional Chinese brush painting, ikebana (Japanese-style flower arranging), and origami (paper folding). The New York Museum in Albany named Maihwa the Woman of Art in 1980.

In 1996, Maihwa and her husband moved to Portland, Oregon, where she still resides. She teaches Chinese brush painting at different locations for Portland Parks and Recreation. Maihwa volunteers as a docent for the Portland Japanese Garden, the Portland Art Museum and the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Maihwa is a member of the Women in the Arts Museum in Washington, DC, the Oregon Watercolor Society and the Northwest Watercolor Society. Maihwa's paintings are collected by banks, hospitals and individuals.

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Maihwa-Li-web

Mayoral Delegation Visit to Suzhou, 2013

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SUZHOU, CHINA October 2013 Portland Mayoral Delegation to Suzhou (2) The Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office hosted the Portland Mayoral Delegation Visit of 20 participants representing education, culture and trade in Suzhou October 26 to 30.

 

Visits were arranged with the Port of Taicang, Mayor of Taicang, the Nike Distribution Center, Shanghai/Suzhou American Chamber of Commerce, the Suzhou Singapore Industrial Park, Mayor and Vice Mayor of Suzhou, the China Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, the Suzhou Municipal Education Bureau, the Suzhou Garden Development Company and Suzhou Design Institute Company, the Suzhou Daily Group, the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office and a performance of Romeo and Juliet by the Suzhou Ballet Theatre.

 

Portland Delegation visit to Nike Taichang Logistic Center 2013 The Suzhou Daily Group hosted PSSCA’s 25th Anniversary Trails of Bliss poetry and photography exhibit at the wonderful Tongli International Cultural Exchange Center.

25th Anniversary Evening Under the Stars Gala 2013

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2013 Gala Group PhotoPortland-Suzhou Sister City Association celebrated its 25th Anniversary Evening Under The Stars Gala at the Lan Su Chinese Garden Wednesday evening August 21, 2013. Twenty delegates, performers and artisans traveled from Suzhou China to attend PSSCA’s 25th Anniversary Gala. Commissioner Amanda Fritz represented Portland City Hall and welcomed the delegation from Suzhou on this very special, celebratory occasion.

For the very first time in Portland, a sampling of the world renowned Suzhou Peony Opera, dating back to the Ming Dynasty was performed in the beautiful costumed tradition of the Kunqu Opera. Demonstrations of Suzhou silk embroidery and calligraphy were on hand as well as a “City Dreamscape” Exhibition at City Hall. The Gala would not be complete without a Chinese Dragon and Lion Dance.Lan-Shu sister city T_37

 

Gate to the Garden and Gala opened at 6:30 pm at the same time the Silent Auction opened. Traditional Chinese music from the boat house and service from the wine bar was also provided, followed by a sumptuous buffet at 7 pm, and entertainment and program from 7:30 pm to 9 pm.

 

 

 

 

Suzhou Calligraphy Exhibition 2013

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United States Exhibition of Wu School Calligraphy

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the two cities, in order to further promote the cultural exchanges and increase the friendship between Chinese and US people, calligraphers from Suzhou visited Portland with sincerity to display 30 newly created pieces.  Suzhou hereby wishes the friendship between US and China everlasting. Suzhou is a noted historical and cultural city in China and the calligraphy in Suzhou is richly endowed by nature. “Wu School Calligraphy” in Ming Dynasty enjoys high reputation at home and abroad and forms the flourishing scene of “all the calligraphy schools in China regard Suzhou as forefather”.

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Now Suzhou Calligraphy school has inherited the good traditions, carried forward the urban spirits of “cherishing literacy and wisdom, being open-minded and tolerant, seeking for excellence creation and accomplishing everlasting harmony” to dive into the innovation of calligraphy.  The calligraphy creation keeps harmonious development with the academic and educational activities. In December, 2007, Suzhou was honorably selected as the first “Noted Calligraphy City” in China, which unveils the new historical chapter of Wu School calligraphy.

Portland and Suzhou signed the sister-city agreement in June 1988 and for the past 25 years, both cities have achieved outstanding achievements in culture, education, garden and economic cooperation and exchanges.

August 2013

Model Sister Award 2012

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Model Sister City AwardPortland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA), at the invitation of the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office, participated in the 2012 China International Friendship Cities Conference in Chengdu, China on September 11 to 14, 2012. Robert Fraser, President of PSSCA was invited to accept the ”Certificate of Honor” awarded to Portland for being a Model Sister City for “Communication and Cooperation with China”. The two-day conference with the theme, “Green Life, Happy Cities” was one of China's highest-level sister city exchanges, attracting delegations from 49 countries. More than 700 representatives from 95 foreign cities and 90 domestic cities attended the conference.

Delegates discussed their understanding on hot issues concerning cosmopolitan development, city transformation, emergencies and disaster relief, the aging of urban populations and investment. Robert Fraser made a presentation entitled “The benefits of developing and managing an urban growth boundary in Portland”, with emphasis on Portland’s plan for sustainable growth.

Delegates attended a seminar on city development as well as a forum on regional cooperation. Also discussed was a tourism alliance with its twin cities to try to reach a final agreement on the Chengdu Declaration that promotes tourism cooperation among the sister cities.

Established in 2008 and co-sponsored by Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the China International Friendship Cities Association, the CIFCC provides a multilateral venue for local governments, their sister cities, and other international organizations to work together.

Suzhou Traditional Painting Exhibition 2012

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167471_3354981549679_1691828308_n (2)PORTLAND,OREGON May 2013-  The Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) in cooperation with the  Suzhou Academy of Traditional Chinese Painting, the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office and the Portland Center for the Performing Arts provided for a wonderful exhibition of 58  ink-and-wash paintings by 17 renowned artists from Suzhou at the Portland Center for the  Performing Arts June 4 through Saturday June 9, 2012.  The exhibition was open to the public..

Mr. Jumin Zhou, President of Suzhou Academy of Traditional Chinese Painting  shared with us the following thoughts on this exquisite exhibit. “Dating back to the age of 1460, four distinguished Suzhou artists named Shen Zhou, Weng Zhengming, Tang Yin and Qiu Ying enjoyed a reputation as the greatest masters of Chinese ink-and-wash painting. They portrayed landscape, animals, plants and people, expressing their grand ideology in a way of combining images with poetic literature. These masterpieces, the inspiration of city Suzhou, are valued as the highest level of wash painting in the Ming Dynasty as well as the immortal symbol overtime.

550 years later, their successors created a group of excellent programs and works in which discuss modern aesthetics at an extension of classic antiquity. These works are introduced as the fruits of new Suzhou style: inheriting from the Ming but in advance of traditional contents and old methods.

The seventeen artists on exhibition range from young artits of 30 to 85-year-old senior. Their ways of emphasizing emotion and philosophy give primacy to the individuality of different artists and their ideal states, which differs from the Western aesthetic value of depicting subjects with the act of seeing as its primary factor. As one of the best pathways to contact the world, painting is in every aspect to make the world of different cultures more communicative, more comprehensive, more respective and more intimate. This exhibition shared our appreciation of aesthetic value and being the connection between the east and west - this is the ultimate purpose why this exhibition came to Portland.

PSSCA wishes to express it appreciation to the Portland Center for the Performing Arts and the Mark Spencer Hotel for co-sponsoring this wonderful art exhibition from Suzhou China.

 

 

 

Mayoral Delegation Visit to Suzhou, 2013

SUZHOU, CHINA October 2013 - The Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office hosted the Portland Mayoral Delegation Visit of 20 participants representing education, culture and trade in Suzhou October 26 to 30.

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Visits were arranged with the Port of Taicang, Mayor of Taicang, the Nike Distribution Center, Shanghai/Suzhou American Chamber of Commerce, the Suzhou Singapore Industrial Park, Mayor and Vice Mayor of Suzhou, the China Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, the Suzhou Municipal Education Bureau, the Suzhou Garden Development Company and Suzhou Design Institute Company, the Suzhou Daily Group, the Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office and a performance of Romeo and Juliet by the Suzhou Ballet Theatre. The Suzhou Daily Group hosted PSSCA’s 25th Anniversary Trails of Bliss poetry and photography exhibit at the wonderful Tongli International Cultural Exchange Center.

 Portland Mayoral Delegation to Suzhou (2)

Portland Mayoral Delegation to Suzhou (2)