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M+ Lars Nittve Keynote Lecture Series:
Joan Chen in Conversation with Maggie Lee

Type: Talk
Language: English
Audience: Everyone
Location: Grand Stair

M+ Lars Nittve Keynote Lecture Series:
Joan Chen in Conversation with Maggie Lee

Born in Shanghai, Joan Chen has been involved in numerous television shows and films as an actor and filmmaker in both China and the United States since the 1980s. From her breadth of experience, we can gain insights into how Asian actors and women are portrayed and shaped in and outside of Hollywood, as well as the shift of her career experience.

This conversation is inspired by Chen’s role in The Last Emperor (1987), whose costumes are featured in the Special Exhibition Madame Song: Pioneering Art and Fashion in China. The co-production involved teams from multiple countries, integrating different cultural perspectives and presenting a macro-narrative of the modern history of China.

Chen will be in conversation with renowned film critic Maggie Lee, sharing her insights on the success of The Last Emperor and her diverse roles in the film industry, from her first acting roles to producing and directing. Chen is uniquely poised to share how the cultural landscape influences the way Asian actors and directors convey a narrative. Are one’s self-perception and cultural identity affected? What does it mean to be an East Asian actor today?

The talk will be held in English and livestreamed via this page, Facebook, YouTube and the M+ Bilibili account. Simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese and Mandarin will be available onsite. Click on ‘Register’ to sign up.

Supported by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Hong Kong, this event is part of the ‘M+ Lars Nittve Keynote Lecture Series’, which invites renowned artists and scholars to share insights on broader cultural ideas and topics.

Photo: Courtesy of Joan Chen

Photo: Courtesy of Joan Chen

About the Speakers

Joan Chen (b. 1961, Shanghai) began her film career at the age of 14. Her performance in Little Flower (1980) won her first best actress award and catapulted her to fame in China. Chen moved to the United States in 1981 and has since appeared in over 80 films and television shows, including Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987). Chen made her directorial debut in 1997, and she has served as a Juror at a number of international film festivals around the world. She was the President of the Jury at Golden Horse Awards in 2014 and President of the Jury at FIRST Film Festival in 2023.

Portrait of Joan Chen

Maggie Lee was Asia Chief Critic for Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. She has been the artistic director and curator for film festivals, national museums and arts organisations in Japan, Canada, and Europe. She mentors directors at script and creative development labs around Asia. She is embarking on a new path as a scriptwriter.

Portrait of Maggie Lee

Image at top: Photo: Courtesy of Joan Chen