Jiang Kun Delivers Entertaining Lecture at Harvard

By David Li, bostonese.com

Cambridge, Mass., May 12, 2014, — Jiang Kun, one of the most famous comedians in China, delivered a lecture about the history of Quyi, also know as Chinese Folk Art, at Harvard University on May 10. The lecture was frequently interrupted by laughter and applause from the 200 Chinese students and professionals in the classroom.
Mr. Jiang Kun Lectures at Harvard on Chinese Folk Art (photo by David Li).

Jiang Kun has been a regular performer on prominent events such as the CCTV New Year’s Gala, the largest annual television event in the world, and has entertained tens of millions people over last 30 years. He is well loved by his fans and students.

Currently serving as chairman of the Association of Chinese Folk Art, Jiang Kun has lectured on Chinese Folk Art in China and around the world. This lecture was presented by Harvard Chinese Students and Scholars Association (HCSSA). Using a prepared presentation, Jiang Kun walked the audience through the history and many forms of Chinese Folk Art, which he pointed out was rooted in the cultures of working people. He made quite a few jokes along the way.

“I have been to Harvard 30 years ago, and was shocked that there was such a nice place for higher education. It’s amazing that Harvard hasn’t changed much over the past 30 years. Of course, one change I noticed is that there are many more Chinese students now,” said Jiang Kun.

“I’m so happy to be able to attend Jiang Kun’s lecture in person. He is a favorite of my parents, and I took a lot of pictures for them,” said a Harvard student from Henan province, China.

Born on Nov. 19, 1950 in Beijing, Jiang Kun is a xiangsheng actor. He was discovered by his teacher, the late comedian Ma Ji, in the 1970s when he worked in rural Beidahuang(北大荒) in northeastern China during the “Up to the Mountains, Down to the Villages(上山下乡)” movement. In 1976, he was transferred to the Broadcast Art Troupe of China while studying under Ma Ji.

In 1985, Jiang Kun was elected Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Ballad Singers Association. In the same year, he succeeded Ma Ji, and took on the duties as the Head of the Broadcast Art Troupe of China. He was also elected a member of the Standing Committee of the China Youth Federation.