Chinese artist featured on ‘Wisconsin Folks’


Pepin resident Kwong Yem Han joins other regionally renowned traditional artists on Wisconsin Folks, an educational Web site produced by the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Kwong Yem Han is an accomplished watercolorist and calligrapher of traditional Chinese art. Yem Han, whose American name is Edna Hovde, is experienced in sharing her art with others, having worked as an artist in residence in numerous schools and having given demonstrations in art museums and centers for more than 10 years. Kwong has an art degree from California State University at Sacramento. She has studied under master calligraphers in Taipei and Beijing. She is skilled in the use of ‘the big brush,’ a brush as big as her, and stays strong enough to use it by practicing sword dancing. By being included in the Wisconsin Folks Web site, the Wisconsin Arts Board is recognizing Kwong as an outstanding traditional artist in her genre. Kwong is included in the new Arts Tourism video produced by Arts Wisconsin in collaboration with the Wisconsin Arts Board and Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

Kwong is featured in six pages on the “Wisconsin Folks Web site”: Three detail her background, the artistic process she uses in Chinese calligraphy and painting, and the cultural traditions that support her art. These are written primarily for elementary aged children. The other three pages include resource suggestions for both teachers and students, as well as activities and discussion questions, hiring information, and the state curriculum standards that would be satisfied if the pages were used as a classroom lesson.

Wisconsin Folks is an award-winning interactive online educational resource that features outstanding traditional and ethnic artists from throughout Wisconsin. In 2003, Wisconsin Folks was recognized with two awards: the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s International Educator Award for Excellence in Cultural Programming and the American Folklore Society’s Folklore and Education Section’s Dorothy Howard Award for Folklore and Education Honorable Mention.

Wisconsin Folks features “Artists from your Neighborhood, Arts from Around the World.” The Web site is intended for use by students, educators, and the general public, as it is both a hiring directory and an educational resource. Wisconsin Folks lists 73 artists and performing groups from 31 Wisconsin counties, and communities in three bordering states. Artists on Wisconsin Folks practice the art of their heritage, exemplifying shared aesthetic traditions from communities in Wisconsin. They are masters of their respective crafts. Visit “Wisconsin Folks”:

Wisconsin Folks was created through funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is an ongoing project of the Wisconsin Arts Board, which is the state agency responsible for the support and development of the arts throughout Wisconsin. Since 1973, the Arts Board has supported artists and arts organizations with funds from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.