August 9, 2002
from Chinese Mission to the United Nations and the Chinese Ambassador to US.
Dear Doctor LEE,
It is really a pleasant surprise for me and my Ambassador Mr.
Yingfan to receive the precious book you sent by mail. Please allow me, on
behalf of Ambassador Wang, to express the heartfelt thanks to you for your
The book itself is well known in Chinese history of
literature. But now,
I think, it is becoming more famous not only in China, but also among the
overseas Chinese abroad, for the content of this Book has been vividly and
imaginatively expressed and reflected by the great art of Chinese painting
and calligraphy which also shows your great talent and outstanding artistic
I would like, at the same time, to extend my congratulations
to you for
your new assignment of being Editor-in-Chief of Chinese for the US Digest
Magazine which is a good one and I like most.
Please don't hesitate to contact me when you are here in New
business or otherwise. Looking forward to meeting you in the Chinese Mission
or in the UN.
Wishing you a very nice autumn of 2002.
From Chinese Mission
(letter from Ambassador Wang Ying Fan.)
Your Chinese calligraphy is so classy that some of the famous
Chinese calligraphers, both ancient and contemporary, should really stand
aside. I just love the style and philosophy of your calligraphy, and want to
learn from you from the very beginning, it's true, no kidding!!!
(Mr. Liu was my high school teacher of Chinese
literature. He is a Chinese calligraphy artist himself after the Wang
Xizhi and Zhao Mengfu style.)
Dear Dr. Lee,
The book has just arrived. Many thanks for the swift handling! I'm very pleased
indeed. I see much beauty in the book, .......
At a time when I was suffering from a heart-rending disappointment it was the
Caigentan that brought me back into stability and contentment.
Congratulations on the great integrative work you've done with
-- paying serious attention both to business and culture. Your site is
culturally rich and technologically inspired. I'm particularly impressed
with your treatment of the Cai Gen Tan (Zen of Vegetable Roots) pages,
because I do believe that this work embodies much of the essence of China's
(and the world's) "three great teachings" -- Confucianism, Taoism, and
Buddhism, in such a way that they are intelligible and meaningful to an
intelligent non-specialist. This is the type of audience that needs to be
addressed in the West today.
Best wishes for continued success in your very important work.
Jan W. Walls, PhD
David Lam Centre for International Communication
Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6B 5K3
[Professor Jan Walls is using some of our artworks for his
website at David See-Chai Lam Centre
of International Communication, Simon Fraser University.]
Dear Mr. Lee,
Today the book has arrived. It's very nice and it's great to
have all the paintings and texts in one handy volume. Browsing it, reading the
translations and looking at the paintings, will surely enhance my understanding
of the Caigentan and - better still - inspire to lead my (professional and
private) life somewhat more in the footsteps of the 'junzi'. Thank you also for
your inscription on the title page of the book. I hope that you continue in your
efforts to spread the gems of the classical Chinese culture.
Oct 7, 2002
Author: Chung YN
Date: 07-07-02 22:50
Dear SL Lee,
Just received your wonderful book. It is beautifully compiled. Yiyao's
your calligraphy and the English translation are fabulous. Thank you so much.
I am very impressed with the book and its content. There
are lots of good things to talk about it and I am sure you have received many
already. I like to make a few suggestions.
1. I hope there is a hard cover version of this book. The paper back
doesn't do the justice. The book should be of a larger size. Take
the Forward for example, the footnote print is so small that I can hardly read
2. On the cover, under your name, it should include translation, not just
While I like the drawings, I like your translation more. In fact, I think
your translation will be appreciated more by many bilingual readers. For
many readers whose Chinese language is not very good, your translation gives
them instant "understanding" of the original text. There are
many Chinese versions of this book with notes and explanation. There are
some good ones in the market. But constant referring to them while reading
the text takes
away some fun out of it. Your translation and layout of the content is
excellent. In fact, I think yours is a new creation of this book.
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 08:24:12 -0600
I received five copies of your book yesterday. Thank you very much for all your
troubles especially for your autographs and personal touch. I can't wait for
your deluxe edition to come out. I am sure you are very busy autographing copies
of your book and sending them out.
I was ignorant of the book, Zen of Vegetable Roots, until you mentioned it. I
was familiar with a few of the quotations but did not know where they came from.
So, thank you for the education I got from you. I have been reading your book
and enjoying the art since I received it.
My children are relatively young. I hope some day they will learn and appreciate
the philosophy in your book. We will all be wiser and happier if we live by
Dear Siu Leung
Your book really goes like hot cakes. My friend in Shanghai cannot get more
copies for me. Other friends of mine here also like to get copies from me after
browsing through the one I keep in my office because it is not available in our
bookstore. For me, I like it very much because I like the content, the painting
and your calligraphy. Reading through it in my leisure is refreshing.
After a long wait, S.L. Lee's book on CaiGenTan (Vegetable
Roots) has finally been published, illustrated with original paintings by Ms. FU
Yi Yao. I saw some of Dr.Lee 's calligraphy a few years ago and was very
impressed. Later, he published a calendar showing 12 of these.
The idea of illustrating each quotation with a painting is not
new, but rarely done well. In this case, we are fortunate to have a well-known
artist doing the illustration, which is very, very rare.
Friday, May 03, 2002 at 13:54:47
I just picked up you wonderful gift from the postal station
today. The combination of pictures and quotations are thought provoking.
I'll treasure it for years to come, in fact, to the millennium after next!
Fri, 10 Dec 1999 18:02:50 -0800
To day I showed the calendar to my colleagues who teach
Chinese language. They are very interested and we shared the joy of reading
and discussing the content of it, especially the meaning of the wise words.
You've done a great job.
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 20:39:33 +0800
Dear Mr. Lee & Ms. Fu:
I am a fellow retired artist. It is seldom to see a calendar
with such fine quality. The painting and Calligraphy complement each other
nicely. And also the English translation of the poetry is excellent. They are
truly inspiring. Keep up with the good work.
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 12:06:05 EST
Dear Siu-Leung, please receive my congratulations: Your new art gallery is fantastic, the
works created and exhibited together with Ms. Fu are really great - that's what I am
highly appreciating in Chinese art: this fluent and
"light-handed" combination of grisaille-style painting and calligraphy. It would
be fine, if the book once in the future could be available, perhaps in a loose-leaf
edition (with the texts in a supplementary English translation). Thank you!
DE - Sunday, September 06, 1998 at 14:15:34
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 01:08:52 -0400
Thank you very much for your E-mail. A wonderful and unexpected preview of your
latest calligraphy, with the painting of m/s Fu Yi Yao. What a marvelous combination. It
is just gorgeous! My congratulation to both of you. Will inform my friends for the
appreciation and reading enjoyment.
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 21:57:25 -0400
Sir: never before I met an artist like you - a learned teacher of ancient Chinese
culture and yet fluent and artistic in English. It comes to my mind that one day those
artists who contribute so much to the circle, could have diversified their work into a
simple and easy understanding wording, specially to the young generation. What a great
impact and what a continuation of bringing the ancient culture to our beloved young
ones. I wish my dream might come true one day.
The work by you and Ms Fu is great. I had occasion to meet her two years ago in New
York, but did not know about recent trip this time. May I suggest that you publish these
as an Art Calendar - either for 12 months or 52 weeks. This may be a more profitable
commercially than a book. It is too late for 1999, but if you hurry, you can make year
FROM:Ming L Pei <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Monday, September 07, 1998 at 13:59:59
Thank you for the beautifully rendered calligraphy and painting. I hope you will consider
the loose-leaf format and English translations. Maybe in the next life, I (a total novice)
will be able to render some thing one-tenth as lovely as your work.
FROM:C.S. BigTrees <email@example.com>
U.S.A. - Monday, September 07, 1998 at 11:55:20
I visited your Caigentan pages (due to little time just some of them up to the moment)
and I'm satisfied: the format you chose is appropriate (smaller portions to load, and the
dui-zhao manner you have put the pictures together with the texts). I also took a glance
onto the source code and learned something new: it's the way you make the graphics load -
without using real thumbnails (i.e. 2 different sized graphics), so there's no need to be
on line, if one wants to load the big ones.
Siu-Leung, as you're an expert with Chinese texts, your translations *naturally* are
adequate! I was wondering, that you should have done it in so little a time. But there is
one great advantage with these texts: one doesn't have to imitate rhymes. Looking back,
when translating my anthology "Tieh Meng Hen", it took me about three or four
months e.g. to transfer the canto "Cheng Ch'i Ko" (Zheng Qi Ge) into German.
It's almost impossible to transport the lapidarity of ancient Chinese to a western
language - but I think, modern American English fits quite better to this task. In my
case, I had to add a lot of notes on history and linguistic questions. but I think,
modern American English fits quite better to this task. In my case, I had to add a lot of
notes on history and linguistic questions.
You did a great job.
Best wishes to you
A. W. Tueting
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 15:28:49 -0500
From: Dean Barnard
I have enjoyed immensely the plates and texts, and have two questions: 1, is the book
itself available, and if so where and how much? 2) when it comes time for the second
of my pieces of calligraphy, would you be able to do them in the style shown in these
pictures (and what is this style--it is beautiful!)
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 15:01:29 -0500
From: Julie Minn
Hi: I am a Chinese language and Chinese culture instructor of Truman State University
at Kirksville, Missouri. I found your comment and work of art on the page of Caigentan are
beautifully done. I would like to have your permission to copy the pictures and the
translations of the poetry for my students and my collages. I also would like to know
where and how I can buy this book. Thank you very much.
[S. L. Lee : We are preparing for publication.
Permission for reproduction of the artwork can not be granted at the moment. Please
recommend your friends to view the artwork at this site. Please do leave me with your
email and postal address for future announcement of this publication.]
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 19:22:22 -0300
From: martin perez
I've been visiting the Caigentan pages. The text reminded me so much of
the Tao Te Ching -- it is simply beautiful! the accompanying images are gorgeous as well.
I need to study the text in more detail to tell you more, and --besides-- I think
I should "keep (my) mouth shut" to learn "how foolish verbosity
is." one thing I can say: Congratulations on your new pages.