House of Hunan art moves to campus

News Release Date: 
05.12.10

For over twenty years, the iconic piece of Chinese art has stood guard in the House of Hunan, dividing the waiting area from the dining area in Marion, Ohio’s premier Asian restaurant. Now, however, the massive piece that was made on the island of Taiwan will stand guard over students in the lounge outside the Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery on the campus of The Ohio State University at Marion.

Peter and Penny Lo decided to donate the hand-carved piece they bought for their restaurant because of their respect for education and Ohio State. Both of their sons, Wilson and Franklin Lo have attended Ohio State in recent years and their parents have been Buckeye fans since their arrival in Marion in 1987.
The couple’s road to Marion was a long one, starting with Peter Lo’s service as a cook in the Taiwan Army in 1979. Since then, he worked in Taiwanese restaurants in Saudi Arabia, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. A friend suggested he visit Marion in 1987. He loved the small town atmosphere and was able to purchase the House of Hunan, then located at 535 Delaware Avenue. In 1990, the restaurant moved to its present location near the Marion Centre Mall.
Both Peter and Penny Lo revere education. Before joining her husband in the United States, Penny was a high school math teacher in Taiwan. Both she and her husband come from families of teachers. Their attorney, David Williamson of Marion graduated from Ohio State and made sure the couple was fully indoctrinated into the Buckeye Nation. Today, the Lo’s enjoy attending Ohio State football games with their friends.
The art piece, originally purchased for over $6,000, was first displayed at Ohio State Marion during the 2010 International Festival held May 12th, 2010 in the Alber Student Center. It was used as a backdrop for performances at the festival.
Greg Rose, Dean and Director of The Ohio State University at Marion, thanked the Lo family for their contribution, saying, “We are honored that Peter and Penny Lo chose Ohio State both for their sons’ education as well as the place where this piece of intricate art will be housed. It will serve to remind all of us of the diversity that is represented at The Ohio State University.”