Talk:Oei Hui-lan

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Requested move 12 April 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: use Oei Hui-lan, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 00:40, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Oei Hui LanOei Hui-lan – – reasons below ClaraElisaOng (talk) 13:08, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Sunshine567: you moved Oei Hui-lan to Oei Hui Lan. The latter is indeed the standard orthography for Chinese-Indonesian names. Mme Koo, however, was not a typical Chinese-Indonesian and chose to spell her name "Hui-lan". I feel that we ought to respect her decision. This is also the spelling Mme Koo herself chose when she published her two memoirs, see:

  • Hui-lan Koo (Madame Wellington Koo): An Autobiography as Told to Mary Van Rensselaer Thayer [1]
  • No Feast Lasts Forever[2]

It is also the spelling of her name under which she is best known in English language publications and at international public institutions, for example:

The romanisation and spelling of her name would have been very important to Mme Koo as a Chinese-Indonesian with limited familiarity with Chinese languages, living for the most part in western countries. I think you should move the article back to Oei Hui-lan.

  • Support - you could actually just move it back without discussion. The onus is on the other user to justify their undiscussed move. -Zanhe (talk) 19:39, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Zanhe It might be a good idea to have a public discussion to prevent future undiscussed or unreferenced moves and edits. ClaraElisaOng (talk) 01:08, 14 April 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Koo, Hui-lan (1943). Hui-lan Koo (Madame Wellington Koo): An Autobiography as Told to Mary Van Rensselaer Thayer. Dial Press.
  2. ^ Koo, Mme Wellington; Taves, Isabella (1975). No Feast Lasts Forever. Quadrangle/New York Times Book Company. ISBN 9780812905731.

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Oei Hui-lan/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Carabinieri (talk · contribs) 19:35, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Initial review[edit]

Hi, thanks for all the work you've put into this article. I've done some copyediting, mainly to ensure compliance with the Manual of Style.

Right now, I'm concerned about the article's heavy reliance on primary sources, namely the two autobiographies. While primary sources can be used, they should only be used sparingly (see WP:RSPRIMARY and WP:PRIMARY).

Here are a few more minor notes:

  • "Quotations" sections are generally frowned upon. They can be moved to Wikiquote.
  • The painting in the "Style, art and legacy" section is listed as having a CC license as a result of being the uploader's work. Photos of two-dimensional works like paintings have the same copyright status as those works themselves. If the painting was published in 1921, it would be in the public domain. Therefore, using it would be fine. However, the image has a lot of glare. Would there be any way to get a better photo?
  • The biography seems to almost end in the 1940s. The period until her death is hardly covered. Didn't she do anything noteworthy during that time?--Carabinieri (talk) 21:13, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

Carabinieri Hi, I'm back now. Thank you for offering to review this article. Please find my response to your comments below:

  • I cite Koo's 2 memoirs quite heavily in the article, but mostly only in addition to secondary sources by other writers. Most of the information mentioned in the primary sources, can be verified independently in the secondary sources also cited in the article. Should I remove references to the primary sources? I'll go through the article again after this to add more secondary sources.
  • I'll try and move some of the relevant quotations into the main body of the article, and delete or move the rest to Wikiquote.
  • The 1921 painting in "Style, art and legacy" was uploaded by a different editor. I'm afraid I don't actually know how to upload pictures myself. Personally, I would have uploaded a different picture, perhaps Horst P Horst's photographs of her for American Vogue (circa 1940s). I think they capture her avant-garde fashion image more than her 1920s official portrait in court dress. The main photograph I'm using for the article (from Wikicommons) dates from the 1920s, so I think there's no need to add another picture from the same period. Should I remove the picture - what do you think?
  • Yes, I can't find much information about her after the 1940s. The historian Leo Suryadinata fleetingly mentions some of her business activities in the 1970s or 1980s. I'll add these to the article.

ClaraElisaOng (talk) 08:25, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Sorry, Clara, I'll get back to you in the next couple of days.--Carabinieri (talk) 11:29, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Sorry again for the long delay. If you can rustle up some more secondary sources, I think that would be good. I think moving the important quotes to the body of the article is also a good idea. The photos from the 1940s are probably not in the public domain, so using them might not be possible. If it's impossible to ascertain the copyright status of the painting, the picture might need to be removed. I don't fully understand all the copyright stuff, but here's my understanding of the issue: According to this, the painter who did the portrait is British, so I'm assuming the UK would be considered the source country. As far as I can tell, the relevant question is when the painting was first "published". If that was before 1923 (which is entirely possible since it was painted in 1921), we're good. Otherwise, I think it will only be in the public domain 70 years after the painter's death, which would be in 2021. You might want to either ask for help here or ask the person who uploaded the picture to Commons.--Carabinieri (talk) 14:49, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Carabinieri Sorry for the long delay, I've been very busy.
  • I added some secondary sources and removed a lot of the primary sources. Most references to the primary sources are when I quote Koo verbatim (which I think is important as it gives the article something of her own voice).
  • I got rid of the quotations section, as advised.
  • Also added a sentence about her activities in the 1980s, citing Setyautama.
  • The 1921 portrait was completed before 1923, so I'm inclined to think that there should be no copyright issues here.

ClaraElisaOng (talk) 17:06, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback. I've done a little more copyediting. Please make sure I didn't screw anything up.
  • As to the portrait: My understanding is that only the date of publication, not the date of creation is relevant. Therefore, we need to establish that it was actually published before 1923.
  • "Through her mother, Hui-lan was descended from the merchant-mandarin Goei Poen Kong, who served as Boedelmeester, then Luitenant der Chinezen in Semarang in the late eighteenth century.[9][10] The Chinese officership was a civil government position in the Dutch colonial bureaucracy of Indonesia." Does the second sentence refer to Luitenant der Chinezen? It's a little ambiguous.
  • "The two legitimate Oei sisters were educated at home..." Do the sources call the other siblings illegitimate? If the parents were practicing a culturally established form of polygamy, it doesn't seem quite right to call the children illegitimate.
  • "Goei Bing-nio was angered by her husband's decision to take up her niece, Lucy Ho (the sisters' cousin), as a junior wife" Is the remark in the parentheses really necessary? Doesn't the fact that Lucy Ho was the mother's niece already imply that she was her daughters' cousin?
  • "the couple settled down to a jet-set existence" That seems a little oxymoronic.
  • The article cites a lot of sources without giving a page number. I think anything longer than a few pages needs a page number.
  • The dnachic link seems to be down.
  • What makes a reliable source?--Carabinieri (talk) 01:50, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

Hi Carabinieri, thank you for your work on this article! I've tried to address some of your concerns:

  • I deleted Mme Koo's 1923 portrait as I'm unable to establish its copyright situation.
  • Yes, the second sentence (the "Chinese officership") refers to Luitenant der Chinezen; I've edited the sentence to make it less ambiguous.
  • I've taken out the word 'legitimate'. In fact, the legitimacy of Oei's children by his junior wives and concubines is unclear. Chinese family law in the Dutch East Indies allowed polygamy, but recognized only one legally registered marriage at a time. With paternal recognition, the children of concubines could be legitimized. In 1918, however, Chinese subjects in Indonesia came under Dutch civil law which obviously did not recognise polygamy at all or the children of concubines. Children born to women who were taken as concubines prior to 1918 could still be legitimized, even if they were born after 1918.
  • Agreed. I removed the phrase "(the sisters' cousin)".
  • Agreed. Removed "to a jet-set existence".
  • I added page numbers to most of the sources except Mme Koo's memoirs
  • The dnachic website isn't down, but is inaccessible from certain countries, probably temporarily. It was founded by fashion editor and businesswoman Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, and is a good source for Mme Koo's fashion significance.
  • Artsy is a respected and reliable website in the art and creative world. It was founded and backed by some high profile figures in the art world, and I think is a highly pertinent source given Mme Koo's involvement in fashion and art collecting.

Thanks again! ClaraElisaOng (talk) 12:21, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Carabinieri Hi, perhaps you might like to have a look at the article when you have time? ClaraElisaOng (talk) 03:15, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

  • This has been open for over seven months. It is time to close it one way or the other as it is not fair to let them sit this long. I have some spare time and can maybe help close this. AIRcorn (talk) 21:03, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Carabinieri hasn't edited for over two months, so if it is alright with @Clara dari Semarang: I can take over the review. AIRcorn (talk) 18:31, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
      • Aircorn, I'd just take over rather than wait. The nominator edits at irregular intervals, and it could be weeks to get a reply one way or another. With Carabinieri having effectively abandoned this review—it's over three months since the October 21 ping, and they were around then—it's time to get this settled. Thanks for offering to take over; it's the oldest open review. BlueMoonset (talk) 14:27, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
        • No worries. I will add it to my list. AIRcorn (talk) 20:48, 1 February 2019 (UTC)

New Review[edit]

I will take over this review. I will leave comments under this heading. AIRcorn (talk) 10:17, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

  • Her father, the tycoon Majoor-titulair Oei Tiong Ham, headed Kian Gwan, a company founded by her grandfather Oei Tjie Sien in 1863 that became the largest conglomerate in Southeast Asia at the start of the twentieth century. Maybe add what this company did.
  • Her mother, Goei Bing-nio, was her father's senior wife and only legal spouse and So he had other wives? If that is the case how can she be his only legal spouse?
  • who served as Boedelmeester Whats a Boedelmeester?
  • Oei's maternal Goei family traces its roots and prominence in Semarang back to the 1770s, and had initially resisted her father's social and economic rise Don't follow this
  • had an elder sister, Oei Tjong-lan, aka Gwendoline, from the same mother But a different father?
  • In addition, her father had 18 junior wives and acknowledged concubines Okay I am assuming Junior Wives are not considered spouses. Does the 18 just refer to the wives or is it including the concubines.
  • receiving a thoroughly modern upbringing by contemporary standards I am not sure this works. I have never heard that phrase before as modern and contemporary basically mean the same thing. I think you are saying they received a modern upbringing by the standards of their time, or something like that.
  • The quote from the paper about her singing might look better in a quote box or something else to give it some space.
  • There are two quotes next to each other, but no introduction or context given for the second one.
  • The progressive outlook and attainments of the Oei sisters received the admiration of R.A. Kartini, a Javanese aristocrat and pioneering women's rights activist. This paragraph ends rather abruptly. Is it leading soemwhere? Is something missing? What relavence does Kartini's admiration have.

More to come. AIRcorn (talk) 10:17, 2 February 2019 (UTC)