Friday, August 29, 2008

Pace of Work Quickens

8/21/08 Thursday, 8/22/08 Friday Together.
You can’t imagine the rush of work that is happening in and out of the studio. I’m essentially managing two separate sculptures and everything must be translated back and forth, the methods, the materials, and the tools used…but some how it all happens and with smiles all around. The stainless piece needs some finer grinding burrs and polishing wheels (again) for the really tight spots and so in the afternoon of both days Chun Hua and I must locate these items, so off on another road trip we go. Searching is half the fun and after many miss-directions and a few wild goose chase, we find what we need. Taking the light rail is a really fun way of getting around (that’s us in the dome mirror).
We make it back to the studio and the flurry of activity is just crazy, the crane is here turning stone sculptures, molds are being made and opened, and fiber glass is stinking up the whole place. Pics, pics and more pics!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Tour to Jilin City

All the artists were informed that we would travel to a beautiful lake (reservoir) about an hour from Changchun near the city of Jilin, which is named after the province. No work at all today, I think they wanted the artists out of the studio so the mold makers can work on getting fiberglass in the plaster molds that are ready. Problem is that most of the artists want to see the process and photo-document it. No matter, sometimes you just go with the flow and besides, the last day trip we went on was a blast, so we expect this one to be the same. Three buses showed up in front of the hotel, this will be fun because our translators and assistants will be with us. Our first stop is in the city of Jilin at a modern park built around an old Buddhist temple (see the images) on a hill with a big yellow sign that says Buddha. It was beautiful and a very quiet place to enjoy, we even burnt incense at the various mini temples within the main complex. The park around and just outside the temple gates had the usual carnival / amusement park attractions that I wished were not there. We spent about 2 hours there and then piled on the bus for about another half hour ride passed a large concrete dam, and up to it’s top where a large three level touring vessel was waiting on the water. It was a lunch cruise around the lake. Before we were all seated the food started coming and coming, does this sound familiar? And oh yes the “wine” with a kick was available and “Snow Beer” as well, we had speeches and then we moved about the three decks freely, taking in the sun. I had a nice time talking with Han Lu the instructor from the Changchun university, she is preparing to participate in a teaching exchange in Holland next fall semester that would be 2009 and is very excited. I learned more about the teaching exchange that I could be part of, and could not help but think what a wonderful way for the sharing of culture, learning and professionally developing individuals in a learning environment. As I looked out across the water toward shore, it reminded me of similar landscapes in Europe near Germany, or the green around the reservoirs in Idaho where I grew up. I felt displaced, else where, and had to look to the people’s faces next to me, only to realize that I was still in China.
Here is a little ditty that we sing, “There’s Snow Beer like Snow Beer”