Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Second Perfect Day (Morn and Afternoon)

Model of the Sculpture Park that is on display in the Park Museum (foreground right)
The park is packed with half of Changchun-Wasai!!!
Ryan saying goodbye to his sculpture...get a room.

Tamara and Marko from Belgrade Serbia and his stone sculpture.

Twins in China

9/07/08 Sunday

The Conference was held at the Hotel and had a full schedule of guest speakers who came from all corners of the globe. The speakers from visiting countries tended to touch on non-controversial topics, like the positive direction of pubic art or historical background on the organizations they were representing. Although meaty historically, they seemed to stop sort of addressing the current trends and dodged addressing problems, solutions or what might be a means to resolving them. The Chinese speakers on the other hand tackled more relevant topics specific to China, identifying specific problems they face while trying to place sculpture in public spaces. One topic engage was directed toward a problem recognized, politicians who try to ingratiate themselves in the public eye by placing junk sculpture in road medians and intersections, highly visible locations. Many of these sculptures were nothing more than giant 3-D logos of companies who support these politicians. I thought this to be very gutsy of these professors and as far as I know, none were hauled away and certainly none were stopped from speaking their minds on the subjects. This was so unlike what I expected and really quite the reverse, those visiting, walked on eggs so to speak, and those supposedly repressed speaking openly. China is truly opening it’s doors and minds.

The day became really fun at lunch when Ryan and I saw Marko’s pictures of the Sculpture Park during his morning visit. It was filled with people, the masses had turned out for a Sunday at the park. Conference-shmonference, we were going to the park and meet the people of China. We piled in the taxi with our interpreters…it was unfreakingbelievable when we arrived, it was packed, standing room only (ok, but you could not run through the crowds). This was the most people we had ever seen in the park at one time, now we understood why the sidewalks were so big. After taking some pictures, I stood between the “twins” and smiled for the camera, shaking hands with thousands of friendly people, all wanting a picture…with the artist. It was truly fun, Chun Hua had to explain the “meaning” many times and really earned her keep that day. (she took the pics…Movie too)
Closing Dinner and party to come!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Perfect Day!

Hey, who put that Rodin in front of the Wonenberg!!

Movie during the Opening Ceremony (spin around)

Stop action Movie

The Twins!!! (Totem-Standing Together)

9/06/08 Saturday
6 a.m. I caught a taxi to the sculpture studio. The sun had already been up for two hours and glowed like an orange orb in the morning sky. I had to see if the sculpture had been moved to the park site, the last time I had seen it was at 3:00 yesterday, and the opening of the conference was at 9 o’clock just three hours away…I was obsessing the whole night, would they place them properly, were they clean, where were they placed in the park for the conference opening??? So many questions and there would not be much time if changes needed to be made. I also had another mission to attend to, a gift for Chun Hua.

I arrived at the park studio, and just as I suspected, men were working, the headman directing as they moved the large granite name stones for each of the artists sculptures…the men looked beat. He smiled, and he knew exactly why I was there, and so off we went to the exhibit site for my inspection. He sensed my angst I’m sure. Much to my surprise the twins were place very well, 1 meter apart and at right angel to each other…so he had been paying attention to me when I explained the arrangement, and Chun Hua had, with her usual expertise, translated my instructions to the letter. I thanked him and he dropped me back at the studio so I could walk to the light rail. I needed a bite to eat and there was an eatery (can you tell me the name of the place from the photo?) next to a Wall-mart about 5 blocks down the tracks. It was 6:45 and the store didn’t open until 8:00 so I had some time to kill, even after I ate. Those little moments that you spend sitting and observing people are fun, the walking of dogs (some great breeds) which is a resent thing, because Chinese incomes are larger, pet care isn’t cheap in a big city. I did some stop action video (just playing) and time flew by as the people did in the video. I got some help calling the hotel to inform them I would not be on the bus, and would meet them at the main gate of the sculpture park. I thought it went well…later, I find out …it didn’t.

“Welcome to wall-mart” it’s the same everywhere, I knew I would find the item I was looking for, I had drawn a quick sketch of it on a napkin to show the clerks…success!!

I arrive with/on the gift at the main gate of the Changchun Sculpture Park and there were thousands of people gathering and lining up for the entry into the park. The bus from the hotel with all the artists had not arrived yet (they were looking for me) but they were now en route, the interpreters are there and they saw me approach on the main road. Remember back in early August Chun Hua had her bicycle stolen…
I rode by the crowd of interpreters, waving at them, Chun Hua turned around in disbelief. “Barry what are you doing riding a bicycle what are you doing? (she was clueless) I said “I’m riding YOUR bicycle” by the look on her face and the tears welling in her eyes (she figured it out). See pictures above.

It just keeps getting better…inside a band is playing and the twins look good surrounded by spectators. We were seated in the front row, and received scroll certificates and doves flew as the conference was declared open.

Above are photos of the opening of the International Sculpture Conference it was huge.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Work is Stop and Go, Dang!

Chun Hua walks between Marko's (from Serbia) figures at Sister Cities Park.

Micheal (from Little Rock) the Head, titled "Visionary".

Victor from Russia.

9/05/08 Friday
I spent the morning putting the final touches on the fiber glass sculpture, making it look like bronze which is a bit tricky. I had to wrangle some of the head hanchos and move it out of the dusty main studio, and this happened only when I became aggressively insistent. I had to mask the surface and spray on a gold color to give it the look of polished bronze, then brush and dab a green color that gave the effect of oxidation over a blackened surface. I skipped the lunch bus ride to the hotel, working through lunch my mission was accomplished. I was so hungry that I didn’t take any pictures when I finished dang!! Anyway, I grabbed a taxi with Ryan from Aruba (he had just finished up as well) just down to the corner to a KFC (it tasted the same too) and then shopped for some chocolate for Chun Hua , she has a thing for Dove’s. We all had to meet in the lobby at three go to the Changchun Sister Cities Sculpture Park where some of the artists just had their work placed. (see above photos)

9/04/08 Thursday
Big day of presentations for the sculpture car park. Yubi looks nerves. More about that later.

9/03/08 Wednesday
Finally…color is on the fiber glass piece, then all work stops again…frustration!!!
Stainless steel plate is finished and delivered by Jiang wae, b-e-a-utiful, ok well pretty good. It can’t be welded on yet because the sculpture is too far away from the sculpture and no one can help or won’t help move it and it’s a lot of work for Chun Hua to find and convince some one to help…no luck. Maybe tomorrow.

9/02/08 Tuesday
I finished the Maquettes (little models) and did the calculations for scale with the help of Chun Hua, who happens to be a mini human calculator (really good at math). Did another interview with the ever-present Paparazzi, and shot my own footage. See U-tube below.
Hole driller is at work on the granite bases, it’s going to take him 4 hours per hole (ouch) see photo.