china '01

page 11

China - you are here


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Full Contest Mode


loversAnother warm and windy day and I am well pleased with the progress of my sculpture... we removed the last form today and still have 2.5 days to finish up the base.

Have been trying to spend less time on the computer and more time enjoying my exotic surroundings. Went out shopping the last two nights and made my first purchases in Luliang - a cheap pair of tennies --cheap indeed at about $2.00 and so very cool - army surplus hightops that will undoubtedly make me the envy of all my friends. Tonight I picked up an inexpensive 35mm camera (have given up on getting my new Elph to work) as well as a stunning dark green leather jacket that I would have paid at least $200 for in the states - for about $50. Dollars go far here -- wish there was more time for shopping but IPeter think we have a free afternoon before returning to Shanghai. Peter (my translator) has offered to come with me to help get me the best prices... he's a sweetie (pictured at right.)

Random Observation: Luliang truly is off the beaten tourist path. When we head out the the streets we get stares and double looks, and while we were negotiating our purchases at the leather shop a small crowd gathered, silently staring, giggling when we tried speaking to them. Scattering like birds when I tried to get my picture taken with them. I really felt like a martian - these people had quite obviously never seen westeners before.

My team is really starting to pull together. The lone female is an art student who is handling a large share of the carving now that she is getting warmed up. She is working on the line of climbers - many-hued moon men who are struggling mightily to get to the top of the heap.

climbersThe color burnishing is a slow process so I am able to keep everyone busy most of the time. The best part is that they are getting into the spirit of the piece and coming up with ideas of their own.

Peter tells me they feel lucky to be on my team because the other sculptors have structured and planned out pieces that don't leave much room for pandascreativity on the part of the volunteers. A few of them spent almost a whole day implementing a brainstorm I had the other night (and did a way better job than I would have expected) - a panda sitting at a computer with another panda on the screen. With Peter's help I have been able to incorporate images, symbols and characters into my piece that will really speak to the spectators (we hope).

Today I carved a Buddha-like moonman sitting in a meditative pose - with a computer screen in the middle of his belly; Peter suggested we carve the Chinese symbol for Buddha on the screen, which seemed like a great idea until I saw what he had carved. It was a swastika, pure and simple. I told him that I didn't think that was gonna fly, and sure enough, someone came along and told us we had to remove it -- so we replaced it with the Chinese word. It makes me angry that this ancient and powerful symbol has been taken over by a hateful group of people, but I am glad that I do not have to explain why picutres of my sculpture have a swastika in them.

We finished the split screen smiley face and it is soooo killer (the photo doesn't really do it justice.)

BAd news Department: If I don't find a source for 9-volt batteries soon, I will no longer be able to post photos on my updates :-(

smiley finished

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