Oct 162009
 

These are pictures of the side panels to the Commissioned Piece “Journey to Freetown” for the Bahamas project.  The will stand on either side of the main piece.  I'll ost pictures of that next.  The installation and exhibit will be in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island on November 12th.

Oct 142009
 

We watched firworks from our living room window last night. It seemed to be for a store’s promotion. The show lasted about twenty minutes. We could see that the rockets were shooting off on a street corner! Cars, bicycles and scooters drove around the “launch pad”! Well, I suppose this IS the place that invented fireworks. I am glad we were at a distance.

Oct 112009
 

This is the small temple at the park of the 5 dragon kings mountain.  It had statues of each of the 5 dragon kings, two Buddhas and the Dragon Kings' mother.  Each had their own tent and offerings table.  This is the first time I had permission to take photos.  In other temples we visited there were many people praying, so I felt it wrong to take photos then.  Temples are peaceful places.

Oct 112009
 

Here is the group we traveled to Five Dragon Kings' Mountain – it included teachers from several Ningbo schools and Nottingham University, the staff of Beyond Mandarin and with Brian, Dennis Doty and I representing AIAN!

Fortunately our daily walking meant we didn't embarrass ourselves in the trek — even though we had to rest after the 2nd Dragon King pool. 

We also learned that raising two fingers in a “V” is to show you are happy in the picture. 


Oct 112009
 

After the Cultural Presentations and a fabulous lunch at a restaurant nearby, we boarded a luxury bus and headed for the Five Dragon Kings' Mountain – a beautiful park about an hour outside Ningbo.  We climbed for hours, saw waterfalls and forests of bamboo.  If you remember the scenes of kung fu fighting in the trees from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” – that's what this area looks like!  Lovely waterfalls, deep pools and the quiet sounds of water on rocks. 

The strangest thing — no birds.  Not a one.  There are birds in Beilun, we've seen shrikes, kingfishers, sparrows and egrets around the pond in our apartment complex.  We will have to investigate this further.  I don't like to assume something here – with so little knowledge of the language or customs I really can't say why we neither saw or heard any birds.  That was the only wrinkle in a magical day. 




Lauren Austin
“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by answers.” — James Baldwin

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Oct 112009
 

The calligrapher made many scrolls for the audience.  He asked what words we liked, and then used the word and made a poem with it as well.  I picked “shui” the word for water.  The poem is “Water is the foundation of life.”
The Calligrapher's ease at writing hid the precise control needed to make the characters.  I have been practicing the strokes over and over – it will take a long time to get anything close to this precision.  Well – its a goal!  Practice makes you BETTER.  Perfection is for the Buddha.

Lauren Austin
“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by answers.” — James Baldwin

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