*This is the third of a series of five documenting a Chinese voyage on how humanity and art has no borders and needs no translation. A sense of home can be found in unexpected places despite distance.
The Surpass Sino-America Artists China Art tour made its way to the beautiful city of Hangzhou. Thanks to 188 Art, we were given the opportunity to tour the China Academy of Art. The school was founded in 1928 with its architecture designed by Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu. The campus was heaven floating on the shores of West Lake.
We ventured through the Experimental Painting Department into an area of discarded sculptures. They were amazing. It was alley of Chinese history. An accidental tour led to artistic discovery and promise.
Exhibits on display at the museum included works from students all over Asia and another featuring abstracted jewelry concepts. Highlights:
The next day, we visited Lingyin Temple. From their website: “Located at the north-west of the West Lake at Hangzhou, Lingyin Temple is one of the oldest and most significant ancient Buddhist temple of China. As the largest of several temples in Hangzhou’s Wulin Mountains, with its the long history and charming scenery, Lingyin Temple attracts thousands of visitors and Buddhist faithful every day.”
The temple was spiritual perfection. Sitting on the steps of the Hall of Master Ji Gong, I recorded its sounds. Visitors threw coins on top of a large kettle for luck and ritual. Locals sat next to me wanting photos and were positively curious of this stranger’s presence.
After the temple visits, Chinese and American artists were given the opportunity to paint by the freshwater of Xihu Lake. Mountains draped in fog, mist, and rain welcomed. We just wanted to create together and the results were stunning.
Connections and commonalities were made despite language and cultural differences. It didn’t matter. Once a smile was made and nod given, we were part of the same community. Art, kindness, and a sense of humanity guided us.
Today was the best gift ever.