*This is the fourth 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.
Today the Surpass Sino-America Artists China Art group traveled to Tianmu Mountain resort. The beauty reinforces why Buddhist culture inhabits this area. We are to observe, hike, create, and discuss for two glorious days.
At Stone Canyon, the group hiked up the mountain on a well-constructed and user-friendly path. Scattered on the trail are bathrooms, little restaurants, and games. My husband Chris got a bulls-eye with an archery game. He walked away with a live mountain chicken for dinner. The meat is considered to be an expensive delicacy due to the bird’s diet of rare worms.
In between stops, I recorded audio and video for future use including lying in a riverbed to get the perfect footage. Chinese visitors laid down with me to experience the view and check on my well-being. However, the highlight was a gift from artist Corwin Corky Clairmont. He provided an offering for the river and the permission to make a blessing. The day delivered a shaman’s guidance and lesson.
The next morning, Corky asked me to partake in an art piece. We maneuvered down a long ladder into an adjacent bamboo forest. Dirt rubbed paper cut into shapes were thoughtfully placed onto the trees. Passing through the installation, we stopped at the river. This is where he created an artistic prayer and left it for nature.
I moved a plastic table and chairs onto a bridge over a river to draw. The mist of the water underneath replenished my creative spirit wedged between mountains. This was my offering.
Later visited the bamboo forest and captured video of the trees being cut down and harvested. A man using a small ax would chop one tree every 2-3 minutes. Periodically he would glance and smile. He observed my daily mediation and prayer. I observed the wind and slow fall of the trees. Sitting in nature as it’s being harvested appeared ironic.
In the afternoon, 188 Art provided an informative seminar on the creation of an art fair in America with a lecture on Tibetan culture. The artists were allowed to ask questions and provide feedback. This was an example of open dialogue and a positive exchange of ideas.
Driving back to Shanghai, cranes from construction dotted the landscape with its waste representing rapid growth. Started to feel under the weather and took Banlangen Keli medicinal tea. After only two cups, felt better. Perhaps inspiration overload the cause of my uneasiness? Maybe. Whatever it was, I’ll take it.