This would be the last day before flying back to San Francisco from Shanghai. As a graduate school professor at the Academy of Art University, I was very excited. Today’s agenda for the Surpass Sino-America Artists China Art group was a visit to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tong Ji University.
Arriving on campus was magical. Students hurried to class through beautifully manicured trees on a welcoming campus. I was amazed how bikes were unlocked and neatly lined up in front of each building.
Tongji University was founded in 1907 by Erich Paulun as a German Medical school. Today it offers a wide range of programs in law, arts, medicine, sciences, engineering, economics, and management. Professor Wei he provided a tour sharing student’s work, classrooms, studios, and gallery spaces. We were gifted the opportunity to create ink prints with delicate paper.
Professor Wei he provided a painting demonstration showcasing master talent. Artist Corwin Clairmont and I were asked to paint also. Afterwards, was told that my abstract marks had the calligraphic meaning of Women and Son. This was good and positive in meaning.
My marks absorbed this territory and language. The trip changed me forever. How does one say thanks to an organization like 188 Art for their hospitality and generosity?
The flight back to San Francisco was 9 hours and 52 minutes compared to the 13 hours and 15 minutes there. I left the United States with preconceived notions. I left China missing new friends and with a broader understanding of compassion.