*This is the last of four writings exploring how community can be strengthened despite culture and distance. A trip to China reaffirms how art has the power to activate the best of humanity. Home has no boundaries. Art provides that opportunity…
The art tour had traveled great distance across China to be part of the Silk Road International Cultural Expo in Dunhuang. Buses, planes, and overnight trains: we did it all. Time to collapse but wait there’s more…
The Silk Road International Cultural Expo welcomed sixty countries and various heads of state with intense security. From the website: “President Xi of China points out that the two-thousand-year exchanging history teaches us that countries with different ethic groups, faiths and cultural backgrounds can enjoy equal peace and development, as long as we stick to the following four principles: firstly, consolidating solidarity and mutual trust; secondly, being equal and seeking for mutual benefits; thirdly, being inclusive and encouraging to learn from each other; fourthly, enhancing cooperation so as to realize the win-win goal.” The expo was vast in scale with diverse artworks and dignitaries in attendance.
It would be back to Shanghai on a night train, high-speed rail, and a flight. The next stop would be Tsingtao for an exhibit. Tsingtao is a coastal city known for its history, World Cup sailing, beer, and being a vacation destination for the Chinese.
The tour installed artworks inside shipping containers in a high-end shopping plaza in front of Prada. It took over 4 hours to install my piece titled Wall. It was made of silver Dura-Lar sheets with markings from a Mossberg shotgun. Each piece was pinned and contorted to reflect light along with the viewer’s reflection.
Back in Shanghai, I couldn’t download yet this strange and wonderful experience. Sleeping in my hotel, I was awaken early in the morning with loud knocks on my door. It was the police and they wanted to see my passport and take a picture.
Everything checked out and I went back to bed.
Until next time China.