Ni hao everyone!
Good morning and happy Sunday to you! Here I am in China and It has has now been 7 weeks since I left Australia.
It has been a lovely week here in Jingdezhen, but busy, busy, busy. All of our art brains have been busy in the studio, hands on the porcelain, aprons on, spectacles on and lamps on until late. Everything ON. All systems GO.
There has been lots of extra curricular activities on too- new artists arriving from Sweden and Switzerland, as well as other artists returning back to the USA, UK and Australia. It has been a week of hellos and goodbyes and lots of late nights in celebration of new friendships. Plenty of pee-jiow has been drunk (beer) and gambai's (cheers) all around. Happy sad times.
I have had the realisation (and am baffled) that I have made it across the world to village far far away from everything, and my brain is STILL as full of junk and as busy as ever! It seems that I take this silly manic pace with me, wherever I go. All of this time I thought it was the world that is very busy, but it seems it is ME. I have to learn how to drop this frenetic habit! PRONTO. It is no good for the soul. Wish me luck on slowing my energy down.
So we had some day trips this week around the province, which were the leaving wishes of some of our comrades. We did a day trek in and around Yao Li Waterfall. I have attached some pics of the Chinese wilderness for you to enjoy. It was very caterpillary wilderness walk. I found 3 types of caterpillar that I have never seen before. Massive green ones that were about 15cm long and look like snakes and made my skin crawl and my voice make involuntary noises of disgust. Some smaller green caterpillars with flouro yellow butterfly markings and antennas like butterflies (half caterpillar and half butterfly) which were freaky, and lastly some furry white washing machine lint type of caterpillar. Big and marshmallowy. If I was a bird, Id eat the last guy. All of these complicated masquerades are mechanisms aimed at confusing the bird life hovering above. There were lots of spectacularly large butterflies swooping us too but I was too amazed to snap at the appropriate time.
NEWS THIS WEEK:
It is Golden Week here in China, kinda like Chinese Week, the same way we have Australia Day. It is a national holiday for 7 days and every Chinese person is on "tour"... equipped with cameras, balloons tied on arms and street vendor food in hand... which sounds nice except the streets are crowded and the traffic is insane. 10 times as many people staring at me in the street would simply be unbearable. I think Ill hide away in my studio and work like a little beaver for the week. Stay away from the outside complicated world.
I have been asked by my friend Diana to go into a new studio with a "Great Porcelain Master" in 2 weeks time. The studio is in a fragrant Chinese bonsai garden and the courtyard is surrounded by wooden buildings that open out into the garden. It is a dream come true and I am not quite sure it is really happening... so through this friend I have met the so called "Great Master" (SO HE IS REAL!), and my impressions are that he has a beautiful face and a gentle soul. He is about 70 and does not speak English (which should be interesting). He is only ever referred to as Great Master so I do not know his name yet. I know he is a porcelain painter and is revered across China. So lucky me I have been asked if I would like to have a table in the studio with him. It is such a HUGE HONOUR and I cant believe my luck!! I wonder if this is the Buddhist monk my clairvoyant told me about? He isnt Buddhist, and not a monk, but has the same type of energy about him. I wonder if he has seen my ceramics?? ha ha ha.. he is going to be shocked and horrified at how terrible they are once he does. Oh well I have to be brave and jump into the deep end. This opportunity has come my way for a reason... I havent accepted the offer yet, so hopefully the offer is still on by the time I do.
I may also be moving house from the residency into another friends house in the next 2 weeks for the rest of my time in China. The cold weather is coming here and by the time I leave in December it will be icy.
I have been eating lots of vegan food- green vegies, dumplings, tofu, eggs, friend lotus root, rice, fresh noodles, chestnuts, beans and chilli, fresh fruit, red bean deserts... yum yum! Feeling pretty fresh and fly at the moment. Not wearing makeup and my natural hair colour is coming through. I am gonna stick with it! All this healthy naturalness feels RIGHT.
I am following the path of wabi sabi metta ceramics for my own style.
Have been going for traditional Chinese foot massages at least once a week. Heaven...
Have been taking lots of photos to scratch my artistic itch.
Thats it for today. I hope you are all looking after each other and having a peaceful and happy day. Life is precious.
Do NOT shout at the mountain.
Beautiful waterfalls. it is very auspicious to be able to hear the noise of a waterfall, so people try and live close by to them.
Chris pondering the world.
Morning rain dripping from a yellow bead bush.
Electric green water plants and little fishies living together in harmony.
The bamboo forest.
Mega spiders everywhere.
The snake imitating caterpillars. This one was about 15cm long. SCARY!!
The washing machine lint caterpillar. It was about 12cm long and very big and fluffy.
Artists unite for exploring the bamboo forest together.
A farm house in an ancient village.
People collect auspicious rocks to put at their door- like a rock garden. My type of people.