Wednesday, January 28, 2015
China Today: An artistic impression
Our first day in China went by quick. After a short welcome we traveled to a city on the border of Vietnam. Hekuo seems to be a city that is mostly based on trade. We walked a long portion of the train tracks connecting Vietnam and the Chinese city of Hekou. The Chinese though seem to grow their food and maximize any land that is available. Making due with small gardens on hillsides or between buildings.
Today we visited an area called Yuanyang to see a minority village of Hani people and the famous terraced fields they grow rice on. As a drawing concentration in art studio I am always intrigued by the art I find in different locations. The art created by the people of the Yuanyang is amazing. The entire area is dependent on the terrace fields and the art represents this. What I found is many representations of the important animals to the people. The most important animal is the water buffalo because of its use in creating the patty fields. The image of the water buffalo finds it way into large and small portions of their statues and depictions.
One particular piece that I found on a large pillar at the top of the fields depicted two water buffalo with a vague human figure between them. This figure has its hands raised as if it is worshipping the water buffalo. With the water buffalo being an essential part of their production I am not surprised it makes so many appearances in their art.
She graciously accepted and I took the photo. Our guide offered to let me take a picture with her and I did. After the picture I offered the lady few more dollars as a token of gratitude, and she was gracious again. As I did this, another lady came over and reached for my money. I tried to back away but she kept coming and eventually snatched a ten yuan from my hand. That was the point where I put my money away and walked away. Ten Yuan is not very much, only about 1.5 U.S. dollars, so I was not worried about the money. I was just surprised at how greedy the lady was and how polar opposite the first woman was. Outside of this one thing the time in the Hani village was enjoyable.
Next was pineapple, I was wary because I don't enjoy pineapple in the states. To my surprise though the pineapple was milder than it is in the states and I enjoyed it. The last on the list was jackfruit. It is a large fruit maybe slightly smaller than a watermelon. Cutting up Jack Fruit seemed like a terribly long process and labor intensive. We waited about twenty minutes until the locals finished. The fruit it self has the strangest texture I have ever tried, muscle like on the outside and soft on the inside. The taste was a strange sweetness as well and was interesting.
We took a walk around a park today that was located in Mengzi. The diversity of conditions in the city astounds me. This park is well maintained and beautiful but if you walk one block from it you find impoverished homes. You see similar things in our cities but our government will condemn a house if it unsuitable for living.
In Mengzi there is former railway station that was established by the French. No longer functioning it stands as a historical location. The station itself is not what intrigued me most, it was more the way the electrical wiring was openly visible. The States we tend to hide our wiring in boxes to keep them from being exposed and dangerous. The wires at the former French railway station were completely exposed and could have been a potential hazard. This wiring is from a different era where safety guidelines were less strict. I am curious if the lines are still hot or were shutdown when the station was shutdown. The tracks themselves looked as though they were still used, so there may be some electricity running.
— Jesse Hockman, art studio major #HuskyAbroad
Led by Vera Viditz-Ward, professor of art and art history, and Jing Luo, Ph.D., professor of languages and cultures, a group of Bloomsburg University students spent three weeks in China studying language, culture and photography. The group, hosted by Yunnan Normal University, traveled to Kunming, Hekou, Yuanyuang, Mengzi, Dali, and Lijiang, where they had close contact with a variety of ethnic groups and learned about their lives and cultures.