Sunday, June 21, 2009

Middle Kingdom (China)

Back in Wellington and reflecting on a journey to the Middle Kingdom.

It all went pretty smoothly and the preconceived ideas one has about places were pleasantly altered . China is not a country , but a concept .

It is like their food,so many different kind of dishes.

Most of the flavours were fantastic , but most of the time I didn't know what I was eating . But had a wild guess.

The same as things work in relation to one another .

China is like an Onion with so many layers .

The population already is beyond our comprehension , Xiamen is a small town with the population of New Zealand.and progress is everywhere .

It grows in front of ones eyes.

I travelled a couple of hours to the North and to the South , but that doesn't mean anything over there , also the history , one deals with thousand of years .

Likewise the ethnic groups are very varied . All this makes for hopefully in the future of China a great soup with lots of different flavours .

Because it is quite a Han culture .

But on the TV there are now more programmes about their cultural difference.

About the Arts , the dealer Galleries as we know it , are still being developed. That was in Xiamen , Beijing of course is a different matter.

Their foundation to their art works is helped by their writing , people grow up with the brush , but if it comes to expressing ones thoughts to paper that part is undergoing a large metaphor and hopefully is getting more aligned .

I saw some amazing works by some independent Artists , but most of it was still steeped in the old culture . , or copies

Mind you most of our culture is copying itself to death in lots of cases as well .

Anyhow it was an amazing trip and it will give me lots of inspiration to carry on with my own works .

I have updated the full block with photographs to give an impression of my journey .

In the next block I will update you with the progress of my painting I started in Xiamen and hope to finish in the near future .

Also , I have twelve sets of eight cards left and sell these for 20 dollars per set for those who are interested .

They show earlyer on in this blog about China.

If you want to see more works of mine go to

Adios Amigos Robert

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quanzhou Temple

We made a long drive from Xiamen to this temple and went also to the Tao sculpture in the mountains .

Of course on the way we had a beautiful lunch . The meals keep on coming . Starting with a nine course breakfast , nine lunch and nine course dinner . The great part of the journey is the eating and finding out that there are endless combinations . here are some impressions of the day .

It was rather wet . that made the day with the Tao sculpture extra special .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This trip has taken me through an other corridor of my mind and woken up the China within me .

It is amazing how many versions there are of China .

Here are some reflections off the people I passed by on the road .

Just glimbses
China is not a country but a concept .

From this angle , I will make a series photographs to give some impression .

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thursday and we have a down pour here, but still quite warm.

The burning of Money for the land lord

I went the other day to look at some buildings created in the Tang dynasty around 1200 AD.
They are round buildings and at the time some 200 people lived in them, but now a mere 30. They bought their coffins when they were about fifty for security and were stored on the top floor.
The United States saw them from Outer Space and accused China about creating rocket launchers. Not a bad guess but they were 800yrs too late.

Time is running out and hopefully the University is producing a catalogue of our works.
It is sort of expected that we gift a work. I will take the works I started on back to NZ and finish these ones off properly and gift the one I have taken to China.

I will be leaving Saturday for New Zealand and then I will be pasting some photos of the journey. So stay tuned.

The Chinese food is fantastic. Yesterday we met some officials from the council and had a dinner.

I had for dinner snake, sea cucumber, shark fin soup, quail, sea mermaid fish and lots of pickles and rice.

All things here are in transition and the officials in some era's play still a large role.

The Arts is not what it is like in NZ and so far we saw little or non to speak of art galleries which sold peoples works. But then again I just didn't see them.

The people here are very friendly and try their English on me, that is a bad thing, they will start to speak with a dutch accent.

Will get this up dated next week with the photos.

Namaste Robert

Monday, June 8, 2009

Computer number 99

The opening of the exhibition was quite something. We were given corsage to wear with a red ribbon which said VIP in Chinese. Lots of speeches, my face is half the size from the wear of photographs and lots of Chines students wanted to be on the photo with me and then it it was all over.

Well we had a beautiful dinner party after, John got a bit let me say. Well won't be we have to pay for a towel at the hotel because we spilled borraca on it 150 yuan .

That was all on Friday, yesterday, Saturday, we visited 5 artists studios. Tang Nannan,Min Yiyao,Lin Zehong , Zhang Lipping , Zhao Juijie .

That was fantastic.

They were all lecturers at the Art School, two were working independent, but a bit like myself give some input to students.

At Zhang Lipping I saw a fantastic private collection of Calcified Jade objects dating back 6000 BC . Little is know about the culture and John Walsh is taking back a book to TE PAPA , perhaps we can have it as an exhibition here in Wellington .

We had a meal yesterday by the beach and I could have sworn that our conversation was being recorded, perhaps they want to have cheap English lessons from a Dutchman.

Next day just returned from a visit to the Xiamen Art school. Was interesting seeing the art students working on their pieces. The Chinese lacquer technique are the most I was blown away by. They were used in a modern way, but not for the faint hearted, they take ages to do.

Afterwards I hit a fantastic Xiamen fish restaurant and just staggered into this email place to let you know the latest.

I am off to bed and have a siesta. My talk at the University will be tonight. Will see what happens. It is hot, 32 degrees. Need a shower or a cold beer.

Namaste Robert