Liu Chin – Guizhou China

Carla's Blog

feather2-02162

Liu Chin

Liu Chin with your lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

Where did you get the green arboretum tee shirt tucked in with a long black belt cinching your slender waist? Where did you get the gold band on your finger? Your skin

is like buffed candle wax compared to mine. Arrival, Departure, you keep us on track, gathering passports, collecting airport tax, riding baggage carts around the bend.

Liu Chin with the lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

You, smart but young with mischief in your eyes, to us you are a banker, a teacher,

a concierge, a  keeper of harmony who caters to our every wish. In the distance

you skip stones over the clear river water, reflections of weeping trees juggle for postion.

Coming from the mountains thick with vegetation,

View original post 149 more words

Chinese Sketching Brush Strokes -China

leech-china-1883

moving cloud-china-1884

bamboo-leaf-china-1887

Portrait

Looking at the names of sketching strokes

in Chinese art, I see the country:

 

Ancient wavy silk thread

String

Iron wire

Moving cloud and flowing water

Leech

Nail-head, rat-tail

Wedge

Broken reed

Olive

Date pit

Willow leaf

Bamboo leaf

Shaking ripple

Earthworm

scroll-china-1886

It’s Not What it Seems – China

Peking story teller-02276

White winking Buddhas.

A vegetarian dinner of fish, eel,

chicken, and pork.

*

The Clan of the Cultural Revolution:

portraits in red, pink, and black.

Cloudlike rocks riddled with holes.

Straight-cut stones hiding the view.

*

Flaming Sun Day, Feet, Comfortable City,

Flexology: Foot and Body Massage.

*

The Temple of Marvelous Mystery.

Scholars revealing a little at a time.

*

Bitter melon, minced snails,

fresh young ginger with duck.

*

A very auspicious number like five.

*

Yin-yang, push, pull.

Holiday Spending Zone.

*

Cicadas make the woods more silent.

Birds make the valleys deeper.

*

Neon palm trees: electric yellow and green.

Two thin bamboo rafts floating silently down the Li.

*

Rainy summer night.

A street-cleaning truck playing

“We Wish You Merry Christmas.”

river Li-02296

Dazu – China

carved grotto rubbing-02271-2

 

Carved grotto rubbing on mulberry paper over pen and ink drawing 8″ x 6″

click on image to enlarge

Dazu

Alone on the bamboo bridge

hunched over from the weight of her pack,

an old woman layered in rags

wails her story to the trees.

Behind the dense green curtain of bamboo

her audience listens:

fifty thousand stone Buddhas,

donors, and Bodhisattvas,

carved one thousand years ago.

For a moment I leave Dazu thinking

of the opera house back home.

The Yangtze : Three Gorges, China

three-gorges-02263

Click on image to enlarge

In 2003, the world’s largest hydraulic dam transformed the Three Gorges into a deep currentless reservoir. Water flooded 28,000 acres of farmland, 13 cities, 140 towns and 1,352 villages. Eight thousand recognized archaeological sites were flooded and 1.4 million people were driven from their homes. In May 2002, my son and I took one of the last river boats through the Three Gorges before the Chinese government started to flood the area. I wrote the following poem when I returned from that trip. The drawing is from my sketchbook. While sketching on deck, another artist joined me. Unable to communicate with words, we enjoyed drawing together.

 

The Yangtze: Three Gorges

Coiled with mist, the cliffs rise

half a mile into the sky.

Looking up, past the trackers’ path,

past the hanging coffins, past the caves,

past the stunted trees,

I see deep blue sky.

Rising  Cloud Peak.

Sage Spring Peak.

The riverboat passes villages, orange groves,

fields of pink peach blossoms.

Tall limestone walls dwarf the town.

The river roars.

Winding narrowness,

shallow rapids,

dangerous whirlpools,

currents,

followed by quiet.

Head Rapid.

Chicken Wings.

Fish inscribed on White Crane Ridge:

two carp facing upstream,

one with a lotus sprig in his mouth,

mark ancient low-water levels.

On the road: barbers, plumbers, food sellers.

A welder creates jewelry with his blowtorch,

fired by a garden hose and a bottle of gasoline,

his foot pressing the bellows.

Under a red umbrella a woman sleeps,

sweet slices of watermelon by her side.

Children squat with a deck of cards.

Small groups of people eat noodles out of bowls.

Dressed in a tattered gown of silk

embroidered with dragons, an old man

sits near a persimmon tree.

All this will be underwater soon:

the temple with its wooden pavilions,

pagodas, loggias, reflecting pool,

the monkeys scampering among altars;

the storefronts, streets, houses, fields of rice.

Goddess Peak.

Witches’ Gorge.

What will happen to the Siberian cranes,

the white flag dolphin, the Chinese sturgeon,

the house tucked under a tree?

What will happen to the barbers, sellers, plumbers,

the little girl in yellow jelly shoes,

her mother selling Camel cigarettes?

In a home in Suzhou I saw this poem

on a piece of wood shaped like a banana leaf:

My mind-heart is like the reflection of the moon

in a deep pond on a snowy night

my creativity blooms like flowers

after the spring rain.

The old towpath clings to the rock face, high

on the north side of the mountain.

Trackers pulling boats on the Yangtze

sing back and forth, strange chanting melodies.

duck-02266

Warrior Challenges His Friend – Beijing, China

warrior-02281

warriors-02294-2

Click on image to enlarge

 

Peking Opera School

The warrior challenges his friend:

sticks for swords, young bodies swoop and lunge.

Play boots stomp on a pink Oriental rug.

Boys in workout gear,

black beards hooked over their ears

posture, eyebrows furrowed.

Teenaged girls are frivolous females,

fingers pointing, eyes dancing, white sheets

swirling.

Buoyant and tumbling, the loyal monkey

arranges himself on a lacquered stool,

his face clown white.

Fierce eyes, quick gestures,

gongs, drums and clappers

of hardwood and bamboo;

two men somersault,

a fight in the night.

 

Small as the stage is,

a few steps bring you far

beyond heaven.

monkey-02292-2

Liu Chin – Guizhou China

feather2-02162

Liu Chin

Liu Chin with your lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

Where did you get the green arboretum tee shirt tucked in with a long black belt cinching your slender waist? Where did you get the gold band on your finger? Your skin

is like buffed candle wax compared to mine. Arrival, Departure, you keep us on track, gathering passports, collecting airport tax, riding baggage carts around the bend.

Liu Chin with the lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

You, smart but young with mischief in your eyes, to us you are a banker, a teacher,

a concierge, a  keeper of harmony who caters to our every wish. In the distance

you skip stones over the clear river water, reflections of weeping trees juggle for postion.

Coming from the mountains thick with vegetation,

You, Chin with the lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

Did you sing while she held you at the age of three? Were you dancing to the drums

and suona horn, the melody of flutes egging you on? Who taught you to read

the inscriptions on bones and shells? Did you go to school?  Back home, sitting

in front of my window looking out onto the Bay, my most important image of China

is you. In a small room while our group ate dinner you did an impression of a baby bird accidentally falling into the river. I see those wings I see the bird, big, but young, each layered feather in various hues of gray and black, the bend in his wings, flopping.

I see the bird accidentally fall into the river near your birthplace in the mountains

of Guizhou.

I Went to the Street Fair with the Intension of Making Slow Art – Chinatown

portrait-3368

click on image to view only the photograph

Slow Art relates to creating art in a slow way. This practice is about being mindful of detail, valuing the history inherent in re-usable materials, putting time into creating small items. The practice encourages the maker to be naturally meditative as they create. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_Movement

During the celebration of Chinese New Year, I went to the Street Fair on Grant Avenue San Francisco. The high energy crowd was not conducive for making a quiet slow drawing. Instead I took out my iphone set my hipstamatic app on random and clicked away. By shaking the camera the appplication changes the lens, flash, and film. After clicking away until the battery was used up, which didn’t take any time at all, the above image turned out to be my favorite shot of the day. Lens: John S  Film: Kodadot XGrizzled  Flash: Cherry Shine

Just think of the changes this man has seen in his lifetime.

File:Delaunay-Windows

Delaunay’s Window was painted in 1913.

Picasso_three_musicians_moma_2006

Picasso‘s Three Musicians – 1921

imgres-2

basel miami art 2013

Dragons Visit the Neighbors – San Francisco Chinatown

dragon-3197

dragon-dance-3314

dragon Dance-3322

music-3323

dragon-eye-3331

firecrackers-3291 

firecrackers2-3290

man-t-3301-2

San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. Celebration in honor of the Lunar New Year has been going on for over a week.  As the San Franciscans go about their business, there are intermittent firecracker pops in the air. We are surprised by a dragon dancing on a corner somewhere in the city. After the Climate Change Rally last Sunday my friend and I walked home winding our way through Chinatown. Hearing music we ducked into an alley. A  group had gathered around two small dragons. There were two dancers in each costume. We watched as the leader knocked on each door. The occupant would open the door and give the  leader a small red envelope which contained crisp new dollar bills. The lions danced, the cymbals clanged. It’s loud. It’s chaotic. It’s scary. It’s fun.  Firecrackers are thrown. One hit my leg as the dancing dragons moved on to the next neighboring door.

The first photograph in the above series was taken through a storefront window where the main dragon is on display until Saturday, the day of the Chinese New Year Parade. The Golden Dragon is over 201 feet long and is always featured at the end of the parade as the grand finale and will be accompanied by over 600,000 firecrackers! The Golden Dragon was made in Foshan, a small town in China. The Foshan dragonmasters formerly made all the costumes for the Cantonese opera, and the Golden Dragon bears many operatic touches, such as the rainbow colored pompoms on its 6 foot-long head. It is festooned from nose to tail with colored lights, decorated with silver rivets on both scaly sides and trimmed in white rabbit fur. The dragon, made on a skeleton of bamboo and rattan, is in 29 segments. It takes a team of 100 men and women to carry the Golden Dragon. This is also considered an honor to be chosen for the grand finale.

Click on images to see detail. See the red wax in the guy’s ear? The guy has drums and cymbals on a cart with wheels.