Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Haidian District, Beijing, location of the artist residency program at Inside Out Museum, is home to at least eleven major universities. Founded in 1911, Tsinghua University is a public research institute teaching a wide range of academic programs. Within it, the Academy of Arts & Design has a museum-quality gallery, 25 departments of architecture, graphic design, drawing, painting and other fine arts, a compact art supply store, and a bilingual menu at the coffee shop. The building is new and enormous. It was nice to see major concentrations of parked bikes that most people use to get around the large campus. No helmets ever.

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University Academy of Arts & Design

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Academy of Arts & Design lobby

Tsinghua University

Academy of Arts & Design gallery atrium

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Gao Huijun (Heshang) solo retrospective

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua UniversityPrime Minister of India Narendra Modi speech announcement

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua Universitygigantic new theater complex

Tsinghua University

student housing neighborhood

Tsinghua University

if you don’t like the way I fly, stay off the driveway

Tsinghua University

gate to original campus

Tsinghua University

original campus quad

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

roses are everywhere in Beijing in May

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

original campus includes a large traditional garden

Tsinghua University

Confucius, patriarch of education, popularized education for men of all classes

Tsinghua University

peonies were designated the national flower in 1903

Tsinghua University

garden essentials: rock, drum, and elegant stone bridge

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University

artist residency, day 12

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Yiheyuan—New Summer Palace, 3

Yiheyuan North Gate

The view from the top of Longevity Hill of the roof peak of the Guanyin Buddha Temple would seem to be the natural end of a tour of Yiheyan — New Summer Palace — in Haidian, Beijing. But wait, there’s more. Much more. A series of Indian-style temples stack up and over the ridge descending to the North Gate. At the bottom is Suzhou Market Street, originally built in the 18th century to represent a typical water town along the Yangtze River for the entertainment of concubines. Bordering a slow river, it is remarkably railing-free in the least likely place. More than 200 tiny shops with shop keepers wearing traditional clothing make this a living museum slash charming tourist trap. Beyond Suzhou Market Street is the North Gate entrance and return to the 21st century.

Yiheyuan North Gate
Yiheyuan North Gateeast

Yiheyuan North Gatewest

Yiheyuan North Gateimperial roof guardians

Yiheyuan North Gatea steep descent

Yiheyuan North Gate

North Gate Temple looking south

Yiheyuan North GateSuzhou Market Street

Yiheyuan North Gaterailing-free sidewalks

Yiheyuan North Gate

waiting for customers

Yiheyuan North Gate

Yiheyuan North Gatemusician teaching people to play flutes

Yiheyuan North Gateusing chance to choose what to write

Yiheyuan North Gate
Yiheyuan North Gatethe artist signing his name to his calligraphy with a seal chop

Yiheyuan North Gate
Yiheyuan North Gate

Haidian’s own Hameau de la Reine

artist residency, day 10

 

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Yiheyuan—New Summer Palace, 2

New Summer Palace

The commanding center piece of the symmetrically designed Yiheyuan — New Summer Palace — in Haidian, Beijing, is the Buddhist Temple on top of the precipitously steep Longevity Hill, overlooking Kunming Lake. The hill was augmented with excavation of the entirely man-made lake. Photography only serves to mislead regarding the actual effect of contrast of scale, compression and expansion of space, and extremely large quantities of color and ornamentation.

New Summer Palace

central lake gate opposite the Buddhist Temple gate

New Summer Palace

inside the first courtyard of the Buddhist Temple — bronze gifts on pedestals

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

bronze gifts from princes to Empress Dowager Cixi

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

elaborate cloisonné in special blue

New Summer Palace

paintings under every eaves

Yiheyuan

New Summer Palace

a steep climb from the lake to the temple

New Summer Palace

imperial roof guardians

New Summer Palace

view of the turtle beyond the temple roofs — 17-arch bridge

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

Yiheyuan

the temple itself — no photos allowed of the Guanyin Buddha

New Summer Palace

view of the guard’s gate and Beijing Centre City from the top

New Summer Palace

Kunming Lake

artist residency, day 10

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Yiheyuan—New Summer Palace, 1

New Summer PalaceAll that is absent at Yuanmingyuan — the Old Summer Palace — is present a little further west at Yiheyuan — the New Summer Palace — in Haidian, Beijing. The inadequacy of photography to convey atmosphere and grandeur is demonstrated in nearly every picture of my visit. Flattening miniaturization obliterates dizzying heights and magisterial transformations of space. Each set of interior and outdoor rooms spills into the next with unbelievable charm and complexity. The enormous property had been the exclusive enclave of a tiny feudal elite class. Rebuilt by Empress Dowager Cixi after the catastrophe of 1860, it was opened to the public in 1924. Thousands of visitors trample the grounds daily, kept somewhat in check by ubiquitous railings, continuously posing for and taking millions of photographs and videos. The phrase “rolling in her grave” took ten minutes to explain to my patient guide.

New Summer Palace

Qilin

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

Yiheyuan

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

Yiheyuan

a very large stone that caused so many problems it is called “unlucky”

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

the artist’s courtyard

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

marble boat that does not float, for moon festival parties

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

New Summer Palace

guard’s gate

artist residency, day 10

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Catastrophe

Yuanmingyuan

Imagine tours of Buckingham Palace and Versailles leading to graveyards of empty space, vestiges of devastation caused by invading foreign armies. In China, that place is Yuanmingyuan, the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. Its annihilation in 1860 by the Anglo-French and American belligerents against the Qing dynasty feels recent.

Yuanmingyuan

Instead of reveling in 18th & early 19th century architecture, design, furniture, gardens, and vast ornamentation of human imagination, visitors view hand drawn images on stanchions and stone markers that line paths leading to piles of rubble and picturesque views. A vibrant spring day in an enormous urban park barely masks the utter waste.

The torture and deaths of 20 European delegates toward the end of four years of global military conflict — summarized as the second Opium Wars — provoked British High Commissioner to China Lord Elgin to order the complete destruction of the vast site. Victor Hugo’s letter of outrage, engraved in stone, is moving though of small consequence given the violence that took place.

Yuanmingyuan

Yuanmingyuan

Yuanmingyuan

stone markers describe former architectural sites

P5109271

Yuanmingyuan

only remaining original stone bridge

P5109288

stone labyrinth — recent restoration

P5109301

Yuanmingyuan

P5119305

Yuanmingyuan

Yuanmingyuan

Yuanmingyuan

Yuanmingyuan

Victor Hugo and letter engraved in stone in Chinese and French

Yuanmingyuan

confronted by the spirit of the goldfish

artist residency, day 7

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Art Districts

Today Art Museum

Today Art Museum, Building no. 1, towers were not there five years ago

On Saturday I went with the Inside Out Art Museum historian to attend openings in two art districts in northeast Beijing. We saw a wide spectrum of work in museum and gallery visits. It was unbelievably lucky to meet so many people working in contemporary art and inspiring to see the range of their work.

Yue Minjun - Today Art Museum

Yue Minjun in front of Today Art Museum

Friend, Wu-Hwa, Amelia

(l to r) Friend & Wu Hwa, solo artist, with Amelia of Inside Out Art Museum, my guide for the day

Jessie - Wu-Hwa - Today Art Museum

Jessie in front of her favorite painting by Wu Hwa solo show Sheng at Today Art Museum. She heard our conversation about art on the subway and asked to join us. Instant best friends.

Wu-Hwa - Today Art Museum

Wu Hwa solo show Sheng at Today Art Museum

Wu-Hwa - Today Art Museum

Wu Hwa solo show Sheng at Today Art Museum

Today Art Museum

Today Art Museum, Building no. 2

Xu Qi – Spark

Xu Qi — Today Art Museum, Spark : The Programme of Discovering Contemporary Youth Artists in China

Xu Qi – Spark

Xu Qi — Today Art Museum, Spark : The Programme of Discovering Contemporary Youth Artists in China

Jessie at Spark

Li Zi (on right in long dress) — Today Art Museum, Spark : The Programme of Discovering Contemporary Youth Artists in China

Today Gallery

in a private gallery, we all liked this one & someone else did too: it had sold

Wechat QR exchange

exchanging wechat contacts by QR

Caochangdi Market

cab ride dropped us off north at Caochangdi artist district

Caochangdi Market

short walk through a village and marketCaochangdi

Caochangdi Art District, designed by Ai Wei Wei

Cipa Gallery - Kong Ning

Cipa Gallery poster for show of Kong Ning oil paintings 

Cipa Gallery - Kong Ning

Kong Ning oil paintings at Cipa Gallery

Cipa Gallery - Kong Ning

Cipa Gallery - Kong Ning

Kong Ning oil paintings at Cipa Gallery

Amelia & Lisa Lee

Amelia with Cipa Gallery friend

Caochangdi

a nice place to play

Wang Huangsheng

Wang Huangsheng, Anitya at CAFA International

Wang Huangsheng

Wang Huangsheng, Anitya

Wang Huangsheng

razor wire and lights installation for Anitya

Wang Huangsheng

ink drawings in Anitya show

Caochangdi

Caochangdi alleys felt like being in a modern version of Raise the Red Lantern

Caochangdi

Caochangdi

posters for the CAFA Spark show at Today Art Museum

Caochangdi

Chambers Fine Art courtyard

Teapot

a pot of hot water with an excellent meal at the end of a day of art in Beijing

artist residency, day 6

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Haidian

Corp_Park_02

The artist residency I am attending is located in the Haidian district of Beijing. The museum is across from a corporate office park on a short road that leads to a small village. People walk up and down the road to and from the village all day.

Walking

to the village

Village_01

from the village

Village_05

village poultry shop

Village_04

catching a nap while reading and waiting for poultry customers

Village_03

courtyard with new construction in back

Simcard purchase

 purchasing China Unicom nano sim card from a very helpful sales woman

Lunch

menu decisions

The residency program does not provide meals after the first night. So for me that has meant a little bit of shopping and one restaurant meal per day with leftovers for other meals. Today we had hot and sour noodle soup and a cucumber side salad for lunch — no leftovers, no complaints.

Lunch

Unfortunate fish incident

There was an unfortunate incident with the goldfish. Safe to say, it was not as happy with its meal as I was with mine. A respectful burial was performed.

artist residency, day 4

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Beijing: Arrival

hotel, 01

through hotel window downtown

Today is my first day at the Inside Out Artist Museum in Beijing, China. Travel and settling in was easy and identical to any international city. Everyone is patient with my lack of language skills. Directions in Chinese that I prepared in advance are mandatory for taxis. At the end of a long process of arriving, it was nice to come across some old friends in a tour of the museum.

cab ride

from open cab window  — still a few bikes around but mostly cars on the road

happy water

happy water poster

sweeping

sweeping at the museum

jw

john walker landscapes

yuan

yuan zuo landscape

artist residency, day 1

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    2015 Faculty Exhibition
    Danforth Art Museum and School Gallery

    March 1—April 12, 2015

    123 Union Avenue, Framingham, MA
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    Gilbert Gallery
    a selection of paintings and collages

    February 1—28, 2015

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    A Small Works Show

    November 3, 2013 — December 15, 2013

    Danforth Museum School
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    New Talent

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    Alpha Gallery
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    Green Peg Pictures Presents: TEMPERANCE
    Couch with Quilt, my original oil painting, is being used to promote the film Temperance

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