My last week in China was jam-packed and it has taken me time to absorb it all and catch up upon my return to write this post. From Wuhan my gracious hosts placed me comfortably on the fast train to Shanghai. This is a city I feel comfortable exploring on my own.
I stayed in the usual hotel, a bit crusty on the edges but convenient and clean sheets and towels, in the French Concession. This allows me to be near my friends at the Pottery Workshop and I so enjoyed having time with Dryden Wells and Gao Yifeng
It is also close to the subway and many areas of interest. In a quest to buy some gifts I was upset to find many of the little markets I used to shop in are now large malls and shopping areas with Prada, Gucci and other designer stores. Those of you waiting to visit China need to hurry – things change annually and though the lives of the Chinese may be improving in many ways, the traditional cultural is quickly disappearing.
I had a chance to get together with my friend Jennifer Tarlin, Director of the American Center at University of Shanghai Science and Technology. We visited my talented friend Haichen at her lovely shop on the Bund. I spent a day at the Center as well and UF’s Chinese Office, Zhonghua Zheng come to visit from Shanghai. We had a great visit and meeting with their international officer.
That night Janet DeBoos with Ruth and two of the Ernabella artists from Australia came to town from working in Jingdezhen. It was great to meet them as I had heard so much about them.
The following day Paul Mathieu from Canada joined up with us. He, Janet and I left for Nanjing day after on the fast train. Yanze Jiang, one of the ceramics faculty from Nanjing University of the Arts whisked us away to Gaochun, where we were guest of the Gao bone China Factory. Yanze has a studio/residency in the artist village in a park like setting next to the factory. We toured the factory and show rooms. The quality is quite good and we enjoyed meeting the manager and other staff of the factory that invited us to come back and work there. http://www.yanze-ceramics.com/enAbout/
My last stop before flying to Beijing and home, was Nanjing. We went to the University and met up with my dear friends LuBin and his wife, also faculty in the Ceramics area. I finally meet their daughter Donna and so happy to be her Auntie. We all went to a lovely dinner with the entire Ceramics faculty and staff . It was an enjoyable evening and great ending to my 5 weeks in China.
I look forward to returning to China, as I always do, next summer.