The Chairman of the Fuping Pottery Village and Fule Ceramics Museums in Fuping, Mr. Su, hosted the entire group for three days. The Village has a hotel and two restaurants, a factory for traditional ceramics and a state of the art industry of bricks and tiles. Mr. Su has a warehouse collection of traditional and historical ceramics and furniture. It was a real treat to wander through rooms full of pieces.
We went to the Yangling Mausoleum of the Han Dynasty – the third visit for me. I prefer these smaller soldiers with their large retinue of animals to the main tourist attraction of the larger Terra Cotta Soldiers. They originally had clothes and arms, which for the most part, have decomposed. The museum has two buildings; the newest being a glass floored one on top of the actual dig. It is fantastic!
I was an artist in residence at Fuping in 2007 to make work for the American Museum. I returned 2008 for the IAC meeting there and saw the museum completed and my work on display. It was great to see it again and to see the new museums built after the American one. There are now about eight museums to visit with a group from India coming next month to work for their upcoming museum.
I was pleased to see a couple of the factory workers that assisted me when I was in residence. There have been many positive changes to the entire village and busloads of tourist come to visit on a daily basis.
The days in Fuping were a nice way to wind down a bit after covering so much distance on the Silk Road. The bus was grueling for typically 6 to 8 hours per day, albeit more comfy than camels and horses on the original Silk Road. The time in Fuping also gave us a chance to see our fellow travelers off as small groups left over those days, with a few remaining to work at the residency for a week or two.
Overall, it would be hard to put a better group of people together to travel with. I cherish the time we had together and the remarkable places we have been. My special thanks to Ichi Hsu for organizing this once in a lifetime trip.