Monday, August 25, 2008

Beijing, Then & Now

I'm not sure what it is about the Olympics. Before they start, I could not care less about them and have even less interest in watching them. Then one night when nothing else is on, I get sucked in. Pretty soon I'm up at 2 am cheering for a team from a country I can't even find on a map, competing in a sport that I didn't know existed. There's no explanation.

It was fun to see the coverage on China though. 15 or 16 years ago, I spent 2 months backpacking through China. I'm pretty much of a purist when it comes to my house. But, this doesn't extend to the art decorating my walls (and floor & shelves). All of the art was hauled home from trips I have taken. A large chunk of it is from China. The art & craftmanship (and price) was unbelievable. With the exception of the rug & the terracotta soldier, I met the Chinese artist that created each item and in the case of the reverse painted bottle, watched him do it.


Jennifer said...

Very cool! My in-laws went to China last summer... they loved it, too. It was for business, so they didn't get to see much, but they experienced a LOT of the culture since they wanted to show it off for my in-laws.

I've always wanted to bring back art from travels! We started with a gorgeous cutting board for our kitchen wall from Costa Rica... and we have a painting of our favorite place to go in the summer (by a family friend artist).

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

We always find the Olympics addicting but were particularly attached to this year's games because we spent just over 2 weeks in China in '05. The art you have is great and you're right, its hard to believe how affordable things were over there.

Green Fairy said...

Those are some terrific pieces.

That's one of the best parts about travel, being able to purchase handcrafted goods and meet the people who create them. It's crazy getting some of them home in one piece, however! I did a round the world backpacking trip in '97, and came back with my backpack--minus most of my clothes, etc., which I left behind to make more room for stuff--and three additional bags.

But the artworks can immediately bring back a memory of a favorite trip.

StuccoHouse said...

Jennifer - It is fun to have decoration that reminds you of places you enjoy or fun trips you have taken. At least in my experience, the Chinese were very interested in showing visitors about their country....we had total strangers taking us to see acrobat shows, out to eat, I got a tour of one of the hospitals by someone I met on the, I'm sure your in-laws had a great time! Costa Rica....that sounds fun!

Tiny Oak Park - It was fun watching the Olympics after you had visited, wasn't it? Of course, I was there so long ago Beijing was unrecognizable to me except the Forbidden City :-) It's a huge understatment to say it has changed a lot in every aspect. China is unlike any other country I had seen in their devotion to art & keeping the crafts alive. I'd love to go back and see how things have changed.

Green Fairy - There are days when I'm feeling a little blue & I'll pull out my photos or look at something I've hauled home and it will make my wanderlust a little less severe. Oh, a backpack trip around the world....pretty much my dream :-) I've made a lot of trips (backpacking abroad - business continetal)....but they are never quite long enough and there is always someplace else I wish I could go (Vietnam is my current goal).

Lol....I had to chuckle about your clothes left behind. That's exactly what I did in China. Somehow I ended up getting a 4'x6' rug/and my other treasures in a carry on backpack....along with two pair of underwear, my contact solution, my camera and the clothes on my back.

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