Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Temple building at Daxingshan with round windows. Autuaumn 2018. Xi'an, China #through_the_travel_lens #igworld_global #buddhism #xian #chinatravel #chinagram #autumn #architecture #visit_shaanxi #miracleglobe #Daxingshan #temple #simplybeautiful #autumn #autumn🍁

Monday, November 19, 2018

Di Shu, Water Calligraphy in the Park

In several spots within Xingqing Park, I spotted some people, mostly elderly gentlemen, doing a curious form of painting. At the end of a metal rod was a flexible piece of foam shaped to a point, just like a paintbrush. With a dip of the foam brush into water from a cutoff bottle, the man begins his temporary art form. Known as Di Shu, which means writing on the ground/Earth, this art form has gained in popularity since the 1990's, spreading to parks all over China.

The process seemed to be several things at once –meditation, exercise, art, literature, and conversation.  For some, it is a way to celebrate brush calligraphy in an era where most writing occurs on a keyboard. At times, the man was in his own little world. At other times, he engaged with onlookers. After a short discussion, he went back to adding more characters. After a short while, the once glistening characters would have faded, evaporating to invisibility. This reminds me of another beautiful temporary art form of south India - the kolam. Interestingly enough, I didn't see any of the Di Shu calligraphy artists photographing their writing. This further contrasts it with ink calligraphy, which prides itself with long-life. 

Would you expend energy making such impermanent art?

For more information on Di Shu water calligraphy, check out this and this article.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Xingqing Park - with a swoop of a brush

A plethora of activities occurred in all parts of Xingqing park. Two of my favorites included the use of a brush.
In one part of the park, people gathered around a man doing traditional Chinese brush painting. The man worked with confidence as he laid down broad brushstrokes without the aid of an initial drawing. It was quite obvious that he had painted many such horses before.
After his energetic horse was painted, he wrote vertical columns of calligraphy in the space above, also with black ink. Folowing that, he pressed several signature chops into red ink pads.
The artist with his completed horse ink brush painting. Notice the ink, brushes, and stamp pads in the lower portion of the photo. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dancing with the Uyghurs

While strolling through Xingqing Park in Xi'an, I came across these Uyghur ladies. The Uyghurs are a Muslim minority ethnic group found mostly in northern China and the Hunan province. Attracted to their colorful costume, I inquired (by gesture) a request to photograph them. Immediately they grabbed me, signaling that I was to be in the photo with them. Soon a bunch of photos were being taken from multiple cell phones. 
After my photo session was over, I managed to snap a few photos of the dancers before they went off to practice. 

I stayed for a few minutes, enjoying their dancing amidst the autumnal setting.
Nearby, a few couples were also dancing. The sheer joy on this man's face made me smile. Have fun dancing!

Sunday, November 04, 2018

A Stroll along Xingqing Lake

This weekend, I went to Xingqingong Park in Xi'an to see the autumn colors there. This park, the largest public park in Xi'an, is built on the site of the Xingqing Palace of the Tang Dynasty (616-907 AD). Walking through a traditional-style gate, we took a path leading to the main lake. Although it was overcast and hazy, the autumnal colors reflected nicely on the water's surface. Several traditional-style buildings peeked in between tall willow trees.
Traditional-style buildings along Xingqing Lake
Although it was fairly early in the morning, the park was already alive with people. Many others chose to take the path circumnavigating the lake.

Colorful boats, some styled with childhood characters, were parked along the shore. I can imagine that the lake would be dotted with them in the warmer weather.
In the distance, skyscrapers from a modern Xi'an contrasted sharply with the elegant traditional park structures.
Now that I've found this park, I am eager to return to it in the different seasons. It reminds me of my walks around the beautiful pond at Changgyeonggung Palace in Seoul.