Art, Interviews, and Xi’an City Wall

Text: 4 June 2012

We visited the village where artist, Zhang Qingyi, lived. He welcomed us warmly, showing us around his house and the village. He also demonstrated older methods for grinding corn and weaving.


Decoration outside of Zhang Qingyi’s home




Zhang Qingyi shared the fruit growing in his courtyard with us.




He even played music for us.
Mao era propaganda still adorns his walls
With the help of women in the village, a traditional ceremony
was performed for us.

We were allowed to try performing the same dance. Not
surprisingly, it was difficult to coordinate so many people who
couldn’t really see what they were doing.

Along with a drum dance.
Zhang Qingyi then showed us his paintings and even demonstrated
his skill in traditional Chinese painting.

While touring the village, we noticed a lot construction
occurring. Roof tiles.
The village was surrounded by wheat fields.
Next we conducted our first interviews for the course. As part
of our learning of Chinese history, we also had the opportunity to
interview farmers in three villages across China on a topic of our
choice. What I soon discovered was that art is a difficult subject to
talk about.

Text: 5 June 2012

The mote is part of the famous Xi’an City Wall. Visiting it had
been a highlight on previous study abroad trips.


As our tour guide told us many times, the people of Xi’an are
very proud of their city wall as it is one of the most well preserved
city walls in China.
Biking around the wall was a little dangerous with sharp turns,
no signs identifying stairs, and uneven cobblestone. Unfortunately,
one of group members missed an unidentified ramp and took the stairs
While she was lucky to only break her arm and get a few
scratches, she was then sent on a journey in the world of modern
Chinese medicine and hospitals. It was quite an adventure.


With our friend sent on her way to the hospital (the ambulance
took 15 minutes in Xi’an’s heavy traffic), we continued our way around
the city wall. In an interior courtyard of the city wall a performance
distracted us from our worrying.
Later that night, we visited the Muslim Quarter again to find
the perfect Get Better Soon present, a stuffed panda! We sent in our
best hagglers to find the best bear at the best price.


The stores and streets were all lit up for late night shoppers

Sorry, I took a break from this while I was in Hawaii. I promise more
will keep coming!