A Chinese blogger tells of earthquake heartbreak

May 20, 2008 at 3:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I don’t think many of us in North America are really going to understand the devastation of the earthquake in China.   I have many friends and colleagues that have gone to the Gulf Coast to help after Hurricane Katrina– and are still going 2 years later — to help the communities rebuild.  I can imagine the Chinese government having a massive volunteerism effort… but that is still in the future for now.  

I really recommend reading this blog post: China, Survival stories of the quake.   It tells the stories of many heroic rescues, dying requests, and of course talks about the children and schools.   Here is an excerpt that will break your heart:

The story of a mom:

She was found dead under the collapsed house, kneeling down, creeping and leaning forward, both hands on the ground holding her body….. 

Suddenly, people found a 3-4 month baby under her body, wrapped in a red-yellow quilt. Because of the mother’s protecting, he remained unhurt. He was sleeping so peacefully, making all the people around warm.

When the doctors were examining the kid, a cell phone was found inside the quilt. An already written text message appeared on the screen.

“Dear baby, if you are alive, please remember I love you.”


I love today’s art for tomorrow’s world

February 17, 2008 at 11:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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How cool is this magazine? The 2008 edition of the ArtAsiaPacific almanac, “Today’s art for tomorrow’s world”, profiles art in 63 countries, listing the number of public and private art galleries in each country, as well as the annual amount of art it exports.  The almanac interprets the “Asia Pacific” region broadly, spanning the entire Eastern Hemisphere, literally from Georgia (Western Asia) to Australia (South Pacific).  For instance, did you know there were several art museums in Kabul, including a modern art museum and multiple galleries? However, art exports are only around $42,000 a year for Afghanistan.

You can view the China page online, but it is best to hold the almanac in hand and flip through the pages. It certainly provokes an itch to do some global gallery hopping. Each page has some pictures of art spaces, and an overview of the art scene in the country (except the Iraq page is N/A).   Total value of art exported from China is more than $65million. There are more than 208,000 students studying art at China’s 300 university-level art programs, 28 contemporary art spaces (public & private), 23 non profit art spaces, 250 art galleries and no art foundations.

I find it thrilling to read (in the limited selection of Barnes & Noble no less!) about art powerhouse countries such as Indonesia and Israel in a guide that also has information about the art scene in struggling East Timor.  This is indeed communication for development, promoting each country’s real asset: the creativity of the people who live there.

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