Over a few short days a city that first seemed impenetrably dusty and hectic has become a magical place. Last night Joanne, who is from Xian, took us to where a group of people meet for choir practise under the city walls. The sound echoing off the barrel vault and the park outside clustered with people singing Chinese opera or dancing. Mostly retired people, all of them having fun in the dank sweaty park. They were back in the morning, a dawn chorus of jangly song amid the traffic noise.
Yesterday too, the Terracotta Army. An army of ghost soldiers made by slaves in service to an long-ago emperor with plans for the afterlife. Now reassembled into haunting ranks after 2,000 years underground. Can clay soldiers have souls?
In September 2011, a group of Irish ceramic artists will travel to the Chinese town of Fuping, Shaanxi, to make the foundation collection for the newly built Irish Pavilion at the Fule International Ceramic Art Museum. The Irish Pavilion will showcase the best of the new wave of ceramic art emerging from Ireland, marrying the ancient techniques of the East to our own cultural traditions. It is a permanent exhibition space created to house the work of those ceramic artists whose subtlety, skill and vision captures the spirit of contemporary Ireland. Eleanor Flegg, writer, and Andrew Standen Raz, film maker and photographer, will travel with the group to document the residency. The Irish Pavilion opens on the 4th October 2011.
The blog is written by Eleanor Flegg, whose opinions may not necessarily reflect those of the group.