Beijing to Hangzhou

In March of 2004, I spent a few weeks in China.

I went as a guest of the Beijing Film Academy, a reputable school of film and photography at the north end of the city.

I spent a little over a week in Beijing.  I put together a small show of my photographs in the campus gallery, and spent some time working with students from the school.

Their most famous alumni was the famed filmmaker Ang Lee.  I heard about this a number of times during my stay; they were quite proud of Ang Lee.

And Yao Ming.  One of my translators, an extremely bright, articulate kid, a true patriot, rejected all things American save for basketball.

I spent the bulk of my time in Beijing with 4 students – two young women, both graduate students, and two young men, one the champion of both Yao and Mao Tse-Tung, the other a lover to one of the women.  Together, we walked the city, dined, discussed photography, America, the coming Olympics, and the Great Wall.

I left Beijing for Hangzhou, a lovely city southwest of Shanghai, and home to another prestigious art academy.

Hangzhou struck an immediate chord.  I spent about a week and a half walking the city streets.  Both provincial and developed, affluent and backwoods, Hangzhou embodied an interesting range of expression.

I spent several days walking the city alone.  I stayed with the brother of a colleague, a Professor of Printmaking originally from China.


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