Root Art at Shirley’s

Wu Xiao Yon and Jack

Artist Wu Xiao Yon and Jack.

The Shirley Gallery had the opening of a new exhibit, Root Art, on January 12. These are the sculptures of Wu Xiao Yon. They are created from the art of mother nature (and the hand of Artist Wu), that is buried in the dirt, usually unseen. Artist Wu took maximum advantage of nature’s art in his sculptures. Whatever you do, don’t throw that old stump away . . .

Jack is intrigued by the head with the ear ring.

The eagle head in the lower right is part of an eagle sculpture that pictures really don’t do justice. It must be seen in person to be appreciated.

Visit link:Shirley Gallery

Shirley Gallery

72 Jian Dao Jie
Guiyang, Guizhou


Zheng Bo


Zheng Bo has some beautiful art in his magazine (City Archive) and when I met him he invited me to his CITY. I call it CITY because that is what is on the wall of his place. After going through it, I couldn’t really decide it as an office, or a publishing house, an art gallery, studio, or jewelry store. I just call it Mr. Zheng’s CITY.

As an amateur photographer I like to nose around, taking pictures of everything. As Mr. Zheng chatted with my friend, he said it was OK for me to move around and take some pictures. His CITY has a lot of beautiful art, and Miao jewelry. The best description of me, when I’m after  a story, might be like a dog. A dog will sniff around everything, looking for any kind of scents that are a little different. The CITY provided me with a lot of very interesting photos. I imagine every piece of art has a story behind it. I don’t recall any blank walls or empty desks. Every wall has art, every desk has something pretty, or interesting.

20161126_165628I was fully engrossed in something when I heard the click of a camera. I noticed Mr. Zheng was there, taking pictures of me. So what, I was taking pictures of his stuff. He just smiled and gave a wave. I nodded as if to say, “Take all the pictures you want, fair is fair.” As a foreigner, I am often asked to pose for pictures. Foreigners are a bit rare in Guizhou, maybe like pandas. I forgot about Mr. Zheng and his beautiful camera.

As I was satisfying my curiosity about his CITY, I noticed Mr. Zheng’s technique. As I move a bit like a dog, nosing around, Mr. Zheng moves like a cat, perhaps like a cat stalking a bird, or a lion stalking a zebra. 20161126_170406

He is quiet, inconspicuous, and always on balance. He holds the camera stable, and has a solid base. As he squeezes off a photo, he moves the camera slightly for the next shot, making sure that the light, framing, and focus are just right. He doesn’t take just one photo, but at least two or three from a position. He didn’t ask me to pose. He prefers a natural photo, with the subject unaware of the camera. That is why he learned to move so quietly, almost invisible to his subject. I forgot he was taking my pictures, but at the same time, I studied his technique. Just as I am an amateur photographer, he is a pro.

When I came to China I would often ask students what their parents did for a living. Almost always they would describe a parent as either a worker, or a boss. It is like there are only two jobs in China, worker or boss. In the West, we often make the judgment about a person based on what they do. 20161126_165610A journalist tells a story and a reporter reports the facts. A college professor is an intellectual and a teacher, and a student is just learning, An artist is creative, and a publisher brings together all the pieces of storytelling, from recruiting talent to keeping finances in order. A photographer can be like a reporter, or a story teller. 20161126_164944-copySo I had a little trouble putting Mr. Zheng into a category: publisher, teacher, artist, journalist, businessman, or perhaps salesman. He is definitely a worker. He is all of the above. Perhaps a new category, Crossover Master, could describe Mr. Zheng. He has worn so many hats. Describing those activities is beyond the scope of this blog post. I hope to revisit this fellow.

As we were leaving I asked if I could have another interview, because I really didn’t seem to understand enough. He said OK and gave me his name card . . . College Professor Zheng. He said he didn’t have much time in Guiyang because he was busy with his job in Taijiang County. He is Secretary General there.


Art of De Deng — Chan Yi Qi Xi

De Deng is not just an artist. He is a monk. He studies Budha, philosophy of all religions, aesthetics, Chinese Caligraphy, modern art, traditional Chinese painting, and “action art”. Before he became a monk he spent a year and a half helping clean the polluted environment in the Dian Lake, of Yunnan Province. He has tried to educate people about taking care of the earth. I was happy to visit his art exhibition at the 219 Gallery. His current art is abstract style and was displayed on October 18 to 22 at the 219 Gallery on Baoshan Beilu, in the He House Hotel (Heshe Jiudian).





There are too many paintings to show here, but photos of the event are below:

Deng Chuan Qi shown below attended the exhibition of his former student. When Deng was younger, he was a Guiyang art teacher. He inspired a lot of students to become artists, including De Deng. Many of the Guiyang artists of today were students of Deng in middle school. They met their old teacher at the exhibition.  Also shown is Diana, our interpreter, one of students on the island who studies calligraphy, and a cat, who really seemed to appreciate the event.

After the event I was invited to the artist’s home and studio. He has two students living in his compound, which is on an island. Ironically, the island has no water around it right now because recent construction has resulted in the river being drained. De Deng is an environmentalist and his island retreat is no longer an island.