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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Into the Eastern World

This update is strictly a shout out to my roommate's blog, Into the Eastern World. He was good enough to put a link to this blog on his, so I'm returning the gesture. He voices more than I do, so you'll probably learn something cool if you check in every once in a while. If you want to see this experience through a different pair of eyes, you can follow his adventure here

Monday, September 17, 2012

To elaborate of my previous post

I've decided to write a little something about the last week and the pictures I put up. If for no other reason than I owe it to my family. First of all- the Forbidden City. Obviously a spectacular place, but to me what was even more striking than it's grandiose interior structure was its existence in the heart of one of China's largest and most modernized cities. Living in America, I feel like the trend for metropolises is for the hub of the modernization and urbanization to be in the middle, with residential and more suburban areas diffusing outwardly. Beijing from this perspective seems to be just the opposite with its conscious choice to preserve its traditional roots. Nonetheless, the place is truly amazing on the inside and is not overrated as must see for people visiting Beijing, however the food within the walls are expectedly pricy for tourist and comparative to typical chinese restaurants it isn't that good.

Then there was Tiananmen Square. It's spacious, and a central tourist attraction as well as local gathering spot with much political significance. If you know the stories of what's occurred there, it can be a very meaningful visit.

The art district we went to is  called the 798 Art District. It's home to many high profile artist's work, some of it surprisingly untraditional Chinese. Unfortunately, there were many great galleries I went into that didn't allow photography of the work, but there was one exhibition in particular that housed huge sculptures of very surreal figures made by Chen Wenling. This work stood out as very bizarre, expressionist, and political. Which are all things that, at least in my mind, go against the stereotypes of a Chinese resident and high profile artist. But I'm learning more and more that the characteristics that once merited these predispositions are dying, especially amongst the younger generation of Chinese.

I will have more to come of the Forbidden City, as there wasn't enough to time to see all of the inner halls that I wanted to see. Until then--

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another week, another update

Another update with a few shots of a few things I've seen this week, once again with no coherent theme. At some point I'll actually have a point to these posts, besides just showing off a bunch of cool looking sites. Until then, enjoy.

The Forbidden City's North Gate

YuanMingYuan Park

YuanMingYuan Park

Inside the Forbidden City

Ornamental Roof Inside the Forbidden City

Hall of Preserved Harmony 

Tiananmen Square's Monolith at Sunset

Tiananman Square

Beijing City at Night

North Gate of the Forbidden City

Sculpture by Chen Wenling

If you read the front of the barrel of this baby's tank, it says Made in China.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The 1st week

The first week here was great. It was adventurous and hectic trying to get settled in and figure out my surroundings, but I enjoyed every second of it. For some reason amidst all of the chaos this last week all of my pictures are of structured things. Strong architecture, organization, and lasting customs. Orderliness is not an accurate representation of my experience so far, but here are some of the things I've seen.

The Freshmen at the Campus do military style marching drills every morning for 2 weeks as part of their orientation into college life.

Notice the difference between the freshmen students and their uniformed upperclassmen.

On our way to the great wall we stopped at this farmers house to eat lunch. They make a lot of great food made right on their land and have a small dining hall for people who are visiting the wall to eat at.

The Great Wall of China. Seeing it with your own eyes delivers a sense of vastness that a picture just can't emulate.

The KTV building across the street from campus. Believe it or not this is a karaoke hall. The Chinese take their karaoke seriously.

An example of Beijing's unique architecture.

Construction in Beijing

A classic Pagoda

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Departing Portland

Leaving Portland and the U.S. tomorrow. Here are a few shots of Portland city. In about 30 hours I'll be in Beijing. 再见美国!

Steel Bridge

Koi pond in the Washington Park Japanese Garden

Portland skyline