As I go to the sculpture park today the “Visionary” head was already loaded in the truck with Kim’s from Korea and Marco’s from Serbia. Marco was saying a few choice words in Serbian to the workers who had cracked one of his pieces by handling it carelessly. He unloaded it while they finished loading Kim’s granite base elements. Angela and I found the paint I had used yesterday, a mixing bowl, a few brushes and caught a cab to the Government Building where the new four acre Changchun International Sister City Sculpture Park was located. After they placed Kim’s elements the workers flipped the rails on the side of the big truck and ten of us unloaded and carried “Visionary” to its site on a low slope within a grove of saplings that overlooked a 20-acre lake. It could not get any better than that. I touched up the piece within an hour, photographed it and all the other Sister City sculpture.
After that we went to see Aimee in the downtown library building. Aimee is the volunteer who arranged all my documents and flight schedule for me to be here.
I took Aimee and Angela out to a Hot Pot restaurant as a thank you gift. We all enjoyed it very much. They were surprised at how much lunch cost. It was 178 Yuan or 26 U.S dollars. This was not a big expense for what these two volunteers have done to help me make the sculpture.
Then it was off to a Chinese bank to change my currency back to U. S. dollars before I headed home. After the bank there was a whirlwind taxi drive to the sculpture park to drop of Angela and then take me to the hotel to shower and change into dress cloths in 15 minutes. I barely got to the bus that left for the dedication of the Changchun International Sister City Sculpture Park. Six hundred folks were there for the dedication. There was the Changchun Mayor, ambassadors from twenty countries and dignitaries from all walks of local and regional government offices. They presented us with boutonnière flowers and English/Chinese Honorary Achievement scrolls. After that we took a stroll through the park with the Mayor. Each of us Sister City Sculptors explained our works to a good size crowd and twenty photographers. We all mugged for photographs with our sculptor friends in the remaining moments before we left.
Dinner was relaxing at the hotel as I talked for two hours with two sculptors from the UK that were in Changchun for the 2nd Changchun International Sculpture Conference. They invited me to lecture at their local universities if I’m passing through in the near future. It sounds like a trip to the UK might be my next UALR Off Campus Duty assignment what with the potential Belfast Ireland Symposium that might materialize in 2010.