Hello from China!
We are 2 1/2 hours northwest of Beijing in Heibei provence.
My daughter and her hubby, Rich live here and teach English as a foriegn language.
A few quick notes-
Two days ago, we were in Beijing at the Forbidden City and Tianeninm Square- that was awesome. Of course here no official word is mentioned. The square is huge!!!!
I will be doing some workshops here with the emphasis on fun and education.
There are more basketball hoops here than in the States....with Yao Ming, the country has taken to basketball in droves.
Okay this is “take two” ….
Internet here can be tricky!
As I was writing my last post- Violet- the work unit leader, here at the school came to discuss my schedule.
So tonight, I have two classes to visit and talk animation or show some work or draw. In these situations I always play it by ear and am prepared for anything.
By the way… on the way here – at the S.F. Airport, I saw a fellow up ahead in line in a Hawaiian shirt and a CARS baseball cap…so, I went up and introduced myself to John Lassiter. I didn’t expect to see him in line. Lassiter is so low key- he is easy to miss in a line.
As I mentioned before, the entire country here is basketball mad. That’s all the boys want to play- courts are everywhere! Unfortunately, they try the moves the folks in the NBA perform – they need more focus on fundamentals.
Being a BIG basketball fan- in stature and enthusiasm, I went out and shot some hoops with the kids- and handed out a few hoop tips along the way.
We went grocery shopping today- the cab ride for three was 1.10 (10 juan). Last night we invaded a local “western” eatery. I don’t eat much steak – but at 2.80 for a tenderloin…it was hard to pass up! The logo for the place was FRIDAYS- like the American chain – but not! The meal was very good.
The funniest rip-off was at the grocery- there was an oatmeal package with a QUAKER fellow- who was Chinese in Chinese garb with a “thumbs-up” sign. The Quaker hat was exactly like the fellow’s in the States.
China, that's cool. I've got a good friend who was born there and now lives in Germany. Did you know the government in China recently passed a law banning foreign animation productions from prime time program slots?
One of the many places I would love to go to.
Bring us back some food!:D
Do they do take-out? ;)
Yes, they do have TAKE OUT!
I am about 12 hours ahead of the East coast time (and 15 hours ahead of Pacific)
The night we arrived, Rich and I walked down to the market area and bought some Chinese dumplings from a local vender. It is really interesting to see your "kids" metriculate in another society in a foriegn.
While in Beijing, as we watched a CNN report about the anniversary of Mao's passing- at a sensitive part of the report- the TV went blank- after the report CNN came back on the air...interesting moment.
Yes Jabber, AWN reported last week that China plans to produce 70,000 minutes of animation this year. Product from overseas has been prohibited in prime time slots on TV. To be fair, Ireland did pretty much the same thing over ten years ago- as have other countries. You can support an industry if you allow too many imports or too much overseas production, Gee, I wish the U.S. would do that more...
I visited two classes last night- I drew and talked - these were English classes not art classes- they will come later in the week.
I saw a report about the Chinese animation industry on Arte and that's where the new law was brought up. I first chuckled a little, seeing how so much foreign work gets outsourced. In fact, according to the Arte report not all studios in China are happy with the government's decision, probably because they rely so heavily on that stuff.
It would be really neat to get some genuinely Chinese animated shows here, though, something to counter the overwhelming Japanese trend a little maybe. I've been waiting for a long time for a modern "Journey To The West" production. It's such a classic legend and I think a LOT of fun stuff could be done with its characters. The Monkey King is a popular figure in Chinese literature and theatre and very appealing to children.
Last Night we were treated to a banquet as the guests of honor at a rather large local restraunt. It was simply amazing! The head of the school is also the party secretary was our hostess and what she says goes.
The table was about 8-10 feet across (a circle) and they ordered everything but the kitchen sink...and we ate it. This was my first time eating jellyfish - I think it's an aquired taste!
They must have ordered 20 dishes for 9 people. Only people who didn't drink or smoke were invited. The meal lasted three hours and was incredible! Evidently, the Chinese want left overs at every meal to show they have abundance. They gave us the "abundance" to take home - ( is that considered carry out).
There is no drinking or smoking age over here- so almost everyone of every age smokes and drinks (except us).
The taxi cabs continue to be organized chaos! They use their horns to let the cyclists and buses and moped people, etc.and peds know where they are and that they are coming through. Never any accidents- just organized chaos. I have seen three taxi's abreast pass a bus on a two lane (one lane each way) road. with peds and cyclists- unbelievable!
If you get a free minute I'd love to see one of your landscape sketches of this new atmosphere.
I will put up some images when it is possible. The computer I have access to does not have the necessary software to up load pictures or artwork.
I will say that other than very specific gardens and parks- the area has a very gritty feel to it. The people are the story. They are warm and hopeful and in some cases resolved- some resolved to improve and some resolved to their current situations.
The classes I have spoken to each have about 60 students - thats for high school level. The city here is small by China standards- only 4.5 million prople in the area. Remember China has 1.3 billion people and couples are limited to one child per family.
You don't need any special software to upload picture files - just include it as an attachment to your post.
China and the internet are a little different than the rest of the world DSB. There are filters and censorship in place that determine the interaction on the internet.
How many Chinese nationals do we have on AWN?
Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.
You're right Phacker; it is different in China, but he seems to be able to post O.K. I'm just making a suggestion based on what he said. If some filter strips off the attachment, then that's a different story.
You take the best trips Larry! I'm glad you're having fun and look forward to hearing more about China! :D
"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane
If he has no way to scan his drawings or get a digital image of it...
...Then that would be another story. But that's not what he said...
im from china.;)
im not fresh here. but it's my first reply.
because i know english a little.
im an animator in china.
yes. Our goverment begin to protect the market of the national animation this year.
it is a good news for me. it means ,maybe , i can survive depending on making cartoon. that was a little hard once more.
but there also have so many other difficulty. such as, animation education, young man with ability, money , perfect circumstance of business . etc.
there are a long way to go. i wish one day we will make some good animation movie just like the lion king or shrek.
welcome to china. to beijing. 2008:D
Wecome Sooooooo, I hope things work out for you.
Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.
Sooo, welcome, your English works very well for me!
Do you like Chinese animation on TV?
Your trip sounds nice,
I lived in China and taught English for 2 1/2 years or so, including a year in Beijing. There is not too much going on in terms of art there, and not much animation either. They do have some really cool cut out animation from the 70's, but I haven't seen anything distinctive that was made recently.
By the way you are in Hebei province not Heibei. "He" meaning river, "bei" meaning north. The lanscapes are beautifull all over china but I particularly like the area outside Beijing in winter, where you can go to see the unrestored great wall, it's very dry and desolate.
If you get a chance head out west to Sichuan province that's where I lived most of the time I was there, it borders on Tibet and it has some of the most striking wedge shaped mountains, not like the lumps of dirt we have here in the US.