Tag: memoir

Wuhua and Me – Yu Jian

Posted on March 5th, by admin in Archive. 3 comments

Yu Jian is a famous Chinese poet who resides in Kunming. This essay is the best homage to the city I have ever come across. It also contains his first poem, Green Park in Summer, written in 1973. I originally translated it for the now defunct Yunnan Magazine.

Though I’ve never left, I no longer recognize my hometown
Passing through this newborn city, I feel like a returning exile
Like a ghost returning to the temple, I still know
where the Li family well is, where the Zhang family garden is
where my grandmother’s rattan chair is, where her emerald earrings are
where the curtain hanging in the darkness is. I still know
where mother’s market is, where the eaves of the city god temple are
I can still hear the wind chimes, I can still see the bats in their grey robes
the sunset over the eucalyptus lake shimmering … Read More »

The Heart’s Journey – Ye Yongqing

Posted on March 5th, by admin in Archive. No Comments

     In 1993, Chinese artist Ye Yongqing penned a memoir that summed up his life at that point, from his childhood during the Cultural Revolution to his artistic awakening and maturation as an artist. This excerpt mainly focuses on his first encounters with Western art and the heady days of the 1980s:

I got good scores on the college entrance exam in the first year, but I was rejected due to the results of my physical examination. I tested very poorly the next year, but for some strange reason I was accepted into a coveted position at the oil painting department of Sichuan Institute for Fine Arts. In my first year as a student, it was the standard training, plasters and sketches day after day with no variation. Everyone worked very hard then, and outside of class, our spare time was … Read More »

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