Posts tagged Twin Cities

More Chinese Students’ Impressions (Part III)

The last of the bunch, our 38 Chinese students traveled to the Twin Cities in order to experience the American “fine arts.”

Mewtwo – On July 28th, we went to Minnesota Institute of Art. This is a great place that we can see many Asian arts including arts from China, Japan and Korea. I’m impressed that both Japanese and Korean arts come from China. For example, there are many Chinese characters in them and I can even understand what’s the meaning of the arts and the thoughts of the artists! It is really an amazing experience because I didn’t go to an institute when I was in China! There is a Chinese ancient library in the institute and I just felt I went back to ancient China. These fine arts give us full of knowledge and tell us what is like before. By the way, nearly all of the Chinese have a Tang Dynasty dream. Not only Tang Dynasty is very powerful, but also it is such a peaceful dynasty that makes most people have time to concentrate on literature and arts. Seeing these arts, I think we should continue creating great arts and take good care of them at present. I’m sure that people will be amazed by these arts thousand years later and they will see what it is like today.

Shawn – It is a perfect weekend in the twin cities. Actually, it was my first time to carefully see, know and feel the American cities. I have a lot of words in my mind.

To see the Minneapolis from faraway, it looks like an island where the middle part is made up of tall buildings. The Mississippi flows through the two city. It makes the city more alive. Besides, many people love riding bikes what makes me feel the city’s vitality.

It was very enjoyable about the trip to Minneapolis institute of art. Because, I saw lots of familiar things which came from China. The Jade Mountain is my favorite boulder in the museum. It comes from Shaoxing in China. One part of the stone is engraved the Lan T’ing Pavilion which is a very beautiful poem. Another amazing thing is the Sun In The Mist created by Monet. He is my favorite impressionist painter.

After that, I went to the theater to watch the show “Noises off”. I love the theater. I looks like the same one what I have seen one in the film. Many old people sat there and the red curtain made a strong sense of esthetic. Although the fast words are hard to understand, I knew the meaning of show. The performances are very humorous. Their expressions are very plentiful.

Flora – This weekend, we went to the Twin Cities to explore the fine art of this state. Our first destination is the art museum. I did not have the chance to see all of the valuable arts, but what made me so excited was the Chinese work of art. Such as the painting of Tibet, the sculpture of Lan Ting Su, the ancient house in China and the pottery figurine. Although I am familiar with all of them, I cannot tell what the truth within them. I am proud to these arts that are cherished in other land. In the past, I can only hear these introduction in Chinese. This is so special for me to hear what the foreigners think about China.

In the afternoon we went to the theater to watch the sunshine boys. It was a living theatre with the real props. We can see them as it happens in our real life. In China, the drama is played by different voices and special gestures to present different feelings. They are totally different

Angela – Experience in Twin cities – This weekend, we went to the twin cities, which is a very beautiful city. The first day, we visited the Art Museum. There are various kinds of art from different countries. Jade-ware and calligraphy are from China, some painting about middle-time in Europe from Europe, some traditional things from Japan, etc. The person who explained cultural relics to us explained the STORAGE BOTTLE with 6,000 old first. It was used to be full of water. The second was DEEP JAR, which was used to cooking, is 4500 years old. From Japan, the docent told us the STEM CUP, which is beautiful with 3000 years old. Because of the limit of time, we knew a bit about our own culture.

Iris – We came to Minneapolis for three days, that was so clean and prosperous here.

About the art museum, the docent led us to see many kinds of culture, such as China, Japan, Europe and so on. Actually, I saw some different things of China in this museum from I had seen before. For example, ceremonial stem cup is I haven’t see it before, which is made for sacrifice between 3000-2000B.C. It was made from soil but looks like metal, that is amazing. Another things were also amazed us, dress of middle century Europe, statue, Lan Ting Su on the Nephrite etc.

We saw the play “Noises off” that was unexpected. When I saw act one, I thought I can’t understand what they wanted to show, but in act two and three, I knew what their means, it was depends on the actor and actress wonderfully performance.

Kevin – Today I have watched a living theatre called ‘The Sunshine Boy’. I felt very excited to watch such a funny play. What gives me a good experience that not only the funny story line, but also the difference between the American arts and Chinese fine arts.

Although it was the first time I watched a living theatre in a theatre and no experience about Chinese fine arts in a living show, I also feel the difference on the way that the actors and the actresses show the story lines and characters’ personality. The way that American actors show is very flexible. They create and design their own actions with their own life experience. So I think that American arts are closer to the real life and make audiences enjoy the show. On the other hand, the way that Chinese actors show is very rigid and traditional. Actually most of these kinds of actors have their own master. They have studied a kind of Chinese fine arts when they are very young. The styles of arts what they show has been rooted. So the arts what they show are nearly the same as others. The other reason what l think is that most of these Chinese fine arts’ fans want to recall the memory they have. So we can understand the phenomenon that only the old man go to the theatre to watch a show.

To sum up, different cultures make different styles of arts. All we need to do is just that show your respect and enjoy it .

 

 

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Chinese Students’ Impressions (Part II)

More impressions from our 17-18 years old Chinese students who went through a four week orientation program. Some of their insights in their reflection pieces are helpful to see what they understood.

 Jessica – We went to the Twin Cities to experience American fine arts. On the first day, Tao Ya showed an art building to us after dinner. The building is really fantastic. The wall of building looked like a HUGE music score. After that, we enjoyed a countryside concert. Some kids and elderly danced with the beautiful music, which is quite different from in china. Because I seldom see a band playing music in a garden in China, even people danced with music in public. May be people who are in American culture are open and willing to express their mind, while Chinese are pretty bashful. On Saturday, a worker in museum showed us around the museum in Minneapolis. We looked at oil paintings, sculptures, impressionist paintings, and modern American kitchen that I just saw in textbooks in china. I love oil paintings best, because it looks like pretty real and the character in the painting seems to be alive.

Also, my another favorite part in the museum is Chinese wall painting that was in American living room. The Chinese wall painting described a scene that many families celebrated Chinese traditional festival, which I never saw in Chinese museum before. And the wall painting was completely made by hand, which is a masterpiece. On the last day, we went to the science museum in twin cities, which is quite similar with shanghai science museum. Everyone could experience the power of science and learn much science knowledge when they played the games. We all enjoyed it! The last part in our travel was to watch play —-“sunshine boys” that I am also confused about most. Because elderly prefers to watch this kind of play and I didn’t think the performance was funny when most of audiences laughed. Worse still, I can’t understand it totally.

However, I consider why I can’t understand their laughing is that we are in different culture. Therefore, I should learn more about and experience American native culture in following study life and then American fine art can fit into my future life.

Freddie – Wow? I just have to say wow! Big city of Minneapolis is different from Morris and Shanghai. I could see Chinese art in Minnesota. It reminded me of china. There are many Chinese style in museum. For example, Tang Dynasty picture and some western art combine Chinese element. In the big part of the fine arts in Minnesota, they are similar to the Chinese culture. They combine many different culture from the all over the world in the museum included West Africa, native America, western painting and the big size of Chinese drawing and cutting. Especially my favorite is painting. Monet and van Gogh. Their impressive style contain their own ideas. In the future, I will choose the painting as one of my art general course to achieve my childhood dream. Maybe I have forgotten something about skill, but I want to learn.

Another interesting thing is play, which is named “Noises off.” It is ridiculous when I have seen it. It is a play within a play and I think it is better than the other one. It is a sexy, funny play that talked about rehearsal and performance in the front of the stage and behind the stage. It came from England and actors in the play have different interesting accents which made us laugh. Compared to China, it is more open than China’s Opera. China is more focused on the meaning and Western culture is more concerned about the reality and style.

Thus, fine arts are important part in our life. Out of our life, we could use it for our interesting and improve our ability in arts and personality.

Emma – It is known to all that China has a long history. So there are many fine arts in China actually. To tell the truth, there are many differences in fine arts between China and America. In China, Peking Opera may be the most famous arts among old people especially people live in Beijing. As a teenager in Shanghai, I admitted that I am not very interested in Peking Opera because I do not really know what the opera talks about.

To some extent, I prefer American fine arts especially oil paintings and sculptures just like we saw at this weekend in the Arts Museum. I think oil paintings are very different from Chinese paintings. Basically, if you draw oil paintings, you should pay more attention to people’s eyes and expression. But if you draw Chinese paintings, you may focus on the whole thing, not a part of them. I think it is very interesting to notice people’s expression from the paintings. As for sculpture, I consider that some masterpieces in the museum are very wonderful. I think that from arts, we can see the development of the civilization of society.

Cynthia – We went to Twin Cities this weekend to saw some fine arts and i was so excited about it. We went to Minneapolis Institute of Arts to saw some paintings and sculptures which are some age-old arts, modern arts and super modern arts. For example, when we went upstairs we saw a very cool and super modern concept vehicle, and the most amazing thing is that this concept vehicle was designed in 1936 and manufactured in 1948. About age- old arts there are two paintings make me impressive, one is Vincent van Gogh’s Olive Trees and Claude Monet’s Sun of the Mist.

I must say in the US, about the cultivation of the art is more wonderful than in China. Maybe this situation occurs because China has too many people and it is not easy for the authorities to manage it. However, the government is trying to make some changes and people have already seen some changes. That makes me feel happy.

In my opinion, I think fine art is a very interesting and useful thing because while you focus on a fine art you will easily learn something about life and when you having some bad emotions, art can help you calm down. Maybe art won’t become my major but I’m glad to take some art classes and the last thing i want to say is this weekend is wonderful, thank you.

Joe –  The Minneapolis Institute of Art gallery is nice place to visit. There are many paintings, sculptures, and Chinese fine arts. I saw a sculpture called Veiled Lady in 1860 which made by Raffaelo Monti. In Italy during the 1700s, sculptures of veiled figures peaked in popularity, to delicately carve marble. Nearly 200 years later, artists revived this technically demanding tradition in reaction to the academic neoclassicism of the early-19th century. Raffaelo monti is known for marble busts draped in filmy veils such as this one, subtly modeled to suggest feminine allure. That is the background of this work. The Chinese fine arts are very nice. I am glad to see my country’s things and I think in the future everyone will enjoy its beauty.

Sunny – This weekend, we went to the Minneapolis, it was sunny day! We went to the art gallery, it was an amazing place. I saw many interesting things, like famous paintings, sculptures, models and so on. Also we saw how ancient American people live and the tool that ancient Indian had used. Besides I learned more about the culture from different countries. What I most liked was the painting from Monet. Monet studied the haystacks during different seasons as the sunlight changed in intensity. This picture showed the autumn dawn, at a moment when the sun burns off the rising mist. The haystack is seen against the morning light, which forms a halo around it, it looks so beautiful

Allen – We visited Minnesota Institute of Arts. It is a museum which shows some countries’ cultural relics. Chinese Jade, Tokugawa warrior armor and so on. They all widened our horizons. On Sunday we went to visit the Science Museum. At the very start I didn’t expect I would see something special in this museum because I have never seen several museums before. But that day saw the mummy that I always wanted to see. Although it was a priest and not the pharaoh I expected. But it was the first time I saw the mummy with my own eyes. That afternoon we went to watch Noises Off. To be honest it was the most interesting drama I have ever seen. The actors and actresses acted vividly.

George – The Difference of Culture – “Sunshine Boys” is a pretty good and famous opera in America. American Opera is more different with Chinese Opera. There actor and actress won’t make up and wear special clothes, they were very relaxed and casual. And the actor always made the audience happy. Just like “wait a minute”,”wait a minute” The old actor kept saying.

Before the play started, each audience member turned off their mobile phone and did not chat with each other in the Caribbean Lounge at intermission. If you watch the Beijing Opera in China, you will find many young people are eating food and see themselves’ mobile phone. Maybe, some people will snore when the opera has begun. In this many things, we can find American pay closer attention to personal behavior in public place.

 

 

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Geocaching (Part II)

I suppose geocaching is for the yuppies to enjoy who own a Garmin GPS.  Also, for those computer geeks who live in the Twin Cities and other urban areas of the U.S. and Canada.  This phenomenon has spread throughout the world and there are different versions of it which started in 2000 after Y2K (remember that scare?).  The “Planet of the Apes” movie promoters began a kind of scavenger hunt with finding things from the movie located in different places.  Many different themes and varieties of geocaching, some are exclusively for kids, others are more challenging.  Needed: computer to check website for where the treasures are stashed, GPS and then good hiking boots to muck about in the woods.

The general rule of thumb for geocaching is to find the cache, replace something of equal or greater value in the container and sign the log book.  I had seen a name that had been written in as early as 2004 on one of the four places we located the other day.  Some are spoilers of this game who take the cache away from the location and then the computer website has to say that it is compromised.  Those people who do that are called “mufflers” if I understood my sister correctly.  She said that there is a city-wide family event coming up with a kind of competition to see who can find the most in the given amount of time. 

I think it is great that parents are doing this activity with their kids and they all LOVE it.  The good thing is to do these hunts in early spring before the leaves open out and the woodticks come out which makes it a bit more intimating.  How I HATE wood ticks!!!  LOVE my nephews, however!  Good work guys on finding the caches (pronounced cashes)!

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Geocaching with my “geek” nephews in Twin Cities

Getting out into nature after being cooped up in a plane or airplane seemed to work wonders for me yesterday!!!  What a very beautiful spring day in the Twin Cities to share with my two nephews.  We found four sites and the boys had a blast looking through the contents in the camoflauged container and signing their names off on the little booklet included in the ziplock bag.  I actually spotted the fourth one nestled under a tree when we went on our second hunt.  The names scribbled in the booklets are telling:  taconite, Momandson2006, timbrwlf, picke explorers , richrick and many others.  This has been going on for years and really picking up in other parts of the country.  My nephews just came back a month ago from Florida and they did geocaching there as well.  Looking at a map, you don’t see much going on in North Dakota or South Dakota yet but it is BIG in the Twin Cities. I looked at a world map and I didn’t see Kazakhstan on the website for geocaching. The purpose behind doing these treasure hunts and finding the stash using a Garmin GPS is toGet geeks away from computers and out into the real world!!!”

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