China | 21.07.11

Stone and more stone

It amazes me to see the quantity of stone that is being delivered to the work site in Changchun. Trucks and mobile cranes are continually arriving. People are working in close proximity to each other so that is difficult to avoid the dust, flying stone chips and of course the noise. Why the artisans, who appear to do the bulk of the manual work, do not wear personal protection gear is beyond me.

After only a day the face of one of my blocks of red marble has been smoothed off. Now the second block has to be done. Waking around he site I see how the other sculptors are getting on. Some work on their own with small angle grinders on big slabs of granite while other sculptors working in welded steel need many hands to help move fabricated elements into the correct position.

Today I managed, with the help of my translator Zhong, to find a bookstore that stocked books in English/Chinese. Many of the books by famous English and American writers and poets were aimed at students. It was interesting to see the number of books dedicated to the speeches of American Presidents including Obama. Zhong introduced me to a selection of essays of a revered Chinese linguist, historian and writer which I have added to my library and will read as time permits.