China | 25.07.11


It seems that many of the stones the sculptors are working on have been sourced from Shandong, a city south of Beijing. And the three artisans that have recently been assigned to work on my ‘red’ marble’ are also from Shandong. They are familiar with the characteristics of the stone and work it most efficiently. More stone was removed today than has been removed over the past 5 days. The smaller of the two blocks has fault lines which will have to be dealt with at some stage. Also, the blocks will require stainless steel pins to be inserted when the two blocks are joined and placed in a
vertical position.

I enjoy the fact that the artisans have seized on my scale model and constantly refer to it; easier than drawings given the nature of the work site, what with the dust, the noise, the wind and the rain. Actually the work site which was all but empty on the day of the Opening Ceremony is now full so that sculptors appear to be working almost on top of each other. Colourful beach umbrellas provide the artisans with a modicum of protection when it rains and add a surreal touch to the work site.

The young University students that act as our interpreters are fun to be around. They are bright, enthusiastic and really keen to help in any way they can. Zhong,(Dola) my interpreter and I enjoy swapping stories and we discuss a wide range of topics as we travel by bus to and from the work site twice a day.