Patchwork China—Awards Day

The day after the quilt judging at the Chinese International Patchwork Festival and Tournament there was an awards ceremony. It was a BIG deal with dignitaries, assigned seating, and lots of media attention.

thumb_img_0869_1024My favorite aspect of the ceremony was something you will have to imagine as I did not capture it with my camera. Throughout the ceremony, Star War’s style music was being played, blared at times, in the background.

thumb_img_0871_1024It truly was an EVENT.

Every major player in the festival gave a short speech. Patrick, who was also one of the translators for the workshops, translated each speech into English. He is a professional translator and teaches English at the best high school in Beijing.

Kane was the coordinator we worked with prior to arriving in Beijing.

thumb_img_0872_1024This is Shaw. She is Kane’s boss and the woman in charge of the entire event. 

thumb_img_0873_1024Madame Chen gave a moving speech about how we were at a brilliant moment in Chinese’s history—the moment when they embrace the art of quilting and begin their own tradition.

thumb_img_0875_1024For each award category, the winners were brought to the stage and dignitaries were brought forward to give the awards. I got to give an award!

thumb_img_0896_1024Some prizes included things beyond money, and they were displayed along with the winner.

thumb_img_0901_1024It was super exciting, and I must admit I teared up more than once. I truly felt like I was a part of something so much bigger than a simple award ceremony. I was part of a beginning.

After the awards ceremony, it was lunch time. We ate in this classroom/meeting room everyday. We were served a sort of Chinese boxed lunch.

thumb_img_0912_1024Each day it was different, but equally delicious. The Chinese eat an assortment of things at every meal—rice, bits of meat, different vegetables, all with different tastes and textures. Notice the newspapers–an efficent way to have clean tables.

thumb_img_0909_1024They are not coffee drinkers. The only dairy they consume is a sort of yogurt  you can see Rosie eating here with her chopsticks.

thumb_img_0910_1024After lunch, the first workshops were held. Two classes were set up. One downstairs.

thumb_img_0919_1024And one upstairs. I taught that afternoon in the upstairs classroom.

thumb_img_0916_1024Patrick was my translator. We met earlier in the day to go over a script I had given him. He was very attentive to detail. I truly appreciated his high standards. He understood that there were words related to quilting that he didn’t understand and asked for clarification. He was very good.

thumb_img_0934_1024Working with a translator is interesting—like watching a foreign movie with sub-titles. There is this delay in the transmission of information that feels awkward at first, but eventually you and the translator develop a rhythm. You must speak, then stop and listen to the translation. Then speak, then stop. You don’t want to talk for too long because then the translator will have too much to translate. 

There was a film crew and several photographers documenting the workshop. I asked about it later and was told that the video and photos would be used for educational purposes. This wasn’t in our contracts and felt a bit weird for a westerner—but the truth is China has a very different notion of ownership.

I had brought a large selection of my SAQA Auction Quilts. These are small art quilts made by the members of SAQA and auctioned off to raise money for the organization. Here you can see my students lined up to view the SAQA quilts.

thumb_img_0921_1024You can read more about my collection here and here .

thumb_img_0924_1024My students were fascinated by these quilts. They examined and photographed all of them—both front and back!

thumb_img_0928_1024At the end of class we had a photo session. My students spent quite a bit of time arranging the photo shoot. Every thing and every person had to be just so.

thumb_img_0937_1024The day ended with a large celebratory dinner. Lots of drinking. Even Madame Chen made us drink to the bottom of our glasses several times.

thumb_img_0941_1024It was a great day.

If you missed the first two installments about my trip to China here they are—Patchwork China—Part I
Patchwork China—The Quilts

PS The header image is of some of Madam Chen’s amazing handwork. It features that three stitch stitch.

This entry was published on February 11, 2017 at 11:37 AM. It’s filed under About Teaching, News And Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

9 thoughts on “Patchwork China—Awards Day

  1. What a wonderful experience! Although, yogurt with chopsticks looks a little tricky.

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  2. What an experience! I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey.

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  3. What a great look at Chinese culture, and learning, eating and celebrating. . I look at the faces and see so many young people, and can see how your class sparked them. I also looked at the “class room” set up where they are shoulder to shoulder to sew. That would never do with the middle aged, slightly senior citizen quilters in the US. We are so spoiled with our big tables and cushion chairs. Thank you for sharing this very exciting trip.

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  4. What an adventure you had! I love how the students artfully arranged themselves for your class picture!

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  5. It sounds like a fascinating trip. I envy you your adventure! Thanks for sharing all your pictures and your experience. Did your classes go well? Was it very awkward with having to do that delay with the translator?

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  6. vivienzf on said:

    What a wonderful experience!

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  7. Wonderful! I love that you were able to be really open minded to new and different traditions and ways of doing things. While you have been having adventures in China I have been in Italy. I hope you can check out my blog too.
    https://martharessler.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/the-art-history-minute-2/
    Are you coming to the SAQA conference?

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  8. Georgia did an awesome presentation using photos from your blog on her (and your) trip to China at our Central Oregon SAQA group meeting yesterday! Wow – very cool! Now I am going back and reading the stories on your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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