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