During senior projects I will be painting and working with Paul Fujita an artist and skateboarder in the Portland area. I will be focusing on the technique of Acrylic Gel transfers and researching their origins and how they work.
Today we woke up in Bhaktapur rested and ready for more touring. First we ate a delicious breakfast of omelets and yogurt, then headed out to do some final shopping near the guest house. Around 9 a.m. the tour guide picked us up in the bus and we headed to Pashupatinah, the largest Shiva temple in Nepal. When we arrived, we were barraged by a multitude of vendors selling everything from golden plates to coconut violins to ceremonial dyes, all which were apparently hand made, though we tended to doubt this. As we walked towards the temple we saw a number of cremations along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river. Once the bodies were reduced to ashes, the familes would disperse the remains into the river amongst a large amount of floating garbage. We found it strange that a river with such spiritual significance could be so polluted. Further along the river we saw a collection of sadhus (wandering Hindu monks) sitting by small shrines to Shiva. They would allow you to take their picture, but expected a few rupees in return. We saw a large group of monkeys climbing on the shrines, and a man feeding them crackers. They would sheepishly grab the food from his hand, before scampering off to munch in privacy. As we returned to the bus we noticed a few of the monks sitting away from the public eye talking on their cell phones. Once we got close to the bus we were surrounded by more vendors who pursued with more ferocity than before. One particularly persistent man began trying to sell us a trinket for $50, but we managed to work him down to 500 rupees (about $6). As we all crowded onto the bus the vendors banged on the windows yelling final offers to us as we drove off. From there we made our way to the heavily guarded Royal Palace. We were separated into two lines and patted down before being granted entrance to the extensive grounds. We were immediately shocked by the immensity of the palace. Stuffed animals coated the fine floors and walls of the ostentatious palace where the royal family had been massacred by the crown prince in 2001. The building in which the family lay was leveled but the foundation remained with signage indicating where they had fallen. Many rooms inside the palace were used for seating and discussion, including books and portraits of the royal family. We were a bit surprised by some of the furniture choices, which seemed to come out of a U.S.S.R. catalog. As we left we walked through the gardens, which led us out of the grounds and back to our bus. From there we went to lunch at Killjoy's, where we ate momos and noodles. After lunch we headed to Tamely (the tourist district of Kathmandu), where we placed an order for our group t-shirts. While David and Craig talked to the shop keeper the rest of the group dispersed to do some more shopping. We bought cashmere scarves and wool shoes, as well as some tasty finger chips (French fries). After shopping we headed back to the Hotel Tibet from the first night and began preparing, both mentally and logistically, for our long trek. Once we were packed we marched through the rain to Fire and Ice, a delicious pizzeria. After eating we headed home and made the final preparations, and now were off to bed.
Walker and Thomas
We're here... I don't even know what time it is... but we're all on two legs. Coming from the Hyatt in Seoul, where efficiency, modern amenities, and breakfast buffets featuring eight courses for each breakfast item (eggs eight ways, toast eight ways, waffles eight ways, dim sum eight ways and so on....) are the norm... Kathmandu is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. We were processed through the Seoul airport in a grand total of about 10 minutes for the entire group... we arrived in Kathmandu after a seven-hour flight, took a 25-second bus ride around the corner of a building, exited, and then entered the line for immigration and our visas. We were in line for over 2 1/2 hours. Although hot, thirsty, and exhausted, our group maintained their perky spirit - we joked about doing a flash mob and maybe will consider doing this on our return venture.
We exited the airport to clean, if dusty, air and hundreds of people waiting outside in the parking lot. Many were day laborers looking to help us with our bags. All bags were loaded onto a bus and we piled in and went on a crazy ride through the streets, avoiding thousands of people on mopeds, bicycles, tricycles carrying construction equipment, with kids playing, chickens, goats, other tour buses, students in uniform, beggars, people coming home from work talking on cellphones, monkeys, and dogs.
Mellow night here... dinner, more cards... sleep
A week later, I finally find the time to write and reflect a little bit about the opening night of my exhibition. Like I predicted at the end of my previous post, it was a long day of work for me. I accomplished all that I had hoped to accomplish, except for the picture frame and the sign directing people to the Dant house. And technically, I only had to put bridges on one side of the screen… Minor details, though.
The tempra painting was super fun. You could say that it has inspired me to paint windows in my house this summer… (Don’t tell my parents). I was lucky enough to have some help too, while I was running around campus trying to find a projector screen.
Oh, funny story about the slide projector. Before my exhibition, I had never actually used a slide projector, so I couldn’t figure out how to put the slides into the carousel. I didn’t get that you are supposed to take out the inner ring, allowing for the slides to fit into the slots. I thought there were all just too big and the wrong size, sooo I may have cut up about five slides to fit before realizing I was doing it very very wrong. It was a good moment for me.
Anyway, by the time 3:30 rolled around, I was in full panic mode. I realized I hadn’t taken a shower in about three days, my caterers were supposed to be on campus in 30 minutes to start setting up, and I had yet to create a picture frame or sign. I chose a fast shower at the gym over the picture frame and sign, thinking that I should probably look somewhat clean for the final culmination of my Senior Project. I even wore a dress that I had found junking around Portland several times before. I figured it was appropriate.
While I was still running around trying to get everything ready, my caterers had yet to arrive, and it was nearing 4:15! 4:30 rolls around, and I’ve gotten calls from a bunch of people saying they were going to be late, including one of my caterers. For a moment, I had the horrible thought that no one was going to show up and that the opening would end up being a complete joke. I had to take a moment to sit in my green chair and breathe, telling myself that it would all be ok, no matter what happened.
And it was all okay! My caterer arrived with food, and some other people went and picked up some light desserts for the show to make up for the other caterers last minute cancellation. Guests began around around 4:45 and 5, and soon enough, the lounge was crowded with people from all aspects of my life, from my mentor and her friends to friends from outside of school. Overall, a good time was had by all. I remember having a moment to myself to survey the room, and seeing a group of people playing cards around the blue coffee table, another cluster of people clicking through the slides in the projector, and other people enjoying the furniture and flicking the cars along the zipline overhead.
Besides the opening being a success, I also have had people approach me about buying more of the furniture! Nichole will be frustrated to know that I’ve gotten a better offer on the green armchair from a certain Catlin alum. I would just like to get the most money out of this as possible to pay back my expenses, so I’ll just let them work that out…
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures on my own camera, so I don’t have any to post as of now. I know that both Vicki and Laurie have photos, so hopefully I’ll have some to post at some point.