Sharing is Caring & Ready for Prime Time!

Chris Low - Posted on 31 August 2011

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Since it's been so long since I last updated this will actually be a bonus two-in-one entry! Enjoy!

Display Poster Click the picture to download a full-sized poster in PDF format.

The last weekend of July was an extremely busy time for the project. First, my mentor (Corey Chan) for the project was coming to inspect my progress and instruct me on the next phase (painting). We had also scheduled our site visit with the ACTA representative (Russell Rodriguez) during this time, as well as our public display.

Since we live over 380 miles apart Corey and I had been relying on email communications to monitor the progress of the project and this was the first time we were able to get together in person since the initial training session. Although sending pictures and relying on email to communicate worked in most cases there really is no substitute for seeing things with your own eyes. I was pleased that overall my work was on target and it was good to get some additonal tips for improving my repair and papering techniques from Corey. One setback was that I had inadvertently papered the mouth incorrectly and needed to tear out the work I did and redo it. Overall it will definitely improve the finished product so it was time well spent to make sure it was done right this time.

We spent a few hours with Russell going over not just the specifics of the project, but talking about the whole history of Lion Dancing and how it fit in with the larger story of the Chinese people. A coulple of other Lion Dancers were able to come to that meeting as well and it was interesting to see how similar our experiences were, and how each other's knowledge of the art added to our own understanding of certain aspects. I'm very thankful that Russell was there to ask probing questions that allowed us to expand our knowledge through mutual sharing. I believe the evening definitely will allow us to pass on a deeper understanding of certain aspects of the Lion Dance as we share the art with future generations.

The second Beyond the Pride Lion Dance Exhibition took place the next day and we were honored to have been asked to share the project there as one of the displays in the lobby. We created the poster above especially for the event and setup a table with the papered lion as well as another frame that had been stripped to the bamboo framework so people could see some of the work involved in the restoration. We met so many people who were interested in learning about our work and learning how to take on similar projects themselves, and it was encouraging to hear that several of them were following this blog. The apprenticeship program is not only impacting Corey and me, but helping others as well!

Unfortunately we were having so much fun talking to people that neither Corey or I remembered to take pictures of the display so the one shot below is just about the only one we have. If anyone out there took some pictures, please send copies to us--we'd love to have them for our archives. Also feel free to leave a comment or ask questions, we're happy to share and spread the love for lion building and repair.

Master Chan Enlightens the Crowd I got to narrate one of the routines during the Beyond the Pride 2 Lion Dance exhibition. Here's Corey talking about the project at our display table in the lobby. photo by Stephen Chew

Corey and I finished the weekend by working on papering some more and going over painting patterns and techniques. He also gave me some homework exercises to train my hand to learn the movements to paint some of the patterns consistently.

I spent the rest of August finishing up the papering and studying the photos I took of the original lion to help visualize what I'll need to paint. I've also added a layer of primer which gives the paint a nice even surface to stick to.

Click the picture for a larger version. Primed and Ready for Paint

The project is about to get a lot more colorful! Stay tuned…

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