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Intercultural lenses: China

Exploring an affinity for writing systems other than our alphabetic language family, such as Chinese, with its ideograms and their age-old pictographic origins, led led to having several trips to China and Ethnic Minority areas there.

Terraced Landscape of Ninglang County, Yunnan Province, southwest China

This included meetings with persons in the Dongba Culture Research Institute in Lijiang, capital of the Naxi Minority people, in Yunnan Province. I was interested to learn about the pictographic writing system of the Naxi Dongba tradition.

Photo, pictographic writing in Naxi Dongba manuscript

A detail from a drawing, “Into the Liquid Rhythm of Your Smile”, 1994, shows how the experience of the Ethnic Minority people and their landscapes struck a deep chord in my work, with images from memory inhabiting my drawings along with Luberon images.

Lijiang, plowing, Yulong Jade Mountain

Naxi woman basket, Lijiang 1989 

Bai Ethnic Minority Woman, Dali, Yunnan