“The Ride” – The Only Moving Theater in the World

We went to the only moving theater in the world – “The Ride”. Whoever comes up with this idea must be a genius. All the audience sitting in a moving bus, which is very different with the normal ones. There are glass windows on one side and no windows on the other side. Everyone faces the glass windows instead of the driver. The audience sees clearly the views outside when the bus moves.

The guides introduce the history and story of the landmarks when the bus is moving and passing each relevant landmark. It sounds similar to bus tours, right? But what’s different is that all the screens in the bus play the documentary film of the landmark while the guides are introducing the spot in exaggerated gestures and body languages.

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The most interesting thing is that there are “shows” to watch in several certain places. The street is the stage and passengers are co-stars. The actors/actresses sometimes get some passengers to “play” the “shows” with them.

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These two couriers from FedEx did a hip-hop performance. The audio equipment in the bus is quite nice but the aged may find it a bit noisy.

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This singer improvises according to the features of passers-by.

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When we reach the Columbus Circus, two dancers did a short ballet. Some passers-by just made fun with the two by “dancing” together with them.

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Look at the concert of the singer and the saxophone.

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When the bus moves on, if there is no landmark or performance to watch, the screens play the history and cultures of NYC. For example, the system tells you that NYC has 8.3 million residents and there are over 48 million tourists visiting the city every year. Meanwhile, the number of cabs is 13 thousand, and number of taxi can be offered when you need one urgently is 0.

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We can see various passers-by during the trip and the guide would ask who is New Yorker and who is tourist. Well, we just make a guess. Then the system releases the answer, which is “none of your business”.

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The Exhibition of “The Best Teen Art and Writing from Across the Country” in 2014

The Exhibition of “The Best Teen Art and Writing from Across the Country” in 2014.

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Gold Metal Award – Market Street. All the award winners are teenagers.

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This painting is very interesting. Please check how many people are there in the painting?

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This painting, “Watch Your Step”, is an optical art.

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Look at these amazing body paintings.

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Human body

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Installation

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This is my favorite painting. However, it is hung too high to be shot from a nice angle.

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Grandma

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Look at the old lady’s arms in this painting. The title is “She Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve”. It is fantastic, isn’t it?

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This chain-dress is done by a fifteen-year-old student.

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This dress is made of ropes and dried flowers.

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“The Ride” – The Only Moving Theater in the World

We went to the only moving theater in the world – “The Ride”. Whoever comes up with this idea must be a genius. All the audience sitting in a moving bus, which is very different with the normal ones. There are glass windows on one side and no windows on the other side. Everyone faces the glass windows instead of the driver. The audience sees clearly the views outside when the bus moves.

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The guides introduce the history and story of the landmarks when the bus is moving and passing each relevant landmark. It sounds similar to bus tours, right? But what’s different is that all the screens in the bus play the documentary film of the landmark while the guides are introducing the spot in exaggerated gestures and body languages.

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The most interesting thing is that there are “shows” to watch in several certain places. The street is the stage and passengers are co-stars. The actors/actresses sometimes get some passengers to “play” the “shows” with them.

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These two couriers from FedEx did a hip-hop performance. The audio equipment in the bus is quite nice but the aged may find it a bit noisy.

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This singer improvises according to the features of passers-by.

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When we reach the Columbus Circus, two dancers did a short ballet. Some passers-by just made fun with the two by “dancing” together with them.

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Look at the concert of the singer and the saxophone.

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When the bus moves on, if there is no landmark or performance to watch, the screens play the history and cultures of NYC. For example, the system tells you that NYC has 8.3 million residents and there are over 48 million tourists visiting the city every year. Meanwhile, the number of cabs is 13 thousand, and number of taxi can be offered when you need one urgently is 0.
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We can see various passers-by during the trip and the guide would ask who is New Yorker and who is tourist. Well, we just make a guess. Then the system releases the answer, which is “none of your business”.

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My Visit to Ai Weiwei “According to What” Exhibition

Today I went to see the exhibition of Ai Weiwei – ‘according to what’, curated by Brooklyn museum. I don’t really like all of his work, but the following ones are exceptions. For example, this one, themed with ‘moon chest’, is consisted of seven rectangular boxes, each of which has four holes, two on the top on both sides and two in the middle. The positions of holes vary by each box. So if viewing from one hole, you may see a consistent crescent moon shape, it is basically an optical art.

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A map of China made of discarded wood.

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A device assembled by round stools.

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Photos of recording the processing of destroying the porcelain pots that has thousands of history. The processing signifies that many historical antiques have been destroyed in China in past years.

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A stool with three legs. Two of the legs lean against the wall. Smart design.

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Another stool with four legs. Also very smart design.

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This is the piece touches my heart, which is about Wenchuan Earthquake that happened in 2008. As we all know, the fragile construction was the major reason that caused a huge loss of lives in this earthquake (based on the artist, nearly 90k people died). The steel bars here represent those fragile buildings. On the wall there are the names, grades, ages and addresses of 5,000 primary and junior high school students who died in this earthquake. The artist collected all of these names at his own cost. I’m sure you can imagine how much harsh work he paid for this! I don’t think I can even collect a completed contact list of my own friends. Every single life deserves respect regardless how young it is.

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The theme for this piece is “River Crab”, which has the same pronunciation with “Harmony” in Chinese. Another smart piece of the artist’s work! If you understand China you shall understand what this means.

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My trip to Harlem School of Arts in New York.

Harlem School of Arts was founded by an African American in 1940s, which is a non-profitable institution that provides arts training to teenagers under 18 years old. Unlike schools in China, this school charges very low tuition fee due to the fact that it mainly lives on the individual or institutional donations.

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In West, it is very common to see restaurants, boutiques and schools that have history for over 60 to 70 years. However, although China is known for its splendid history stretching over 5000 years, most of our shops and private schools have very short history. Those heritage buildings left by our ancestors were almost neglected if not damaged. As for the newly built ones, most of them have magnificent appearance but devoid of soul.

Because of the budget deficit, American government has cut the expense in public school education. This leads to the shutdown of some schools, joblessness of many teachers as well as transferring of students. In addition, art courses are cancelled because such courses are considered to be “useless” comparing with those “more practical” ones like science and math. As a consequence, many students who are interested in arts have to go to training school like this Harlem one to receive professional arts training. At the same time, the cancellation of those art courses leads to strong objections from some of the parents and scholars. Some scholars are conducting research in arts education and try to prove that children who received arts training incline to be more creative than those who don’t have relevant experience.

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Harlem School of Arts provides professional training including painting, photography, drama, sculpture, piano, drums and so on.

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These are paintings made by kids at the age of six or seven. I know kids at the same age in China who received arts training have better painting skills. Looks to me, Chinese training schools teach too much hard skills, but what kids need more shall be emotional expressions.

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I really like this painting. It seems to be quite simple but you can sense the girl’s sorrow.

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These are the sculptures by the kids.

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This is the performance of musician students. It is essential to have a teacher as company for those little kids. What they need is basically simple notes played by only one hand. This little girl can only play one or two notes with one hand but the teacher would create the melody with his hand. This transforms her performance into a song. For kids at such age, the meaning of such performance is to develop their confidence in performing instead of judging how well they can actually play.

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See how colorful and creative the hair and clothes of African American kids can be.

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Regardless of the nationality, all the parents love their kids with the same kind of hearts

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Washington DC

White house. I‘m pretty sure many of our municipal governmental offices are more magnificent than this one but… Power has nothing to do with the physical building.

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There is a vast green land between the Capitol hill and the monument ~ the national mall. People play sports, vend small items here. A fun place for family.

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One of the scenes I like mostly in the cities. You often see people running on the streets. In my view, body is part of social class. If you don’t agree, please still stay calm.

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Heroes in the history, although we don’t know their names. I just remembered a debate we had in high school~who created the history? The individual leaders or multitudes? Most of time we only remember the names of a few, what about those ‘normal’ people? I don’t know why, when I saw these statues what jumped into mt head was ‘the progression of our civilization is built on the loss of many lives. ‘ That is why if I had a son I would never send him to battle. I don’t care whatsoever the so-called ‘honor ‘ is. Again if u do not agree, stay calm.

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This photo of the statue of President Washington is taken in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. President Washington refused his colleagues’ suggestions of him establishing a military government after he led the troops of American people winning the Independent War against Great Britain. Instead, he retired from his position and returned home to be a peasant. He thought swords and guns should be used only for the pursuit of liberty. Once people won their liberty, there was no use for swords and guns any more. The artist is intended to remind the descendants with this statue that the minority should never monopolize power and they should learn to give up power at proper time like what President Washington did.

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The lady in this painting is holding a withered rose in her hand, surrounded by presents given by her pursuers. She looks at the withered rose, which indicates the fact that one day, her beauty would also disappear like the rose. But where would her love rest then?

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The painter painted his wife and daughter in this painting. However, he left his wife after this painting due to the fact that he fell in love with another woman. As a consequence, the wife in the painting turned back her face, unwilling to look at the painter. At the same time, his daughter’s eyes are filled with concern, doubts and sorrow.

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The writer, Henry Adam, sponsors this sculpture to memorize his wife who committed suicide. But Henry Adam never admitted that the work was done for her. The sculptor shows the relationship between life and death through this work. He intentionally blurs the gender – it is hard to tell whether this is a male or a female.

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Until today, I get to know the fact that this famous design of “LOVE” is made by Rober Idianns. The designer also had not imagined that this work should achieve such commercial success. It is widely used in Christmas cards and wrap-up paper. Due to the fact that the designer did not register for copyright, he made not a single dollar from the tremendous commercial success.

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This designer, Andy Warhol, as well as this work of Marilyn Monroe might be the most familiarized names.

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Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania (2)

Amish people also hang their laundry outside the door, haha! It’s quite similar to Chinese families but not American families. When Amish girls reach 16 – 18, and boys 20 – 22, they will decide whether or not they will receive sacrament. In addition to traditional Christian ceremonies, they must also vow to a series of principles, including the prohibition of premarital sex. Amish people can choose whether or to they will receive the sacrament, but once they do, they must live up to their vows. In circumstances when Amish people break the vows, they will receive punishments such as being isolated by everyone else. Do you think such punishment works?

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Amish people can also choose to live a urban life. When Amish people reach adulthood, their parents will ask about their life choice. In a survey conducted more than 10 years ago, about 2 in every 10 Amish people wish to live in the city. According to a recent survey…… guess how the situation has changed?

 

Amish girls’ and boys’ clothing. There are not many varieties in styles because Amish people believe in simplicity. Boys all wear black trousers with braces and shirts. They wear western suits with ties when they go to Church on Sunday, as to show their respect to God. Amish dressing styles resist any kind of modern element, for example, they only use bottoms but not zips, and only monochromatic clothing but never chromatic ones. All girls wear dresses with aprons, fixed by pins. It looks kind of dogmatic to me; after all, pins are not so safe especially for girls’ clothing.

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Amish people live up to the principle of simplicity even when they decorate their houses. There is only basic furniture, but no television. Fully decorated curtains show that the house owner is not married. Having no television doesn’t mean they receive no information from the outside world; everyday Amish people listen to the radio to learn about the world.

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Amish people rely on kerosene lamp rather than electricity. They invented this “mobile gas holder” to ensure safety as well as energy saving.

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They travel by carriage rather than car. I saw quite a few carriages on the road. Felt like they were living a medieval rural life.

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Night acitivity with local community. The performance was achieved by innovative representatives from every country. In the end, those of us from China sang the song “Jasmine Flower”, accompanied by a gorgeous young man playing piano. I didn’t really remember any other lyrics except the first line……Oooops

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These two aged lady and gentleman welcomed us into the community. Out of their love for God, they voluntarily received guests from around the world. They could have just stayed at home and enjoyed their life, but they chose to spend five tiring days with a group of people from diverse backgrounds, making sure everyone was safe and happy. They only wish that God’s Gospel travelled to more people!

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This guy is from Taiwan, and the girl from Mainland China. Before the performance started we invited him to join us in performance since they were such a small group, but he rejected the invitation without any hesitation. Surprisingly, he introduced himself on stage by saying “I’m from Taiwan and this girl is from Mainland China. You guys all know how complicated the situation is between us, so I’d like to invite this lady to perform with me.”

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This girl is from Saudi Arabia. She tried hard to change the general stereotype that women in Arabic world have an extremely low social status. She said that in her country, women’s life is just the same as women in any other country – they receive equal opportunity in education and career development; they can also hang out with their friends on the street and drive a car. Even the clothing aren’t so different, except that they must cover the head with a scarf.

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Fellows from Japan introduced the Japanese “Toilet Culture”. According to them, it would be a complete enjoyment to use a Japanese toilet: you will be welcomed by music as you enter the toilet, more music as you sit down, and you will be washed with warm water when you finish. Haha!

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A Pakistani man who lived in Israel. I asked him about the their relationship with Jewish people, and he said there was no problem at all living with Jewish people. Politicians and the media retorted their real relationship, maximizing the negative influence while neglecting the positive news. Although I knew that they shared a common ancestor Abraham, I only learned today that their languages, Hebrew and Arabic, are kind of closely related too.

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Egyptian girl talking about current situation in Egypt. Unfortunately my mind was wandering for a few minutes and I didn’t remember anything……

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Linguistic teacher from Russia. He read Pushkin’s poems in Russian. “I loved you one day.”

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Mountain Joy, three hours away from New York by train. A villa in that area costs around 150 – 200 grands. The price is so attractive, compared with that in China. No wonder so many Chinese people are buying estates here. My landlady bought a mobile house for only 70 grands — and it’s permanent property rights! The small town looks like a great place for vocation and retirement!

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New York, New York (3)

Harvard University

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I’ve seen peddlers in almost every place I’ve visited. This man in the picture (doing coffee business) makes his way around the city with his small handcart. He was a music major from Australia. I just don’t understand, why is there such a tension between peddlers and urban management staff in China?

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Boston Food Market

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Lobsters in boston. 20$. Very delicious.

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Boston city view

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New York, New York (2)

9-11 Memorial. The sorrow was temporary for an outsider, but permanent for their families. Paid my respect to the heroes.

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In many parts of NY, it’s become hard to tell whether you are in China or the U.S. All the Chinese people, Chinese languages, and Chinese lifestyles going around here……

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. The stories behind those pieces of china…

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Van Gogh’s self portrait
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More photos from Metropolitan Museum of Art
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New York, New York (1)

Started a new journey in the Big Apple! This was a show for graduate students of Fashion and Society at Parsons. Parsons is one of the best fashion institutions indeed – most of these graduates’ designs are good enough to enter the market. Their works show strong personal styles but are also very practical; they can just wear their designs to go to work/school! lol

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An interesting course at Parsons: learning how to critically coment on fashion design through the study of literature. They learn about how writers contruct the meaning of something, say, cigarrete. A cigarrete has a short life because it will be thrown away immediately after use; usually, cigarrete users also have a relatively shorter life. Meanwhile, cigarettes are companions to the smokers; they make the smokers feel warm and bring a sense of security, especially when people are alone at night. Cigarette is also a way of socializing, particularly among men. Some become friends by asking for a light. The brand of cigarette can signal certain social class.
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An excellent writer can construct numerous meanings out of a single piece of cigarette. The same goes for fashion design. Being a fashion commentator is analyze the stories behind a design in a unique and multi-demensional perspective. It is not about how the designers create it, but how the viewers understand it. An excellent design needs no words to express itself – it resonates with the audience at heart.
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American Chinese fashion designer exhibition in New York. Jason Wu, who was shot to fame after designing dresses for Michelle Obama
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Jade lai. I never heard of his name before…
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Derek Lam’s work
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Anna Sui’s sketch
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Vivienne Tam‘s work
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Peter som
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Zong toi’s work. Knitwear
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Vera Wang’s gown
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