Shuren University’s International Food Festival

Guyana Representing!The International Food Festival at Shuren University, the school where Lester teaches and where we reside, was the brainchild of Vincent Chen, our dear friend and colleague at the university. For the pilot version of the festival, all the foreign teachers at Shuren first provided general information about their countries which was used to create large posters, placed outside the library. The teachers also provided information about their local cuisine. Everyone then chose a few dished and prepared them for the student body to sample.

The festival was great success, hugely popular with both students and staff and we hope it will become a annual event!

Recent Trips in China

Capped Off with Yellow Mountain

Since returning from our holiday trip during the Spring Festival, Lester Alemayehu and I have visited a few more interesting spots in China. We thought you might like to take a look!

Heng Dian

The first stop was Heng Dian a small town 4 hours out of Hangzhou. This town is famous for it’s movie sets as it is the largest of its kind in Asia. You can visit famous sites like the Forbidden City or Hong Kong streets all in one day! We chose the local temple and garden grounds for this weekend’s haunt.

Hangzhou Wetlands Park

The city of Hangzhou and our new home has an amazing botanical garden as well as a great wetlands park and some amazing tea tree hilltops, all quite large and spread out in comparison to the small size of the city. We went with some friends to visit the wetlands on a sunny spring day. Their son Danny was born the day after Alemayehu.

Hong Cun – Hong Village

The next location was the our most picturesque stop in China to date. WWe took a school trip with Lester’s workmates to Hong Village and Yellow Mountain about 5 hours drive away. I really enjoyed this particular trip, and despite the incredible crowds, I still think it was totally worth it!

Yellow Mountain

Last but not least, the amazing Yellow Mountain. Our timing was perfect. The weather was gorgeous, and the clouds delicately wrapped mountain peaks, making for excellent pictures.

 

3 Countries, 2 Beaches and 5 Cities

IMG_2627Lester, Alemayehu and I went on an exciting tour of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia over the Chinese New Year Holiday. The best document of the trip is on Facebook, click on the albums.

We have been traveling around Asia for 5 years now, and this last trip was our most ambitious yet. From Hangzhou, China to Malaysia. First Kuala Lumpur, then Pangkor Island and Melaka, We could use one word to describe Malaysia… SWEEEEEET! We then took a bus to Singapore, and Lester had quite a harrowing experience at the border. Alemayehu and I with our American passports were allowed in without question, but no-one had heard of Guyana, and after learning where it was, they apparently could not figure out why he would want to travel all the way to Singapore. We were shocked and disappointed at this treatment, especially as it was Lester’s second time in the country. He represented Guyana at an international Commonwealth Youth Parliament event. After 3 nights in Singapore at the home of my friend and teacher Cai Qing, we finally moved onto Indonesia. It had been a lifelong dream of mine to visit Indonesia and learn more about batik. In Yogyakarta, I spent a day creating my own batik design with some professional batik artists. We then flew to Bali and spent a few thrilling days on the beach there. Alemayehu learned to swim in the pool of the hostel! He had been on the brink of swimming by himself after swimming in the pool of our last apartment and on our last trip to the Philippines. We finally coaxed him into taking the plunge! Our last stop was Jakarta where we did some shopping for gifts.

It was an amazing trip, and we learned a lot about Asia, this sort post really does not do it justice at ALL. If anyone would like more details, let me know.

My Third Marriage

Objects Used in the Project
Recent Performance Projects Objects
Staging The Other Half 01
Staging The Other Half 02
Staging The Other Half 03
Staging The Other Half 04
Staging The Other Half 05
Take a Picture With the Bride 01
Take a Picture With the Bride 02
Happy Halloween Grrrr!

Third time’s a charm they say, and I wholeheartedly agree. Although I’ve been married 3 times  I still have the same husband. Our first wedding was in Ethiopia during the new millennium celebration in September 2007, the beginning of the year 2000 according to the ancient Ethiopian calendar. We were married again that same year in New York, the most legal, even if less festive celebration. Our marriage is a happy and fruitful one. So why get married again?

My third marriage was not to Lester. I committed my life in a formal way to the activity that has been the driving force of my life for as long as I can remember. Creating Art. In the performance piece “The Other Half” I wore a wedding dress to show my commitment to the solemn thank-less duty of producing artwork.

The dress I wore is store bought off the rack in China, but very special. During the performance while wearing the dress, I asked the audience to go underneath my shirt to see what makes this ordinary dress  really unique. Underneath is a collection of objects and materials arranged to tell a story of my recent journey as an artist. The audience is invited to spend time and explore all the nooks and crannies, take what they can remove , and photograph themselves with me from my most intimate side.

I guess the reason I was thinking about wedding dresses is because Lester and I have started an online store selling dresses for brides, bridesmaids, flower girls and mothers, all made to their size. Check it out. Tell your friends and their friends. You could even become an agent and make some money. Click on the link to visit the site: www.weddingdressforyou.com.