Shanghai Biennial 3 Perspectives

China Museum of Modern Art

We were so happy to met you and invite you along with us on our trip.Curator — Artist — Audience

Congratulations to the organizers and participants of the 9th Shanghai Biennale! It was a tremendous effort lead by the great talent Qiu Zhijie. It was such a pleasure to be a part of the amazing team that coordinated the Biennial. I certainly learned a lot about what it takes to put together this kind of show.

For the Curators a massive amount of research to find artists and funding. They must also coordinate with the museum and the artist. Dealing with all the politics on a personal level one moment and an international level the next. Then, they must carefully consider the very physical logistics of the space and installation of the work at a moment “art” can literally include anything. Not an easy task, but what could be more exciting?!!!

The Artists have to deal with being in a foreign place with tremendous restrictions on their time and often their resources. I am sure the shift of place affects their psyche, but they should at the same time produce their work, re-created their idea in a clear defined way.

The Audience has the easiest, but possibly most important role. assimilating the work. I went to Shanghai on three occasions, and on each trip I identified with each separate role. Each role has it’s own set of challenges. I was neither a curator or an artist, and on my final trip I was there with my family. I therefore identify most with the audience role. The experience of the audience is so crucial. I really wish I had been able to see more of the show, but my 3 day trip was simply not enough time to visit the huge set of exhibits. Art takes time to be absorbed.

Considering the challenges and the vast scale of the project, I have more respect than ever for the efforts of Qiu Zhijie and his team.

For more detail please visit the biennial website:


Happy 5th Year Anniversary!

Paul Family Portrait
The Shuren College Crew
Paul Family Portrait
Paul Family Portrait
Mayehu Makes Friends
Mayehu Makes Friends
Male Bonding
Paul Family Portrait
Paul Family Portrait


I am so proud to be a part of this family! Five years of marriage but we are still going strong. There have been some ups and downs but Lester’s drive and determination is my inspiration. I honor and respect his hard work and devotion to our son. Lester, you are the best thing that has ever happened in my live, right after giving birth to you son. Alemayehu, everyday we watch you learn, laugh and grow. Keep on striving for the best. It is a Paul family tradition!

Boracay,Philippines (菲律宾)

Lester and I are sitting in our hotel room porch, enjoying luxuries banned in China like facebook and cable TV. (Ok Vincient, our trusted Chinese friend pointed out that, technically cable TV is not banned in China…) It’s just like Barbados here, the weather, the beach, the laid back culture. Some would even say the beach itself is better than Barbados and they may have a good point, except for the streams of tourists everywhere, and hundreds of locals trying to sell you everything … food, massages, clothes, boat rides, island tours… Everyday at least 40 people ask us to buy something. We realized that we haven’t learned how to say hello in Filipino, I think it might be, “Hi Mam… Hi Sir…massage?”

But, the beach makes it all worth it. The beach, the weather and the laid back culture. I had a wish to go to the beach. My husband is a good man, he heard me and made my wish come true. As I walk past all the bags, key chains and trinkets that say Boracay, if I squint my eyes it looks like they say Barbados. Except we don’t have that many things to buy on the beach.

The tourist here are from all over the world, lots of Chinese, Koreans and Japanese as well as people from other places in Philippines. Then thre are Europeans, Australians and Americans. Not so many blacks though. The three of as are still too much of a spectacle to be totally comfortable. It’s really hard to get used to the stares and giggles. Yes we are black. No I am a woman. Look again, and you cannot deny that I am beautiful.

I hope you like the pictures, we worked hard on them. We want to remember how nice it was here, and make the memories last a lifetime, cause there are too many wonderful places to visit in Asia, so although we love you, changes are we won’t be coming back to Boracay Island.

We’ve got one more delicious day… but here is a sample of the pics. For more, check out my google album, formerly picasa, now on google plus!

Re-united at Last!

It has been a long hard 4 months, with lots of challenges, but the Pauls are hoping to emerge from this one, smarter, stronger and more united than ever before. In less than a week we three will be re-united under one roof in Hangzhou.  I can’t wait!

From Zhengzhou to Hangzhou

China is a big place, as I am sure you know. It is hard to explain and the contrasts between major cities to someone who has never been to China. I guess the easiest way to explain it is, even though Lester and I never throw our garbage on the street, our son Alemayehu somehow got into the habit of throwing garbage on the floor even in our home. In Longhu, Zhengzhou that is the norm and it goes unquestioned. In Hangzhou the streets are clean with no garbage in sight.

Today we live in a 20 story apartment (with a swimming pool) about 30 minutes drive from the West Lake, and the heart of the city. Everything we need is a few minutes away, including a great daycare, dentist, restaurants, computer service store, vegetable market and department stores.

The contrast for us between Zhengzhou and Hangzhou is admittedly, not entirely due to social and cultural differences. We in fact did not live in Zhengzhou, but Longhu, a small town on the outskirts of the sprawling city.  We also lived on the Shengda campus with everything paid for by the school, surrounded by a cushion of English, i.e. tons of other foreign teachers, and hundreds of eager students. In Hangzhou, we rent our own apartment and all our expenses are our own (a truly frightening thought after being totally spoiled for 2 years). The most conflicting thought for me in my new home however, is the fear that every time I go down on the elevator my skin color may startle someone trying to go up, as the door opens on the 1st floor… Believe me, it has already happened enough times that I can’t seem to relax.

There are not many foreigners in this part of town, and I am rather surprised to find it so. I was sure we would find more people to hang out with and more couples with kids. I hope Alemayehu is not the only foreigner at his school again.

Tomorrow I will visit China Academy of Art, my new school. Now that I am a student I imagine that I will have more time for internet posts and pictures and so on, but maybe that will change as soon as I figure out where the foreigners are at! *^_^*

Love Bug

Hope you can watch this fun animation that Alemayehu found on I also have some videos posted there.

Love Bug

Tudou is the Chinese YouTube. Don’t let the Chinese characters scare you off. We just watched Toy Story 4. Try a search for the movie or T.V. series you prefer and you just might get lucky. Anyway this animation that Mayehu found is short and funny, and loads quickly. A young researcher in the making!

New York to Guyana Then Back Home to China

It was so wonderful seeing everyone over the summer. Our trip to New York was a triumph as we looked back, and took a moment to reminisce on the way we used to live not so long ago. Strutting around the streets of New York without Lester, but with an active toddler, made me stronger physically and mentally. Summer in the city is always an adventure and seeing the city through the prism of motherhood was surprising so. Can you honestly say that you know where all the elevators are on your frequent subway stops? Or have you ever spent time wondering which of the people sitting in front of you and smiling at your baby, may offer you a hand up the stairs when you get off the train?

Most times it seemed that motherhood brought only changes. But then there were all my friends. Mostly unchanged. Living simple, happy, fulfilling  lives. And all brimming over with such enthusiasm, love and admiration for our new family and home.You made out trip back to the Big Apple and Brooklyn special indeed.

Guyana was a triumphant look ahead.  Even as we visited all Lester’s old friends and family there was constant talk of his return. Yet still my first time on that soil was like a homecoming, because there is so much in common with Barbados. The old made new and the new just like the old.

China is our home now, and our return home after almost one year brings a unique kind of fulfillment. As we struggle to learn a new language and to make the most of our time here, we invite your comments, suggestions and encouragement. Thank you for waiting so patiently and thank you for your participation.

FOR MORE PHOTOS VISIT : Interconnex Gallery