ROAD TRIPPIN’///JOSE PARLA, SUITMAN, ROSTARR and DEANNE CHEUK ON THE “NEW GRAND TOUR”…
Inspired by a sense of adventure and a search for new knowledge, the like-minded creative quartet of JOSÃƒâ€° PARLÃƒÂ, SUITMAN, ROSTARR, and DEANNE CHEUK embarked on a ten-day trip through China last month called Ã¢â‚¬Å“THE NEW GRAND TOUR,Ã¢â‚¬Â made possible through support from DIESEL. Established in the sixteenth century, and widely practiced throughout the seventeenth, the concept of a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Grand TourÃ¢â‚¬Â was one designed to allow elite young British students the opportunity to learn about language, architecture, geography, and culture by affording them a two-to-four year international trip. Our crew sought to revive the concept of the journey without the elitist trappings that went along with it, and sought to interact with foreign cultures in an appreciative, organic way rather than as touring voyeurs.
Taking off from New York and then Shanghai, the group headed to Yunnan Province in China where they traveled the Ã¢â‚¬Å“silk road,Ã¢â‚¬Â visiting the ancient cities of Kunming, Lijiang, and Shangri-La in the Mei Li Snow-capped mountains of Tibet. Searching for fresh experiences and cultural exchanges, highlights of the tour included meeting the Chief Lama of the Eastern Bamboo Forest monastery, who is campaigning to preserve the traditional Tibetan art of Thangka painting; touring and staying in ancient Buddhist monasteries; art-exchange sessions with local Chinese artists; and visiting school children in rural towns and villages.
The trip ended with a stop in Hong Kong where Ã¢â‚¬Å“The New Grand TourÃ¢â‚¬Â exhibition launched on November 2 at DIESEL’S BRAVE GALLERY featuring original work by all artists on the tour. The quartet will return to China in May 2008 for a full exhibition of Ã¢â‚¬Å“The New Grand Tour ProjectÃ¢â‚¬Â in Beijing. A documentary film on the project by Mark Foster and Rey ParlÃƒÂ¡ will be released in 2008.
(All photos by Davi Russo)
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