ROAD TRIPPIN’///JOSE PARLA, SUITMAN, ROSTARR and DEANNE CHEUK ON THE “NEW GRAND TOUR”…

November 14, 2007  |  Uncategorized

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Shanghai nite vision...

Inspired by a sense of adventure and a search for new knowledge, the like-minded creative quartet of JOSÉ PARLÁ, SUITMAN, ROSTARR, and DEANNE CHEUK embarked on a ten-day trip through China last month called “THE NEW GRAND TOUR,” made possible through support from DIESEL. Established in the sixteenth century, and widely practiced throughout the seventeenth, the concept of a “Grand Tour” 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 “silk road,” 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 “The New Grand Tour” 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 “The New Grand Tour Project” in Beijing. A documentary film on the project by Mark Foster and Rey Parlá will be released in 2008.

(All photos by Davi Russo)

SHANGHAI:
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After a quick touchdown in Shanghai and a guest lecture at the 1933 creative center, it was off to China and a series of harrowing bus rides to the ultimate destination of:

TIBET:
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One of the many awe-inspiring views...

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Breakfast of champions...

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Traditional Tibetan bread. Nothing is taken lightly in a monastery...

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The revered Chief Lama of the Eastern Bamboo Forest...

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Inside a Buddhist temple classroom...

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Practicing Tantric script...

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Brothers-in-arts: José and Rey Parla...

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An artist puts the finishing touches on a traditional Thangka scroll painting...

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that will be displayed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the Buddhist monks in Tibet...

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Parla works out his inspiration on the streets...

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Rostarr gets busy in solitude...

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Deanne Cheuk takes it all in...

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Monks-in-training practicing ancient question-and-answer rituals at night...

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The crew joins the real mile-high club...

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Parla documents the view...

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Ancient prayer wheels...

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and temples abound...

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Parla keeps up his prodigious output...

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Suitman gets held-up by locals...

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And Parla barters artwork for his release...

HONG KONG:
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The final stop...

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Rostarr installation view...

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The crush...

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Rostarr 's African flag...

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Art by José Parla...

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Art by José Parla...

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Federico Tan gets philosophical...

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Deanne Cheuk installation view...

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Art by Deanne Cheuk...

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Art by Deanne Cheuk...

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Art by Deanne Cheuk...

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Art by Deanne Cheuk...

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Rostarr installation view...

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The Suitman outlet...

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And his best (looking) employee...

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Suitman clones himself so he can be in two places at once...

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Suitman's girl goes shrink-to-fit...

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