As you may have gathered from my previous entries this sculpture (the first of this scale) has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. This includes my first steps, college examinations (which I failed mostly), my first kiss....you get the picture. In fact this project has been so difficult that I don't think it would have been possible without the help that I got from the Dream Team.
So I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the people that have been by my side for the past 2 months, without whom I (along with my sculpture) would have collapsed long ago. All of these people study sculpture at the local Changchun School of Fine Arts except for Mei Qi, our translator who has just left Changchun to start her studies of French in Shanghai.
Qi Changchun was originally the assistant of my neighbouring artist "Dids' from Norfolk Island. He is named after the city Changchun which translates into peace, love and spring. Changchun joined the team when time got short and the pressure went on. He is very quiet, very hard working and very talented.
Zhang Peng also joined the team towards the end of the project just as things were getting tough and tempers were beginning to unravel. His name 'Peng' soon became 'Punk' which made me giggle and helped see me through the hard times (he never quite understood!). He spent most of his time getting into those hard to reach places inside the sculpture.
Oh what a smile! Chao Nan was my the first emergency assistant to join us and we were stoked. Chao Nan's dream team nickname was 'big eyed girl' which to Janine and myself (and most other kiwis I suspect) sounds like an insult but apparently in Chinese its quite a nice thing to say. Chao Nan is one of those people that is always smiling and laughing, making light work of the day and a joy to be around. Secretly I think she make 'Chou' work harder trying to impress her.
Yang Wen Jian gave himself the English name "Chou" which is not very English but is a damn site easier than Yang Wen Jian. I found out later that "Chou" is the name of a Kung Fu master which is funny because his dreamteam name soon evolved into "Round Boy". This sculpture is as much Chou's as it is mine. He was with me right from the start advising me on the way ahead. We didn' t always see eye to eye and communication was difficult but we got through in the end and I am very fond of him. Thank-you Yang Wen Jian.
And last but definitely not least is Mei Qi, our translator. She quickly became known and 'Super Translator' and we were offered good money from the other artists fro a swap but (of course) refused! Mei Qi is just out of high school and turned 19 a week after we met. She prided herself on being the youngest translator and, in our opinion, the best too! Like most young people in China, Mei Qi is a single child so we soon adopted her into our 'family' and likewise we met her parents are she adopted us into hers. Mei Qi worked so hard for us and worried more for our safety than my Father does back home in NZ (and thats saying something). We will miss you little sister.