Dina Merhav, Artist Village Ein Hod - Israel



Chinese Experience

Apparently I was Chinese in one of my reincarnations. Somehow I feel connected to the special Chinese spirit in a mysterious way. Perhaps that is the explanation for my desire to visit China time and again.

My first visit was in 1992, on a comprehensive National Geographic tour. I fell in love with this amazing country especially with the south, with the city of Guilin and its environs. This is an entire karst area of mountains and hills of astonishing shapes. It is reflected in the Li River, where fishermen sail in bamboo boats. A wonderful picturesque, pastoral scene.

I promised myself to return there, and indeed in 2003 I was accepted to the international sculpture symposium in Yuzi Paradise – 28 km. south of Guilin. In this international sculpture park, the sculptures are scattered in a magnificent landscape – merging with it, and at the same time differing from it. It was my second experience in China, which resulted with two sculptures: Bird of Paradise, installed in Full Moon Park in Shanghai, and Fishing, located at the main entrance of Yuzi Paradise.

My third visit to China was in June 2006. I was invited as a special guest to Renaissance and Rising, an International City of Sculpture and Cultural Year of Zhengzhou, China. I participated in a big Exhibition presenting my work Lizard.

It was a wonderful experience to be a part of a large group of artists from all over the world, to view their work and to exchange ideas. The relationships created were significant and exiting. Extra time was used for traveling in the surroundings of Zhengzhou: the famous Shaolin Monastery, the Yellow River and other places. In the Henan Museum I viewed the inspiring collection, in particular the exhibit of beautiful prehistoric artifacts and tools. It was chiefly the jugs and tools shaped like primordial animals that captured my heart.

I felt familiar with the material, which seemed to connect me to my own work of prehistoric animals and creatures. The flight to the spheres of phantasm and imagination is the motto of my work. I draw my images from prehistoric creatures, from a pre-human world where strange beings walked on earth, flew in heaven, or swam in the depth. They bring me closer to primordial basic and instinctual drives. which are common to all existence.

The collage Chinese Experience shows my admiration and enthusiasm for China.

For this enormous, fascinating country, its glorious ancient culture, and clever, hard working people. In the collage my sculptures in China are combined with images of China's most important cultural sites. Like The Great wall and the Forbidden City. My aspirations are for a world with more cooperation and understanding among people. Works of art can be the agents, messengers of peace.

Dina Merhav, Artists Village Ein Hod, Israel July 2006

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               last changed: 06. 12. 2008