Saturday, July 02, 2011

Third and Final Post: Beijing, Ritan Park and Golou Da Jie

Ritan Park...
Sun Mural, 6 x 15 metres

Kua Fu chasing the sun...

Beijing was a whirlwind: two weeks of appointments, galleries and on a fine Sunday morning, a memorable bike ride to Ritan Park. A full hour in flowing traffic through Beijing's rotaries, from our hotel near the view above to Ritan, one of China's oldest parks. Built in 1530 as an altar for ritual sacrifice to the sun god, the park features a mural that combines public art with spiritual devotion in its  sumptuously glazed and patterned ceramic tiles.

The view above became familiar on the trip. I often sat at this cafe mid-morning over coffee, unable to relinquish the attachment despite the best tea in the world. The view afforded no end of entertainment: a small child bouncing on a huge, green animal toy across the walk, an ancient woman with a cane who stopped to doze on the bench outside and passersby returning home from the night before or hastening to work.

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