Author Archives: Elizabeth

Living Below the Line Day 1: Cleaning out the Pantry

China is a nation obsessed with food, where people will line up for a block to get a piece of their favorite tofu or savory pancake. While the average person in China spends about 8RMB per day ($1.25US) on food, it's …

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Art Therapy

After a visit to a Chinese doctor last week, I had lunch with a friend. And cried a little as I told her about what a jerk he'd been. How he'd stuck his hand inside me and twisted, hard, (angry after he'd lost …

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How you know

How you know he's the right one for you:  when you've lost your sense of humor after a long day, he gives it back to you. The Man at Chambers Fine Art, Caochangdi, Beijing   

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Sweet Beijing in Spring

An antidote to Beijing's infamous air pollution: In Fragrant Hills, a bee farmer carves a honeycomb from its frame

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The Past Is Another Country (Food as Art)

I look for raw art materials everywhere: in art stores and galleries, and even markets. Since moving to Beijing, I've been experimenting with a local specialty: tofu skin from wet markets. It's a cream-colored blank canvas for ideas. I'm an artist who lives where …

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Once Upon a Time

There's nothing like a good story. Even if you can only understand a word or two of it. For example, we ran into this guy during Chinese New Year. His fake queue and fancy outfit attracted our attention. "Twenty kuai …

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Dirty hands make great art

You wouldn't think of an outdoor market as a good place to buy art supplies, but for contemporary artists, anything is game – from elephant poo to diamonds. In China, even a trip to the market can be an inspiration. …

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Paper Art: Create to Destroy

Paper is deceptively fragile. It can tear easily, or dissolve in water. But papers are stronger than they look – notably hemp or mulberry papers from Asia, which were once used as armor. Even today, papers are used to make …

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Black and White and Blue

At the China Exploration and Research Society, Hong Kong Stark colors by the South China sea. Two days. Two (Burmese) cats. Meals forgotten as I worked through one volume after the next. Seven thousand pages scanned for my research. One …

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Slice up the fear

My fears for the future, and what I've got to do in 2013 to kill them We don't talk about our fears in public much. Or our failures. But every success comes from experiments. Some of them pan out. If …

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