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The New Feeling of Art & Religion Learning - Shirley's US Travel Diary -038 & 198th Friendly Greeting --Sun, Jun 7, 2009

Hi,Dear Friends

How are you? Is everything good with you? I do hope that you are doing well and enjoy your weekend.

Today is the 250th day that I am in the US. Except the normal studying, I read some book about Christ and I had my religion lesson by Mr. John L and his two assistants Friday afternoon. In additional to answer my questions ? What the structure of Christianism is, where the God is, what the difference between nature people and saints is and how Christians get the peaceful in their hearts, they directed me to read something in both Chinese and English ? requested me to read in Chinese loudly, then translated what I had read in English, taught me something about how the God created the world, where people¡¯s souls will live when their bodies dead according to the theory of Christianism, also, they showed me how to pray and so on ¡­ :- )

The first impression of mine is there are many things same or similar in the Western and Eastern cultures, in Christianism, Communism and Buddhism theories. For example, Christ requires people to do good things and do not do bad things forever; Communism requests its members to do the same thing. Christianism thinks that God can prove the good or bad things that people have done, Buddhism does same¡­ Even though many Chinese people who have no any religion believing, they believe that ¡°Ju tou san chi you shen ling¡± ? means God ubiquitous, as long as you raise up your head, he is just over your head 3 feet¡­ So, no matter we are alone or not, we should keep honest and only doing the things right.

That makes me think of -- even though there are many differences between Western and Eastern cultures, the parts of same, similar, and positive in the mainstream cultures in Christianism, Buddhism, even Communism are the foundations of people found a friendship and cooperation. Even though we have different believing, our final purposes are all trying to help others and the world, to create and to keep the world peaceful, beautiful, to be full of friendship, sincere, respect and love¡­

Meanwhile, I suddenly realize that as same as painting, music, language and literature, religions is in fact one of the most important bridges of communication of human being. If I would really like to improve my own level of painting, music, English and even Chinese languages, I must learn religions, especially Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. Otherwise, I could not really understand the meaning of those classical paintings, music and languages really, even though it is my own language -- Chinese.

So, now, when I am writing here, in the soft light in the US, I can not help smiling for I have thought of how I run in the day time to take as many as pictures about European paintings, statues and architectures in Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Cologne, Brussels, Vienna, Amsterdam and so on, to write my traveling diaries in the traveling bus, and to deal with my pictures on my computer in the hotels until midnight when I was in Europe 8 years ago. Can you imagine? I took 130 pictures in Paris in the first day I was there and I wanted to just stay there instead of moving to the other places in whole of my holiday for I too enjoyed the art works there indeed. But then, I had not started to learn to paint and sing, I just felt the beauty of those art works and did not think and enjoy them from the art angle, and I did not really understand what those art works talked at all. Also, I did not really want to learn something behind the art works at that time. But now, things are totally different, what I am thinking is to learn those art works not only from art learning angel, I would really like to learn them from the religion and culture angels. I would like to know the stories relate to the cultures, religion behind of the art works, then to improve my art skills from learn them. Otherwise, I can not really understand the art and culture value of them and to absorb something wonderful of them into my own art creation.

When I realize this, I feel exciting and happiness indeed. I am thinking that I should really go to Europe again. This time, I will be there not only as a tourist, but as an art and cross culture learner, to learn something behind of those art works, then to really improve my own art skills. But, before I do that, I should go to Dunhuang of China and the other famous Chinese art museums, to learn something about Chinese own Buddhism and the other arts. Maybe I should go to Dunhuang as my first art learning traveling after I go back to China from the US¡­ : -)

How about you? Do you have any religion believe? How do you think of the function of religion in the personal culture improvement and the cross-culture communication?

Shirley Created Art - Chinese Xieyi -0215: Language of the Spring- My 17th Painting in the US
I created this picture first time in 2007 for I liked the long tie of the golden pheasant and I wanted to the Double Beauty of it and the spring. Howeverm, then I could not really master the skill of peonies painting, so, I did not satisfy this picture and I brought it to the US, for I wanted to re-paint it when I have time here. Then, I did it Saturday night, but, I still not satisfy it at all and I will re-paint it later. :-) Do you like this picture? What is your comment about it?

Bilangual Song--046: Shirley Sings A Chinese Art Song -039: "Duoqing de Tudi -- The Passinate Land"in English & Chinese in the US--014
I love the song not only for it beautiful tone, lyrics, but also for the story behind it -- after the tragedy of Culture Revolution was finished, many Chinese artists gave up their opportunities to go aboard and kept staying in China to work for her. The author of the lyrics - Mr. Ren Zhiping and the composer of the song Mr.Shi Guangnanare ones of them. As same as they did,also I gave up my opporitnity to immigrate to a Western country for I wished to work for my own motherland before I retire. :-) I learned the song in 2006 and I had been wishing to translate it and sing it in English. But, it was too difficult to do. The learning in the US gives me the courage to do it. So, I did it. I do hope that my effort will be some help to you to learn Chinese and Chinese culture. I also wish the beautiful music and my singing will bring you a big smile.


I am just a learner on art of painting, music, English and Chinese language, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a few things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Culture Exchange, Chinese Language Learning & Friendship making. To help the others while to improve myself.

I would like to appreciate your understanding, directions, supports and hope to get your friendly direction and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to shirley@ebridge.cn or Yiping007@MissouriState.edu, or to publish your opinions in the forum.

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Sun, June 7, 2009 From USA


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