13 August 2008

A Day at the Fringe

Yesterday I went to Edinburgh to some events at the Fringe. First was a workshop called "Taste of Japan" led by Katie Chaplin who runs Japancrafts. She showed us how to fold an origami crane, and will send the finished cranes to Hiroshima so they can be laid at the peace memorial. She then demonstrated some of the intricacies of the tea ceremony, and finally showed how a kimono is put on. It was fascinating to see all the different layers and to see how the obi (belt) can be arranged into an elaborate shape.

I then went to a show called Osaka 1837 at C (Adam House) on Chambers Street. It was strange to be back in this building, as I'd worked there for a week during the Science Festival almost 15 years ago. Even though it was performed completely in Japanese, the story was easy to follow. The performance was a lot of fun and the audience were able to get involved by waving paper fans in time to the music.

Finally I went to the City Art Centre to the exhibition China: A Photographic Portrait. The 600 photographs by Chinese photographers, mostly in black & white, gave a fascinating view of everyday life in China through the eyes of the Chinese. There were also some videos by Chinese filmmakers. One of my favourite photos was of an old man standing in Tiananmen Square with his dead wife's photograph, fulfilling their dream of visiting there together.

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