Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern – Dali Catholic Church, a Beautiful Combination of Western and Eastern Architecture – My Yunnan Trip # 11

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Pattern

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During my recent Yunnan trip, one of the most impressive architectural structures was the Catholic Church in Dali, Yunnan.  I found it especially interesting because in China, you will find Buddhist temples almost everywhere. But it was the first time that I saw a Catholic Church on Chinese soil, with such a beautiful architectural representation of the East and West patterns.  Below, I posted a few pictures of the Catholic Church. If you click on any picture, it will open into a carousel and see each picture in big screen.  I want you to take a very close look at these pictures.  Did you see the traditional Chinese auspicious animals?  They are all ornate patterns.  The wooden structure belongs to the Bai minority style, which is unique.

The following description is extracted from the  Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration website:

“Dali Catholic Church is located in Xinmin Road of Dali Ancient Town. Including 9 chapels, it was originally built in 1927 by a French bishop Ye Meizhang, and covers 470 square meters, about 36 meters long and 13 meters wide. The complex is a typical post and lintel construction in the style of double eaves with hip and gable walls; its lower and upper eaves both employ corbel arches and flying eaves, and every arch has four buttresses engraved with Chinese traditional auspicious animals and birds such as Dragon and Phoenix etc.

In the east of the church, an altar has been built for Virgin Mary; while in the west, it’s a gate tower modeled after Bai minority traditional residence whose top is a vestry roofed with eaves at four corners. The gate tower also employs multi-layer corbel arches and flying eaves, all of which are of superb workmanship. As a whole, the church complex adopts wooden structures of Bai minority style and thus is deemed as a combination of Chinese and Western architectures. In 1983, it was fortunately listed among the key protected relic items by Dali Prefecture Government.”

Other references you may like to look into:  Dali Catholic Church – On the Road,  another Blog on WordPress.  It posted quite a few pictures including a picture of the church inside.

I didn’t see a lot of discussion about the architecture of this building, but would appreciate if some of you would give me and other readers some of your impressions about the architecture of this building.  If you are an architect or architecture student, you are more than welcome to join our conversation here!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture #2 – My Yunnan Trip #9: What is the Totem Pole in Yunnan?

Arts and Cultures are inseparable!

My Notebook

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture. This is my second posting on this Challenge which is very interesting to me.

I always thought that totem poles only existed in places where natives Indians lived.  I saw quite a few in Alaska and Canada.  After my visit to Yunnan, I realized that I was so ignorant.  I saw totem poles in Lijiang, and then some for decorative purpose in Kunming.  So, Chinese people do have totem poles!  When I came back, I researched a little and educated myself.  If you are interested, here’s some information I got.

What is a totem?

“A totem is a being, object, or symbol representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a familyclan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry (or mythic past).

View original post 521 more words

Beautiful Art Design in the Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley – My Yunnan Trip # 6

What a beautiful wet day!  These pictures were taken at the Dinosaur Valley which I posted in my other blog: My Notebook. The patterns on these huge columns are dinosaurs. The human beings are so small!

Do the difficult things while they are easy

and do the great things while they are small.

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Lao Tzu

“Dynamic Yunnan” – a beautiful ethnic minorities dance show in Kunming – My Yunnan Trip #1

I just came back from a 9 days’ trip to Yunnan.  The first post I would like to share with my readers is this beautiful ethnic minorities dance show in Kunming.  It is  Dynamic Yunnan, a grand, original ethnic dance show produced by the famous Yang Liping, who is a dancer, a choreographer, and producer, of the Bai ethnic minority.  My friends who went with me to this Yunnan trip, all knew about Yang Liping, while I was ignorant of her fame as a performance artist.   I am glad that I had the opportunity to see her show this time.   It is spectacular, educational, and very enjoyable.  If you go to visit Yunnan, I highly recommend you see this show.  We bought tickets of very good seats at $42@) equivalent to the orchestra seats in our concert hall.  There were quite a few non-Chinese tourists among the audience.

In order to respect the performers, I did not take any video at the time of the show, but I took a few pictures before the show began, both inside and outside the performance hall. I am posting them here just to let you taste the flavor of the show.

In all the articles that talked about this show,   there is reference to this fact that Yang Liping spent more than a year looking for original ethnic minorities dancers in different parts of Yunnan.  It is said that 100% of the dancers are of ethnic minorities in Yunnan, who left their own villages to join the troupe. The folk songs and dances are original, and the costumes are real, showing the actual way of life of the minorities. This performance is particularly impressive to me, because it shows the universe, the pursuit of culture and the origins of life.    My friends, like most of the audience, love the “Moon dance” and the “Peacock dance”.  In addition, I like the Tibetan pilgrimage dance.

I hope you will have the chance to see this show if you visit Kunming in future.  If you cannot see too much of the minority cultures in Yunnan,  you will be able to appreciate the genuine minority cultures through this show.

I tried to find a good video from you-tube and had to give up the idea to post any of them, because all those videos were unable to illustrate the beauty of this show.  You need to see it in person, unfortunately (or fortunately)!

On the other hand, I found these two clips showing the talented Yang Liping’s two most famous dances:  Moon-solo dance,  and Spirit of  Peacock.  Enjoy!

Moon – Solo Dance by Yang LiPing

Spirit of Peacock – Yang LiPing