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A Day in Chongqing, China - Off the Beaten Path

By Barbara Keer and Qi Tang

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Because my husband was an invited speaker at a conference in Chongqing, China, I had the opportunity of accompanying him and visiting parts of the city and surrounding areas that I missed on my first visit there (two years ago).

Two young women who attend Chongqing University accompanied me as we visited some unexpected “off the beaten path” sites.  Sharing aspects of our cultures with one another was a memorable experience.  Shawn is a graduate student and Qi Tang is an undergraduate student, both are studying engineering.

 

Luo Zhongli Gallery

Qi was not only my guide but also provided much of the background details about our trip, and shared some photos.  She noted that, “In the morning, we visited SiChuan Fine Art Institute. Then we visited Chongqing University, where there is a lake called Lake Yun. It’s because there’s a mountain named Jinyun Mountain near the campus city, so we call the two lakes at Chongqing University Lake Jin and Lake Yun.”

  

Placing the tiles for the mosaic wall

 

Figures near the doors -Photo:Qi Tang

A drive through the city and out into the country brought us to a large campus area, established recently, with many facilities for study.  Our first stop was the Luo Zhongli Gallery, which Qi describes as follows: The construction was begun in 2012. The exterior wall was made by broken porcelain, some patterns were chosen from Luo’s paintings, and about 30 students participated in the design work. This gallery will be opened in 2016, and will show the paintings of each stage of his art career. This gallery includes three parts: Sichuan Fine Art Institute Art Museum, Rent Collection Courtyard Museum and Luo Zhongli Gallery (Luo Zhongli Gallery website)

We also stepped in to see a student art exhibition.

 

Student art

 

Student art ceramic work

Wikipedia’s information about the university includes the following: Chongqing University covers a total area of over 3.65 square kilometres, consisting of four campuses. With green mountains surrounded and the Jialing River flowing by, the four campuses are set amidst delightful sceneries and awarded the title of “Garden University” by Chongqing Municipality.

  

Entance to Chingquing University

 

 

Shawn and Qi Tang

 

The look of the university is unique.  A large enclosed space contains thousands and thousands of names of students and teachers associated with the university. There were villages that gave way to the space this occupies and in honor of that life some old and beautiful doors sit on a hillside.  In another area there is a terraced hillside representing the farming done there and crops are also planed at the university.

 

An important door

 

  

Terraced area is in Sichuan Fine Art Institute

 

Lake Yun

Qi explained, “In the afternoon, we visited Huguang Guild Hall where businessmen from other place get together, and Hongya Cave which sells some special snacks and handicrafts. Both of them are located in Yuzhong district.” China Highlights says,” The Huguang Guild Hall is an old complex of buildings that was a cultural, business and social center for more than 200 years. When people came from other provinces to settle in the region during the Qing Dynasty, they built guild halls.”

  

Visiting Huguang Guild Hall

 

  

Hugang Guild Hall-Photo: Qi Tang

What I found especially fascinating about the Guild Hall was the architecture and the social services that were provided to immigrants.  I loved the figures representing times gone by.  But there was a surprise awaiting us- a bride and groom and their families preparing for the wedding feast.

 

A restaurant of old?

 

Social service in olden days

 

Wedding preparations

 

 

Groom and bride

 

The stop at the Hongya Cave shopping center allowed us to conclude the day with a lovely cup of tea and view the river below.  This was my second visit and I was charmed by some of the food spaces.  A lovely day with interesting company!

 

Cave- Photo: Qi Tang

 

Meats: shopping center

 

Sweets: shopping center

Photos: B.Keer unless otherwise noted

Published on Jul 04, 2015

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