Drawing to China

At this point, I’ve gotten to know most of the students in my drawing course. A handful of them were Chinese exchange students. Miranda (Xinruo), Yuanxu, and Mike (Zenan Fu) were three of which I grew especially close with.
One day, while we worked on self portraits in mirrors, Miranda approached me. She asked “would you have time to come to China this summer?“ I paused, slightly caught off guard, and replied honestly “It’s not a matter of whether I have the time but whether I have the resources!“ To which she responded “my parents can pay for your flight.”
Having recovered from momentary shock, I accepted the generous offer. The only time I could recall intending to go to China, I was about five years old, digging a hole in my backyard in Pennsylvania (the classic “dig a hole to China” trick…it didn’t seem to work). Having been given this opportunity, a flood of unforeseen adventures burst through my imagination. The answer was obvious. Of course I’ll go halfway across the world to experience a culture with thousands of years of history firsthand!
So it was decided, right then and there. My intuition got me this far. I might as well give it full reign.
The first step was to get a visa. The first in a slew of unknown journeys was beginning to unfold. It all began with passion, intuition and friendship.
And here is our final project from the course! We ended up each taking a selfie, cutting it into nine pieces, and then swapping out pieces with other students until we held a New collection of pieces, each from a different student. We drew each of these pieces out on large pieces of square paper. Once we had finished drawing the squares, we returned them to their rightful owners, and helped each other tape together the pieces, revealing unique, collaborative self-portrait collages!
Miranda (Xinruo)
Mike (Zenan Fu)