Thursday, April 14, 2011
An extraordinary trip with an extraordinary guy, Professor Serge Dreyer, resulted in many many photos of some of the most incredible objects I've ever seen: old Taiwanese antique objects, some indigenous, some Chinese, some in the typical Taiwanese style of ceramics, which I fell it love with. These latter are dark, smooth clays with a solid, mysterious presence to them. Photos to follow—I don't have my camera USB lead with me.
Professor Dreyer has been around: working in Soviet Russia under Brezhnev, Saudi Arabia and the Congo—he's worked in Communist, religious and fascist versions of totalitarianism...and he loves oud music. We had a blast.
Oh yeah, he's also a tai chi master and teacher and has that wonderful anarchistic Daoist thing going on. He has a lovely house on the Tunghai University campus, full of puppets (another love of his) and Taiwanese pottery.
He taught a class on clowning as a way to help his students think about creativity, and he sees some links between clowning and tai chi.
We got talking about drama, karma, theater, tricksters, illusion, nature (which in many cultures is about sensual pretense and display, not essence). He told me about a north eastern Chinese kingdom ruled by opera actors in the late nineteenth century...