This post is part of the blog series by artist Lee Mingwei, whose art project The Travelers, a MOCA commission, is ongoing through September 12, 2011. In the project, Mingwei invites participants to write down their stories of “leaving home;” in this blog series, we turn to Mingwei and ask him to share his.
(Image courtesy of Lee Studio)
I arrived in Portugal on Tuesday the 19th, mainly doing a site visit in the historical town Guimareas, for a project for the European Capital for Culture 2012. Guimareas is a lovely city which was founded around the 11th century by the first king of Portugal. My room looked out to a tiered vineyard and a small church perched right on the hills. I was constantly reminded of its countryside location with fresh air and the rolling mountain mist.
The residents there were very, very friendly and helpful. I found pipa fruit– the largest I have ever seen– all over the fruit stands. They were more tart than I remembered but were imbued with aroma.
The cultural team and I worked for the three days that I was there, trying to figure out the details and the possible location for the Mending Project for September of 2012. There were quite a few abandoned storefronts within the old city wall; these could be very lovely spot for the project if cleaned up properly.
On Thursday afternoon, took the local train to Lisbon, and stayed with my friends Antonio and Christopher, professors at the university. They took care of me with great generosity and hospitality. I met Christopher online when he came across my Male Pregnancy Project few years ago. Since then, he has included it as one of the core projects for his students. We took a lovely ride to the southern coast of Lisbon, where we wined and dined on a rustic veranda looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, a magical place indeed.
I am ready to come back now, waiting for my flight in the lounge. Sleeping in my own bed is such a luxury.