"Journey to the East": A millennial expat's tour around China in search of Arts and Craft

"Journey to the East": A millennial expat's tour around China in search of Arts and Craft
"Only when you leave home, then come back, will you truly understand the meaning of home."
As a "sea turtle" (a chinese term for returning expat) who has been away from home for nearly 7 years, I deeply feel the weight of this sentence.

The 7 years in Canada were the most precious time in my life. It changed my worldview, made me truly appreciate the diversity of world cultures, and became a new-age woman with independent thinking.

Many people ask me: "What is the biggest gain in studying, working and living overseas?" I always answer without hesitation: It is a strong perception and curiosity about the people, things and objects around you!

With this perception and curiosity, I returned to my homeland,China. After working in China for a year, I quit my high-paying job, packed my bags, and embarked on a “Journey to the east" to find craftsmanship around China. It is also during this process that I feel that my life has become more complete!

The "east" of this "Journey to the east" , on one hand, refers to the direction of the trip. My trip started in the Northwest in July 2021. I visited the three central Chinese provinces in the middle of the trip. The Journey will be ended in East China by May, 2022; On the other hand, it refers to my original intention of embarking on this journey, that is, to explore oriental aesthetics along the way, to experience the real oriental craftsmanship and folk customs, and to record what I saw, heard and felt with images, videos and words along the way. I hope to spread this unforgettable cultural experience to all parts of the world and bring inspiration and energy to more people~

What is interesting is that although my “Journey to the east" is in the opposite direction to that of "Journey to the West", the original intention is also different, but the whole process is surprisingly similar! I feel like the "Tang Seng" in "Journey to the West". I have overcome all obstacles, subdued “demons” and “slayers”, resisted all kinds of temptations and difficulties, and gained four apprentices in the process: Monkey King, Zhu Bajie, Monk Sha, and Bai long ma (white dragon horse). From now on, I travel together with them to explore and spread traditional crafts and culture!

In the past year, I have completed 2/3 of the journey to the east, spending half a year preparing and half a year traveling alone. So far we have interviewed nearly 40 craftsmen and met hundreds of cultural friends. We are not only interviewing, but also eating and living with the craftsmen, and the craftsmanship is truly integrated into their lives. In the upcoming trip, I will move forward together with my team, experience and understand the true meaning of handicraft together, and spread the life philosophy of craftsmen!

One person walks faster, a group of people walks further. Therefore, SlowMaking was born. We have united partners in China and abroad to "bridge the cultural gap between the East and the West with the beauty of craftsmanship". To recognize, experience, and comprehend oriental craftsmanship and ingenuity with a young international perspective, and step by step we are in the process of self-discovery, self-growth, and self-realization. In the end, we suddenly realized that this process is the "true scripture" we really want to get! In the official website of SlowMaking, we will slowly share the "true scriptures" we have obtained with you~
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