Galaxy Boat, China
Yangtze Riverboat Mural
In the summer of 2007, Tova traveled to China for a family vacation, and second international mural experience. With a packed schedule, the only possible time for a mural was during a three day boat ride down the Yangtze River. It was decided with the boat company that this community painting experience would allow for an activity on the boat while bringing together tourists and crew members together to paint.
After quite an ordeal getting paint in China when you don't speak Chinese, the mural was off to a rocky start. The board for the mural had been primed with a water-based primer while the paint being used was oil based enamel machine paint, and the results weren't pretty. On the bright side, there was a group of young girls who had been adopted from China years ago, who were on a trip back to see their country with their adoptive parents. They were very eager to participate in the project and ended up being the core group who designed the mural.
Not wanting to give up, day 2 brought more success as it was decided to paint on the wood itself. As the day progressed, not only the girls but also their parents, and many crew members and other tourists lent their hand to contribute to the project.
It had been decided that the mural would incorporate the ancient symbol of a Chinese dragon, but that the shape of the dragon would be based on the shape of the river itself and the journey we were all taking together. Working together, and communicating solely though the art (I don't speak Chinese), we finished the mural just in time, complete with English and Chinese descriptions and signatures. The mural is now hanging on the Galaxy boat that cruises down the Yangtze as a symbol of teamwork and the beauty of collaborative art and culture.