Sunday, June 2, 2013

Shandong University Portrait

Believe it or not, the head of the art department in the School of Fine Arts thinks I look like the founding Provost of Shandong University.  The head of art department asked me to poise for a portrait stand-in for Mr. Haynes, the original founding provost. You can see him in the white suit in the very large commemorative work of art behind me. But the artist was profoundly disappointed in the affect of the angle that he painted Mr Haynes. The artist wanted to repaint the center section with Mr. Haynes facing more forward. A side angle just didn't seem distinguished enough, so he told me.
Below is the original 1901 photo with Mr. Haynes in the center followed by photos of me at the "sitting." 
The final painting will be featured next fall among other commemorating the 100th anniversary of the official founding of Shandong University. 

Here's a short video capture that has Roslyn explaining what's going on.

video

How did I receive this invitation?  Professor Mr. Yao Ronghua had seen me on campus in the school canteen but when we met at the Tibetan Art Exhibit, he indicated that I would be a good match for Mr. Haynes.  The photographs below highlight the distant resemblance.


You can see how clothing was once a distinguishing factor in the Chinese hierarchy. The officials are all decks out in blue brocades which the school faculty are more simply attired. Mr. Haynes really stands out in his Western suit. The unanswered question was, "Who are the men in suits in the back?"





Here is the Dean of the School of the Arts is in the center giving expert advice to me and the artist. He's a fine artist as well.


They took dozens of photos at all angles. Roslyn was probably the best at telling me how to pose to give them what they were looking for. Viktor (one of our writing class students, in the blue collar) was an excellent interpreter because the artists needed to get past their English limitations to get me to do everything they needed done.
The artist knew exactly what he was looking for. He's a fine artist and an able instructor.





Professor Yao Ronghua is the head of the art department who invited me to poise for the commemorative painting.


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