In late March we received a delegation of Provincial and Country Tourism leaders to review our progress and learn about our upcoming projects in Shaxi Valley.
Reconstructing a 300-year old folk temple requires a local expertise that few in China have. We are lucky to have a great team of local Bai builders who have years of experience building local rammed earth houses and gabled roofs, which serve as the fundamental vernacular styles of the Pear Orchard Temple. The team began … [Read more…]
After extensive consultations with county, town and village leaders, this February we have received official approval to begin renovations on the Pear Orchard (Ci Yin An) temple. When completed at the end of 2014, the temple will include a visitor’s center, vegetarian restaurant meditatiin rooms, classroom and activity space and a tea garden. Ginkgo project … [Read more…]
Ginkgo has initiated the Shaxi Temple Zipline Tour, which will allow tourists to visit UNESCO grottoes in the hills above Shaxi without driving the 7km between these mountain temples, significantly reducing traffic and environmental impact. Stay tuned!
Now that we have submitted out proposal to the Heritage Bureau, we needed to take the officials on a tour to explain where we want to make changes, and there are a lot. We’re upgrading electric, adding windows, skylights and removing cheaply constructed recent additions and adding a public toilet. The response from Jianchuan Heritage … [Read more…]
In late November, I spent a day with Mr. Yang, a Shaxi architect and master woodworker to discuss how to best integrate existing structural elements of the Pear Orchard Temple into future usage. The goal is to allow increased visitor traffic with minimal impact to the environment. As we plan to have a gift shop, … [Read more…]
In this photo is Mayor Zhang on the left facing me, with a village leader and other township officials in the doorway of the main hall. Note the notices posted everywhere and the skerret (a popular local tuber) drying on the terrace. When I first visited the temple, this area was occupied by old men … [Read more…]
Most interior rooms not in the image halls are being used primarily for storage. They have not been well kept, though some floor boards on the second floor have been recently repaired. The challenge to restoring the temple is knowing what the original artwork looked like, as much of it has peeled off, been obscured … [Read more…]