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Abel Pruñonosa: Sharing the Gift of Sculpting in His Home Away from Home
By Lois Hill

When Abel Pruñonosa moved to Hangzhou earlier this year, he had his sights set on bringing the art of sculpting to prominence in the city. Having exhibited his sculptures in various art fairs around Hangzhou, he now finds himself returning to his former vocation of teaching sculpting. Abel recently opened a workshop beside Fenghuang Shan (Phoenix Hill) in a location which he deems perfect for giving his students inspiration.

I visited Abel on a gloomy Tuesday afternoon. The persistent rain did nothing to dampen the vibrant atmosphere of his workshop, curiously named “The Beach”.

Why did you choose to come to Hangzhou to set up a sculpting workshop?
I came here three years ago with my brother and friends for travelling. We travelled around the South of China and we also went to Shanghai. When we came to Hangzhou, we felt this place was very beautiful. I was living in Barcelona, and as you know it’s not a huge city. I feel Hangzhou is a lot like Barcelona. It’s bigger but not as big as Shanghai or Beijing. I feel more at home in this place. I also have friends here and I like the quiet. You have mountains here (near the workshop) and there are many beautiful spots in Hangzhou.

What’s the reason for naming your workshop ‘The Beach’?
Well the workshop is in part of the house where I am living. My housemate is a surfing lover and he wanted to decorate the house in a Mediterranean style, hence the name.

How many workshop sessions do you run per week?
Now I’m just starting out. The idea is to be flexible with the schedules of the students. So maybe I would start one course now if people got in touch or dropped by the workshop. I want to make it as easy as possible for the students, so I will arrange my schedule to suit them. I teach small groups of students at one time. I aim for around five students per class. There is an introductory course for three hours which involves making a small human head. The time just flies by in that class.

Are your human sculptures based on real people? Do you ask people to sit for you?
Yeah usually. Usually I prefer working with a model because that’s when you can see the finer detail. Imagination is always a disaster. Sometimes when the models are sitting and waiting, I realize we need to change something, so I can ask them to move around or change their pose. It’s a very special thing for some people because it’s not every day that you will be asked “Hey, do you want to sit for me?”

What’s your latest sculpture that you are working on?
I’m working on a bust right now of two hands tying a tie. I went to a building, and they asked me to do something for the lobby. That place is quite elegant but it also feels very masculine because they used black marble to decorate the place. It’s a business building too, so this kind of sculpture fits well.

You must have to use a lot of tools…
Usually, I use my hands first to make the main shape and then I use tools. I have a lot of tools, but I always use the same five or six. I even make my own tools from time to time.

Did you have your own workshop in Spain?
Yeah, I had one in Barcelona and also another in my hometown that is near Barcelona, so I would go between the two. I taught in several schools around Barcelona. In fact, I have a regular course in Barcelona that I teach every December, so I need to go back home next month for a few weeks.

How different is it giving a workshop in English as opposed to doing it in your native language?
It’s fine actually. I sometimes use Baidu translate in the class. Here, it gives me a chance to practice one or two words in Chinese. I have more Chinese people visiting than expats, so it’s nice to see that they are interested in sculpting.

You studied Chemistry at university before changing to Fine Arts. What inspired you to change your degree?
Well, when I was at secondary school, I thought that I wanted to be a scientist. I always enjoyed drawing too. In my second year of university, I met a guy who was studying Art and Physical Education. I found out from him that I could study two subjects at the same time, so in my third year I studied both subjects. Finally I did a class about sculpting with a very good teacher, and that subject changed my life. I focused completely on Art in my fourth year of university. So now I’ve forgotten almost everything about Chemistry. I used to be able to multiply really fast, but now it takes longer.

What’s the most difficult thing you have ever tried to sculpt?
I think portraits need more time. When you try to do a portrait based on pictures, it’s very difficult because you have to look at a 2D image and put it into 3D. You have to understand the volume and the depth of what you are sculpting. With a picture, you can’t see all the dimensions of the object.

Do you draw as well as sculpt?
Yeah sure. Before sculpting I sketch my ideas and then make a small sculpture of it. I then think how I can do the bigger one.

What’s your proudest moment during your working career?
In Barcelona, I had a small exhibition; it was one of the first. My family came and it was good. They were really used to seeing my sculptures at home, but when they saw all the sculptures in one place and with people congratulating me, it was really nice.

Do you think that even people with no artistic streak whatsoever could have a go at sculpting?
Sure. I always say that sculpting is easier than drawing because we live in a 3D world. We are used to the objects around us. If you want to do a drawing, you have to work to a scale and you have to consider the position and length. With sculpting though, you can compare your sculpture to real objects, for example you can compare your arm to an arm that you are sculpting. Objects are more alive for me. I always have to make my sculptures a bit bigger than the real object though because the clay shrinks when it’s drying.

Abel makes sculptures in clay and in resin. He will have some of his sculptures bronzed so that they last longer. He is always changing the way he sculpts as he believes there are so many things to learn. “Before I used to do the whole head and the whole sculpture, but now I focus on one detail. Maybe in a few years I will change my technique again and focus on one colour or one style.”

Abel will travel to Spain for Christmas, but he will be back on January 12th. If you are interested in taking any sculpting classes with him, you can scan the QR code to find out more information.

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Get Lost in the Maze-like Concentric Rings of Buildings "Tulou”

Uncover the Secrets of the Fujian Earth Buildings

T I M E 


Tour Signup Deadline: December 20th
Tour Date: December 21st – December 24th

V E N U E 

Xiamen, Fujian
福建,厦门

T I C K E T S 

Price: 1,999RMB/adult
(Min 10 Pax, Max 16 Pax)

There’s no doubt – if your destination is Fujian and the south-east, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you miss these mammoth World Heritage wonders! Take four days to visit the Tulou closed settlements (pronounced “two”-“low”) for an encounter with China’s ancient Hakka culture, then let a local guide you to experience the real heart of life in Xiamen.

Highlights

1. Explore the Tulou and discover why these mammoth communal dwellings were deemed precious items World Cultural Heritage – study their wisdom to get a unique look into Hakka culture!

2. Spend the night in comfortable Tulou tavern room lodging at the Hongkeng Tulou cluster’s Renquan’yuan Lou, ‘Square’ Lou or Wufeng Lou.

3. Get lost in the maze-like concentric rings of buildings inside the “King Tulou”, or seek out the ‘slither of sunlight’ in the Gaobei Tulou cluster. Had enough of Hakka Tulous? Then explore a different mystery in the Da’di Southern Min Tulou groupings in Hua’an.

What's included

1. 8 Meals (Including Breakfast x3,  Lunch x3, Dinner x2)
2. 3 Night’s Stay in Comfortable Hotels(Double occupancy, for single supplement please add 550 rmb)
3. Activity costs and admission fares for all items on the itinerary.
4. All transportation costs for the itinerary (Airport and Station pickup not included)
5. Full travel accident insurance for the duration of the trip.
6. Full bilingual guide accompaniment.

Not included

1. Transportation costs to Xiamen and Xiamen Plaza Hotel
2. All additional costs incurred by the individual not mentioned in the itinerary above.

Important Information

1. This is a coupled Chinese-foreign tour, meaning your tour group will include both Chinese natives and foreign expats. There is a minimum 10-person (maximum 16-person) signup threshold that must be reached for this tour to go ahead. If you sign up and the threshold is not reached, the cost of the tour will be refunded in the means by which you paid.

2. Want to come? Signup can be completed through the TA mini-program. Once the group reaches the minimum number of attendees you will receive a message from TA customer support confirming that the tour will go ahead.

If after successful payment and signup you become unable to attend your booked tour, your refund will be processed minus deductions as per the following scheme by the Trendy Adventurer Financial Affairs team:

- 14 or 14+ days before the activity date: 1% of the signup cost;
- 7 or 14 days before the activity date: 10% of the signup cost;
-7 to 3 days before the activity commencement date: 40% of the signup cost;
-3 to 1 day(s) before the activity commencement date: 55% of the signup cost;
-Within 24 hours of the activity commencement date: 70% of the signup cost.

Refunds will be processed within 5 working days after the date of conclusion of the tour.
(if the air ticket is included in the itinerary and the air ticket has been issued, 100% air ticket loss shall be borne, because the group ticket cannot be changed or refunded)

Take the Train With Just Your Passport

Standing in line for high speed train tickets is a thing of the past. Just enter the station and board the train by scanning your passport. This is a huge time saver for expats and international visitors who are denied access to the automatic ticketing machines.

This week I bought four tickets for travel between Hangzhou East and Yuhang. I used Chinese language APPs 12306 & Ctrip as well as English language apps Trip.com and China Train Ticket for 铁路12306火车票. Each APP was successful for boarding trains without paper tickets, which was not the case when I did this two weeks ago.

Because the English Trip.com charge a 20RMB service fee, it was a little disappointing that they didn't seem to give the boarding gate information, however it was easy to check the departures board once I was on the station concourse. I contacted their help desk and they said that they’ll pass the suggestion on to their IT team.

BTW, I didn't actually travel on each train - I just waited for each boarding time and went to the gate to scan my passport to check the success of each booking.­

PS - Paper tickets are still available for business travellers seeking reimbursement.

Here’s the current procedure when you arrive at Hangzhou East Railway Station:

1. At any of the station's entrances, expats and international visitors must go to the manual line which is usually situated at the far left.

2. For the security check, place all bags on the conveyor before being scanned quickly by security staff.

3.Trip.com users can check the departures board to see which gate to use. (The other APPs inform you online).

4. To access the platform for boarding, go to the manual line (usually on the right hand side) and scan your passport

Hot Spring Weekend Trip at Wuyi Forest

Wuyi Forest Hot Spring
Weekend Trip

T I M E 
Tour Signup Deadline: December 13th
Tour Date: December 14th – December 15th

V E N U E 
Wuyi, Zhejiang
浙江,武义

T I C K E T S 
Price: 865RMB/adult
(Min 10 Pax, Max 16 Pax)

Tour the scenic mountain forest reserve, admire stunning scenes of peaks and streams, and experience the rugged glass cliff-face and treetop canopy walkways at Niutou Mountain Forest Park. Check in at the in-park Hot Spring Inn and spend a night enjoying invigorating hot spring baths, deep in the forest.

Highlight

1. Explore the Niutou Mountain Forest Parks, long known as the “Jiuzhaigou Valley* of Zhejiang”, experiencing the thrilling glass cliff-face walkway and forest canopy treetop walkway.

2. Spend an away from the cold of winter, soaking in pure comfort in hot spring pools at the Hot Spring Inn.

(Note*: Jiuzhaigou Valley is a National Nature Reserve Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in located in Northern Sichuan, China. The park is known for its many multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes.)

What's included

1. Round-trip shared transfer
2. Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
3. One night's lodging in the Hot Spring Inn(A standard room)
4. Breakfast of Day 2
5. English-speaking Tour Guide
6. Travel Accident Insurance
7. All taxes, fees and handling charges
8. Explore the Niutou Mountain Forest National Park – the glass cliff and forest canopy walkways, and bathe in the Dream Spring hot springs. (includes scenic area entry ticket, glass walkway shoe wraps, hot spring entry ticket, sightseeing bus costs, etc.)

Costs does not include: other meals and personal purchases.
Note:You must bring your own bathing suit.

Important Information
Concerning the Hot Springs


1. Senior citizens over 70 years of age, pregnant women, women in menstruation and individuals weakened by sickness are all prohibited from entering the hot spring baths.

2. Minors or senior citizens with reduced mobility must have a guardian or adult caretaker present when in the hot springs.

3. It is recommended that individuals do not bathe in the hot spring baths for excessive periods of time.

4. Individuals who have suffered from or currently suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, frailty of health or alcoholism are urged not to use the hot spring baths.

5. Wherever the above-mentioned cautions are ignored and an individual who has entered the hot spring baths meets with an unforeseen incident, hot spring management will not be responsible for payment of compensation.

6. Before using the hot spring, please review the relevant hot spring usage notes and bathe safely.

Additional Info

1. Children must be accompanied by an adult
2. Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
3. Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund ( ONLY FOR GROUP TOUR)

Private Departures for This Tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination.

Notes

1. Pricing for children under 12 years old who do not require an individual bed is 560RMB per person; Pricing for children above 12 years old share the same price as adult.

2. Breakfast cost for accompanying minors is 30RMB per person. (paid on site)

After signing up, for insurance purposes attendees are required to provide their name, phone number, Passport/ID Card number and passport information;
After making payment and signing-up, if for any reason you become unable to attend, refunds given will be subject to following loss expense rates:

A. 3 days or more prior to departure date – 1% of the total tour cost
B. 2 to 1 days before departure date = 55% of total tour cost
C. On the day of departure - 75% of total tour cost

All refunds will be paid to the relevant accounts within 10 working days of the conclusion of the tour event.

Caring for Your Skin During the Winter Season

Your skin is the largest organ that you have in your body and it is one that has multiple uses. It not only covers and protects everything inside your body, but it also helps your body stay at just the right temperature and allows you to have the sense of touch. Your skin, however, is often the one organ that we do not look after-especially during this time of year.

The winter and spring are particularly vulnerable seasons for your skin. The winter in particular can play a huge role in the way your skin reacts. This is especially the case in the northern parts of China where the weather is harsh, cold, dry, and dusty. People with sensitive or dry skin are particularly prone to problems during the winter season.

A common condition during the winter season and one that we treat often is dry, itchy skin. If you are suffering from this condition it is often easily treated, but remember to see your dermatologist or doctor straight away to be properly diagnosed.

By following the tips below, you will be able to beat dry itchy skin before it even starts this winter.

Tips to help you get your skin through the winter season

Do not take more than one shower/bath a day
Over washing removes the natural lubricant that skin produces and makes skin dry and flaky.

Do not shower/bathe for more than 10 minutes
The longer you stay in the water, the drier your skin will get.

Do not shower/bathe in hot water
Heat increases the rate that water evaporates from your skin leaving it dry. Luke warm water is a better choice.

Avoid saunas and steam baths
Like hot showers, they increase the rate that water evaporates from your skin leaving it dry.

Use a mild formula soap or shower gel and don't exfoliate

Apply moisturizing cream right after you shower/bathe while your skin is still damp

Moisturizers lock water into your skin but do not help add water so the best time to apply them is straight after your body has been in contact with water. For very dry weather, a thin moisturizer that is applied after a shower is not enough; in this circumstance, some thicker and greasier creams will do a better job.

Avoid wearing nylon or woolen clothing because these materials can irritate your skin
Loose fitting undergarments made out of 100% cotton are best when your skin is dry.

Air-conditioners, over-heated rooms, and windy weather all make the environment dry, which in turn can make your skin dry
To combat this, put some plants, fish-tanks, or humidifiers in your office and home.

Apply some extra protection if you have to go out on a windy day

The sun is not as hot or bright in winter

however, if you are outdoors for long periods of time, your skin can still get sunburned, particularly in the snow
Be sure to apply sunscreen in these cases.

Avoid spicy food as it can make your skin dry and itchy

Drink lots of water and limit your intake of alcohol


Dr. Eason Zhong is the Dermatology of United Family Hangzhou Clinic, he speaks English and Mandarin. To make an appointment with him, call 0571-89705148 or scan the QR code.

Clinic Hours:
8:30am -5:30pm,
Mondays – Saturdays
(Closed on Sundays)
0571 8970 5148

Learning about IGCSEs at Wellington

Time
9am to 11am, Tuesday, December 3rd
9am to 11am, Tuesday, December 17th

Venue
Wellington College International Hangzhou 
 杭州惠灵顿外籍人员子女学校 
2399 Xuezhi Road, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou 
杭州市萧山区宁围街道学知路2399号

Wellington College International Hangzhou is pleased to announce the opening of admissions for their first ever cohort of Year 10 students to take the IGCSEs in the 2020-2021 academic year.

What are the IGCSEs?

IGCSE stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is a globally recognised qualification taken in Years 10 and 11 (Grades 9 and 10) and carries the same weight as the GCSEs that are offered within the UK. The IGCSE is one of the most sought after and recognised qualifications in the world, because it helps students develop core skills and competencies, including investigative skills, problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking. These skills are highly sought after by universities around the world, and as such, students who have completed the IGCSEs are generally regarded as highly competent candidates to enter such universities.

IGCSEs are also the most popular international qualification in schools around the world, with more than 4,800 schools over 150 countries doing the Cambridge International Examinations version of the IGCSE alone. Enrolling your child in the IGCSE programme at Wellington will provide them with a vital boost to their academic career, which will not only help them build on their study skills, but will make them more competitive and prepared to enter their senior school programme, whether that is offering A Levels or the IB Diploma Programme.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, Wellington College International Hangzhou is accepting an extremely limited number of applicants into Year 10 and is seeking students who will be able to achieve the world-standard results expected of them at Wellington.

In reflection of the importance of this first cohort, Wellington College International Hangzhou is proud to announce a range of scholarships, including an academic scholarship for Year 10 that includes significant reductions in tuition fees for the duration of the two-year IGCSE programme, with the option for this to be extended throughout the two-year A Level programme, subject to a favourable academic assessment.

This is an exciting opportunity for talented students in Hangzhou to receive a significant tuition reduction, allowing access to the world-class holistic education which Wellington has to offer.

As well as meeting the admissions requirements for Wellington College International Hangzhou, and being able to demonstrate significant academic potential as determined through the admissions assessment process, other traits that Wellington College International Hangzhou seeking from their Wellingtonian pupils include;

An international outlook and a desire to be a global citizen of the future

A willingness to work hard with a positive attitude towards learning

A desire to develop all Wellington Identities, to take full advantage of the opportunities on offer at Wellington and show a commitment to making a positive contribution to the wider Wellington community

An aspiration to live by the Wellington Values

To learn more about the IGCSEs and the academic scholarship programme, we encourage prospective parents to join Wellington for their IGCSE Parent Information Sessions being held on Tuesday, December 3rd and Tuesday December 17th.

To register to attend an information session, please scan the QR code below, or follow the link at the bottom of this post.

If you would prefer a private tour, please contact the admissions team at your convenience via phone at (+86-571) 8239 6366 or by emailing admissions.wcih@wellingtoncollege.cn

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