Sep 12

Return to Jinan

It was wonderful to receive such a heartwarming welcome from Team Q! You all are great! Your invitation to make Jinan my second home is touching and I thank all of you for your warm greeting.

During this trip, I spent most of my time in Shandong Province. I visited the Shandong Provincial Museum and had the good fortune to be provided a guided tour, arranged by the museum’s project manager. A tip for international travelers; bring your passport. It is required for ticket purchase and entry.

# of my students from Team Q. Lily, May and Summer.

Three of my students from Team Q.
Lily, May and Summer. We enjoyed an afternoon tour of the Shandong Provincial Museum and learned a lot.

Recently, the museum, with the help of philanthropist Ken Behring, established an Africa project. Behring is an avid life-long hunter and many of the taxidermy pieces were donated from his collection. This project is very well done with interactive points along the walk for kids to engage in learning-play and I am informed that the space in which this exhibition resides was otherwise dead/wasted space within the building. Very creative use of square footage and a terrific attraction for youngster who may never have a chance to see African critters up close.



An African cheetah, said to be one of the fastest sprinters in the world.

Outside the Shandong Provincial Museum shows a very contemporary design.

Outside the Shandong Provincial Museum shows a very contemporary design.




Inside the Shandong Art Museum.

Inside the Shandong Art Museum.








Shandong Museum also has a very good collection of ancient artifacts from various periods. There are weapons, ceremonial items and utilitarian tools.



The phoenix represents the female as the dragon represents the male in Chinese mythology.

The phoenix represents the female as the dragon represents the male in Chinese mythology.



Note the cicada on the top of the deity’s headdress. The life cycle of the cicada is a form of rebirth and therefore symbolic of the Buddhist belief in reincarnation.

The ancient Buddha sculpture pictured above has an intriguing history. My guide shared with me that the piece was discovered a few decades ago in London. Unbeknownst to the curator of that London museum the piece had been stolen many years ago. When informed of the situation, an agreement was procured for a sharing arrangement between the rightful owners and the party that had been duped.

The pristine condition of this ceremonial ax indicates the high social status of the bearer.

The pristine condition of this ceremonial ax indicates high social status of the bearer.


At the modest Shandong Art Museum home to over 500 modern pieces and more than 2,000 regional folk art pieces. I enjoyed many very beautiful contemporary porcelain pieces by Artist – Pan Lu Sheng


This piece appears to be a photo print, but in fact it is a one dimensional porcelain panel.


A colorful rendition of Confucius.

A colorful rendition of Confucius.











classic design with modern presentation of color on porcelain.

classic design with modern presentation of color on porcelain.








One afternoon the weather was quite pleasant so we took a short drive out of town- 45 Km. east of Jinan, to the village of Zhujiayu, at the foot of Hu Mountain. This is an historic preservation site which traces human activity back to the Xia and Shang dynasties (2070 B.C.- 1600 B.C. and 1600 B.C. – 1046 B.C. respectively)



An ancient highway.



During this late summer visit the weather was warmer than my visit in April. Perhaps still a bit too warm for my liking, but the evenings were beginning to cool quickly as the sun retired. It was especially nice to see the abundance of squash, gourds and melons harvested at this season’s end. I think October might be better temperatures for traveling next year.




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    • Summer on September 14, 2015 at 10:11 am
    • Reply

    I was very lucky to be at the Shandong Provincial Museum too.
    This time, in the museum, I heard some stories about the artifacts; the meaning, the representation of different symbols, etc. I know how talented our ancients were. I benefited a lot from this visit.
    Seeing you are so interested in Chinese culture, stimulate me to learn more. Good teacher!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Summer, I enjoyed touring the museum with you and other teams members.
      It was interesting to learn about this terrific collection of artifacts and I especially enjoyed the Africa exhibit.
      What other museums shall we visit on my next visit?

    • May on September 14, 2015 at 10:51 pm
    • Reply

    Kevin,I feel so lucky that i had the chance to visit Shandong museum. I really enjoyed and it was a worthy visit.
    To be honest,it was my second visit to the museum,even though i have stayed in Jinan for many years. Your interest,rich knowlege, and urge to learn more on Chinese ancient history also made me highly impressed.
    Just as Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry,stay foolish”. You are doing so well that inspires your friends and students to follow this code.Thank you!

    1. I always enjoy the time spent together with you and members of team Q.
      Very pleased that you learned something new and that this visit inspired you to seek more knowledge.
      Yeah, “Stay hungry and stay foolish.”

    • Morning on September 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm
    • Reply

    It was a great pity that i didn’t accompany with you go to the museum.However,your rich knowledge and vivid pictures let me feel the scene.
    Thank GOD for having you-the guide of art in our lives!!

    1. It is unfortunate that you did not join us. I think you were feeling tired and it is important for you to rest in these coming weeks.
      So happy you like the picture. You can join me next time. Can you think of a special place of interest? Let me know, Mei Mei.

    • Echo on September 22, 2015 at 3:00 am
    • Reply

    Hi my dear friend

    I am so sorry if i am too honest to say what impress me the most is not your inspiring articles here but my Girls’s (i always say so even sounds weird) lovely comments. I don’t know if you can but i do feel the big change on them. although staying almost everyday with them, it is not easy to notice that: they express them so well in English, they developed all possible interests and potentials. they even look much more prettier than before, on your camera haha

    Should i be proud of them or YOU!

    1. Wow!
      I will accept this high praise from the boss of Team Q, but I must be honest and tell you that your team deserves all the credit. Each member of your sales staff has made significant improvement over the past months. Everyone should be quite proud of their individual progress. Perhaps you should reward them all with a day off. hahaha!
      oh, and with respect to their beauty on camera; They are all natural beauties. I have been lucky enough to capture it with the camera.

    • Judy Zhao on September 22, 2015 at 9:11 pm
    • Reply

    In my heart, you are not only a good teacher, but also a good photographer, world traveler, writer, musician, poet, gastronome, etc.You are more like an artist. I admire you for your profound knowledge and I’m proud of being your student. Jinan is always your second home.

    1. Oh, Judy, you give me too much praise. I am just a teacher trying to share some information and to make learning more interesting.
      Your willingness to learn is the key to your success.
      Thank you for you very kind comment.

    • Steven on September 22, 2015 at 10:54 pm
    • Reply

    What’s an enviable visit to Shandong Provincial Museum!
    And there’s so many things we need to learn in your class.
    I will stay the course and improve my English.

    1. I enjoyed the complete collection of ancient artifacts on exhibit in the museum and my guide was quite knowledgeable. Of course sightseeing and touring museums with a group of beautiful young women is a bonus for an old guy like me!

    • Grayson on September 22, 2015 at 11:02 pm
    • Reply

    You are showing something I never heard before….I am deeply impressed by your wide knowledge. Maybe someday you will become a “China Hand”and I will hire you to travel around my country. haha

    1. I am not sure what the meaning of “China Hand” is. Can you explain?

        • spring on September 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm
        • Reply

        Maybe he means you have a comprehensive understanding of chinese culture, even knows about china more than chinese do someday.

        1. Thanks for your input, Spring. The comments sections is a good place to begin a dialogue related the articles, other comments and anything else that is relevant to the topic. Perhaps you are correct with respect to Grayson’s meaning (China Hand), but I would welcome him to clarify.
          Having said that, and if that is indeed what he meant. I must disagree. whatever knowledge I may have about China is surely limited. I can not believe that I would know more than a native. Reading is helpful for introducing a subject, but living in and being part of the culture offers more from osmosis that any book or tour guide could possibly offer.
          Let’s see what Grayson says.

            • Grayson on September 24, 2015 at 9:06 pm

            The explaination from Spring is correct, “Chinese hand” is used to describe a person,who knows almost everything about China,eg,culture,history,food,travelling,social things,etc. It doesn’t matter if you can be or not be such person.Anyway,the spirit of your keep learning is really inspring!

          1. Thanks for the clarification, G.
            I must disagree that I know “everything about China”.
            However, I am pleased that you and others have been inspired to continue learning. Or, as May quoted from Steve Jobs — “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
            Learning should be a life-long pursuit.
            Another quote, and I don’t know to whom it is attributed, but relevant to this discussion; “A wise man listens even to the village idiot.”

            Little gems of wisdom can be found sometimes in the strangest of places.

    • Maggie on September 25, 2015 at 11:20 pm
    • Reply

    It’s a pity i missed the pleasant visit to the museum ! I have to say it’s really bad timing for me to leave Jinan at that time. Otherwise, I would benifit from the tour, would be one of the beauties on the photograph.

    1. Timing is everything!
      Of course, taking holiday is something I am sure you had planned for many months. Our trip to the museum was sort of spontaneous.
      For a small museum they offer a very good collection of historical artifacts and the tour guide was quite knowledgeable. Sorry you missed our little day trip….maybe next time?

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