I am so excited to announce that I will be speaking on the Queen Mary this year for the 12th Annual Art Deco Festival, August 19th-21st! I am scheduled on Saturday, August 20th at 10am. I will be talking about maternal grandfather Liu Jipiao and his work in Paris and China! I am so excited to be once again telling his story. I have not lectured since my trip to Shanghai for the World Congress on Art Deco back in November 2015 and I’m a little nervous already!
The trip to China was a revelation for me in so many ways. I was blessed to meet some wonderful, like-minded people and brilliant scholars so passionate about their work! I was inspired and encouraged to do more, even saying out loud that I would write that book! I know, I know my friends keep reminding me a said that. (As does my mother.)
I was able to explore China and practice my Chinese! I even stayed longer after Nanjing and Hangzhou to hang out with my cousin in Shanghai. What a wonderful time and a much needed break from my daily grind! But returning to that daily grind was all the more difficult because of what I had experienced on my journey.
I was glad to return to family, friends, my doggie. I got to celebrate my 50th birthday with all of them. But it took me some time to acclimate back into life in America. I quickly fell into a post-vacation depression as the holidays neared. Looking back, I think the combination of turning 50, work and my care-taking responsibilities weighed heavily on me to the point where I became overwhelmed and burnt out. I realized that China had been the first break I had had in over 2 years!
Luckily I have been slowly coming back to my normal self, enjoying time with friends and being more creative. I even went on an Art Deco binge buying and having restored a beautiful waterfall bed frame and bureau! (see photo below) My first real bedroom furniture ever! I feel so grown up! I also had the wooden flat file my grandfather built restored as it was falling apart! But most importantly I began carving out some much needed time to reflect on where I want to go with my life, what I want to do and who I want to be. (Although I have no illusions that this will be a never-ending process!)
I have also been fortunate to have several visitors from China trip pass through Los Angeles. In the process of showing them our family collection and seeing their enthusiasm, I was reminded of how much this research means to me and my family. I also realized that this is important, not just to us, but to others. And am excited to take the opportunity to share it with the world! Thank you so much Patrick, Shirley, Denise and Stephen for spending time with me and my family! Thank you Edward & Guangyu for keeping in touch and always encouraging me!
On a final note, I would love for everyone in LA to come out and hear the lecture! It would mean a lot to me and my family! (And yes, it will also make me more nervous!) Ah well, I still hope to see you all next month for the 12th Annual Art Deco Festival, August 19th-21st! Tickets are already on sale and you can download the event schedule here: art_deco_2016_schedule.