Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1076-W713



Release Date: January 14, 2018



Topic: Racing in the Desert Towards Death Valley -- Casual Thoughts While Participating in the Opening Ceremony of the Liberty Sculpture Park (Ciping HUANG, published by the January 2018 issue of Chinese European Post)

标题:疾行在通往死谷的沙漠里 -- 参加自由雕塑公园揭幕仪式的随想(黄慈萍在欧华导报2018年1月版的原创首发)


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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(Originally published by Chinese European Post, January 2018 issue.  http://www.chinesen.de/)


Racing in the Desert Towards Death Valley

-- Casual Thoughts While Participating in the Opening Ceremony of the Liberty Sculpture Park


-- HUANG Ciping

Thursday, December 21, 2017, Winter solstice


The merciless winter has come to North America with monotonous colors, as December has arrived.  The land is depressed and lacks vitality, not to mention in desert areas.  Exactly due to this, even as I have been all over North America in various seasons, the only season I have never visited the desert is winter.  Only now did I get a chance to fill this gap, as I attended the opening ceremony of the first sculpture by Mr. Chen Weiming in the Liberty Sculpture Park.


As one stands in the desert and looks ahead, the vast land seems to lack life.  This makes me more hesitant to participate in this ceremony.  But in fact, I do know when there is adequate sun and rain, life that is full of vitality will appear in the desert with beautiful flowers blooming everywhere.  Once, I made a special trip to the desert with an extreme name - Death Valley, just to observe such a magnificent scene.  In a sunny spring day after the rain falls to the warm ground, you will see the most awesome and inspiring moment of the desert with all the lives awakened.  Even the forgotten seeds of more than 50 years ago would not neglect this rare opportunity -- they would sprout, bloom, pollinate and produce seeds as well.  All this burst of life can happen in a few days, and even be completed within a day.  It was such a spectacular and emotional scene!  I was sitting on the somewhat scalding sandy ground, and witnessed the whole beautiful process of a little life from germination to flowering.


Human beings are just like this.  When lacking the sunshine of love and the dews of humanity, even though the living body survive, it is difficult to open and maintain a beautiful flower of the heart.  Either for the temptation of love followed by abandonment, or love that could not be found, the sense of loss and pain could not be expressed by words.  Maybe people need the patience like these forgotten seeds in Death Valley that wait for decades until they age.  However, people like me do not have patience -- I would feel lost and will feel days as long as the years.


When I am lost, I like car racing.  Increased speed helps to forget any trouble or sorrow.  Two of my favorite racing places are the autobahns in Germany and the deserts of the United States.  On the autobahn, when a cheap rental car reaches 180 kilometers per hour speed you have to question if it is going to fall apart into pieces.  This time in the desert, I rented a Camaro convertible that could reach a speed of more than 260 kilometers an hour.  It could accelerate to more than 100 kilometers per hour within four seconds after starting up.  Indeed, in such kind of acceleration and driving, one can not be distracted or worried, otherwise the consequences could be disastrous.


On the night of Saturday, December 9, 2017, I went to California from Washington DC with Lao Wei.  The second day, we first attended a human rights awards ceremony participated in by more than one hundred people from the Vietnamese communities.  As the main guest speaker, Lao Wei spoke of the significance of the unification of Asian peoples, to against the tyrant regimes together.  Then we hurried to the north towards Los Angeles, encountering terrible traffic jams and a car accident on the road.  It took us two hours to make the 50 km journey.  This next event also had Lao Wei as the chief speaker, so it was really embarrassing to be late and run towards the front podium with more than 200 pairs of eyes watching.  This was the 31st award ceremony of the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation and the 10th year of the founding of Humanitarian China.  Lao Wei was one of the first 3 winners of the "Outstanding Chinese Democrats" prize (in 1986) of the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation.  Unfortunately, the other two winners of the same year, Liu Beiyan and Wang Ruoshui, have both passed away.


The three-hour dinner was mainly organized according to the agenda.  I was busy with helping translate Lao Wei's speech, as well as greeting friends, and almost forgot to eat.  This time, I got to meet many good friends whom I had not seen for a long time, with an excitement as "When there is a true friend in the world, even far away you still consider him as your neighbor."  But there were so many people and a little chaos, so even today there are still people I regret for not being able to say hello to on that day.  As soon as our dinner finished, I had to endure 3 hours of time lag to drive overnight, to take Lao Wei and Dr. REN Songlin to the desert to get ready for the activities the next day.


When we arrived at the desert site, the temperature had already dropped to below freezing.  I had a sleepless night in a room without heating yet penetrated by cold winds.  There was not too many people nearby.  It was so calm and cold, that even the air seemed to be solid.  The cold body added more desolation to the mood.  The Internet signal was not good enough to reach out for some comfort.  Even as I curled up like a baby in order to keep warm, I was still looking for light in the darkness and looking forward to warmth or at least the daylight, so naturally I thought of the "low-end population" in China who were expelled from their homes in this winter.  How would they spend the nights in the cold and what a misery that can be?


In fact, among the vast human population and under an evil social system, there are unfortunate people and crowds everywhere.  After all, there are so much blood and tears that were used to write the history of mankind.  This time as I participated in the opening ceremony of the Liberty Sculpture Park beside US Interstate 15, I felt even more so.  Marking the 140th anniversary of the death of Chief Crazy Horse of the Native American Indians, the first sculpture of the opening ceremony in the Liberty Sculpture Park was the 5-meter high sculpture of Crazy Horse created by the sculptor Chen Weiming.  Chief Crazy Horse was a brave and capable legendary Oglala Lakota tribe leader, who resisted the invaders until his last breath of life.


The sculpture by Mr. Chen Weiming highlights the resolute and strong facial expression of Chief Crazy Horse.  The sculpture stands tall and strong, while facing north to the Interstate 15 that one usually drives on from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.  Inscribed on the opposite side of the sculpture is the famous quote of Patrick Henry: "Give me liberty, or give me death!", Which also symbolizes the unyielding voice of the people who demand freedom, of all generations and all nations.


At 3pm on December 11, 2017, sunshine coated a golden tint on the Crazy Horse sculpture as the sun leaned to west.  Accompanied by sand and dust, a faint haze rose on the otherwise barren desert, scrolling forward slowly and softly on the horizon.  More than one hundred Chinese and American guests attended and witnessed the unveiling ceremony of Crazy Horse in the Liberty Sculpture Park.  Some of them were Chinese freedom and pro-democracy activists who came from all over the USA, while most Americans were officials and residents who deeply admired and loved such excellent and outstanding artwork.


The artist Chen Weiming delivered his passionate speech first.  Many of his artworks are saturated with his love of freedom and democracy.  His speech was extremely sincere and touching.  His accent is also what I am familiar with and feel cordial to.  I have been working with Weiming for nearly 10 years.  In October 2009, we held an art exhibition in the United States Congress.  His 6.4-meters-long sculpture depicting the June 4 Massacre in TianAnMen Square was the artwork most difficult to set up yet most eye-catching.  That was the first time that I took in charge of our exhibitions in the US Congress, with no experience and short of helpers.  In order to allow this huge sculpture to pass through security screening and then to be set up inside of the Rayburn’s foyer inside of the US Congress, I had to endure more trouble than what I was ready to.  Weiming is a perfectionist, which made my patience endure further.  However, eventually our exhibition was very successful and excellent.  I have to admit the actual effect of "when one is determined, one will get things done."


Weiming is not just an artist, but also an activist.  In 2012, he went to Syria personally and took part in the opposition against tyranny.  In the spring of 2016, he planned and led the "Journey of Human Rights" from Los Angeles and finally arrived in Washington, the capital of the United States.  The team went through more than one dozen states and traveled thousands of miles.  Originally, I did not want to take part in with his exhibition tour because it demands time from my preparation as every year I needed to organize the annual commemoration of June 4 Massacre in the Washington DC area sponsored by the IFCSS and other organizations.  However, at Weiming's request, especially because he specially produced the symbolic Goddess of Democracy statue of more than 3 meters high which symbolizes Chinese people's pursuit of democracy and freedom, I felt that I could no longer refuse him.


I ended up spending several sleepless days and nights to help during that period, including applying for the permit for the exhibition location in front of the US Capitol, arranging free accommodation and meals for them, etc.  We happily worked together for this time, especially in the afternoon of June 2, 2016 at the National Mall in front of the US Capital in Washington DC to commemorate the June 4th Massacre in Beijing.  Then again in the evening on June 4 in front of the Chinese Embassy in the United States, we held another commemoration of June 4 Massacre with his sculpture of the Goddess of Democracy standing tall and determined.  So this time when I saw the same sculpture of the Goddess of Democracy standing at the gate of the Liberty Sculpture Park, my emotion flooded again -- this statue symbolizes the immortal spirit of democracy and freedom!


The first guest to speak in the opening ceremony was Lao Wei.  His speech was very moving.  I translated all and won the praises from the American participants.  After that, they even took pictures with Lao Wei like a movie star.  In his speech, Lao Wei emphasized: "I hope this Liberty Sculpture Park, especially these meaningful sculptures, will serve as a bridge between the Chinese peoples and the Americans, to help both sides to exchange our souls.  I hope this statue will enable people who come and go to know that although China and the United States have different cultures and different traditions, but the American people love freedom, we the Chinese people also love freedom; the American people love beauty, we the Chinese people also love beauty.  When I was young, I read the novels by Mark Twain, and my feeling was that the Americans are just like us the Chinese, we are all human beings.  Although we have different languages, we Chinese love freedom and human rights just like Americans.  There shall be the day when we will build China just as good as the United States."


Lao Wei is a very optimistic person.  In contrast, I am more pessimistic.  On the road to pursuit democracy and freedom, I often have the lonely feeling that "I have not seen the ancient, yet I have not seen the newcomers."  Sometimes, for various reasons of differences include time, locations and even culture and habit, or simply due to miscommunication and misunderstanding, the very few friends and colleagues would be separated and estranged.  So this time when I saw so many people come far away to join together for this common goal, I was quite touched. 


I had to leave before the opening ceremony was completely finished.  As I drove away, I watched that crowd gradually disappearing into the darkness that had begun.  I suddenly realized that although we were a small number, when we come together, we are just like a little oasis in the desert that represents life and hope, as well as maintains a symbol to strive for the prosperous future of a China that will eventually enjoy freedom and democracy.


In the barren desert, car racing lets me forget what troubles I have and lets me be able to vent melancholy for a short time, but it could not really solve any problem.  Next year, when I go to Germany, I will rent a more powerful vehicle.  Once I was very confident and thought I could do many things.  Over the past twenty or more years, one of my hobbies was to car race in my convertible against young men.  But recently, I suddenly realized that youth has passed away and my convertible is getting old and slow to my expectation, yet my goals have yet to be achieved.  This sense of loss and sadness is irresistible.


I still intend to find a good sports car, to let it take me to visit where I want to go, to achieve my dreams.

  __  __  __


An additional poem by HUANG Ciping:


That Pool of Springs in the Desert


In the boundless desert of Death Valley

There seems to be little life and hope

Yet there is a humble pool of spring water

That raises the fragile lives quietly


This water comes from the depths of the earth

It flows through the gap between the rocks

It gets warmed up along its way

Sometimes taking thousands of years to reach here


It is like the love I have witnessed

That may not be released over decades

The delay of year after year

Will only add more warmth


The water difficult to arrive but finally overflowing

Indulge in its passion

It burned plants and animals nearby

Yet it still raised this oasis


When you see that green color from afar,

You know life and hope are on the horizon

When you finally see this pool that is steaming

You may worry about being melted by its passion


Yet special fish survive in this spring

Cruising around like free spirits

Joyful spring water overflows at its wish

Until the flowers of love blossom in the oasis


This silent pool of spring water

Love these fish cruising freely

With its non-stopping passion of thousands years

It relentlessly carries the message of love and hope

  __  __  __


Related photos:

1. I like to drive fast in two of my favorite car racing places: the autobahn in Germany and the deserts of the United States:


2. More than one hundred Vietnamese participated in the human rights awards ceremony where Lao Wei as an honored guest speaker:


3. More than two hundred people attended the commemorative dinner held in Los Angeles:


4. Guests who participated in the opening ceremony of the Chief Crazy Horse sculpture at the Liberty Sculpture Park:


5. The resolute face of Crazy Horse sculpture by Mr. CHEN Weiming:



6. The 5+ meters high sculpture of Crazy Horse at the sunset time


7. People gathered in front of Crazy Horse sculpture:


8. Lao Wei with local official:


9. The Goddess of Democracy statue at the entrance of the Liberty Sculpture Park:


10. The Goddess of Democracy statue on display in front of the US Capitol in Washington DC in June 2016:




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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1076-W713



Release Date: January 14, 2018



Topic: Racing in the Desert Towards Death Valley -- Casual Thoughts While Participating in the Opening Ceremony of the Liberty Sculpture Park (Ciping HUANG, published by the January 2018 issue of Chinese European Post)

标题:疾行在通往死谷的沙漠里 -- 参加自由雕塑公园揭幕仪式的随想(黄慈萍在欧华导报2018年1月版的原创首发)


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)








(本文原创首发于《欧华导报》2018年1月。  http://www.chinesen.de/)



-- 参加自由雕塑公园揭幕仪式的随想


2017年12月21日星期四 冬至



















陈维明先生的雕像凸显出“疯马”酋长坚定刚毅的面容。他屹然挺立,向北面对着从洛杉矶到拉斯维加斯必经的15号州际公路,神态凝重。在雕塑的反面刻着《不自由,毋宁死》(Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death!")的名句,也象征着世世代代各国人民要求自由的不屈心声。

















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8. 当地官员与老魏合影留念:




10. 2016年6月“民主女神”雕像在美国首都华盛顿国会大厦前展出:








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