Mourning Francisco González Gragera, creator of Capricho de Cotrina

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Song Peilun

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Visiting Information

The site is generally available for visitation. Tickets cost 20 yuan, with 50% discount for students.



About the Artist/Site

Artist, designer, and former professor Song Peilun was born in Meitan County of Guizhou Province. Inspired by a childhood dream to honor and pay tribute to the ancient peoples who had lived in this isolated valley thousands of years before, after he visited the United States and traveled to see the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota, it became more than a dream. Inspired by the immensity of that project, around twenty years ago he decided to dedicate his life to building a memorial to “represent the culture, folk tradition and customs, including the ancient architecture, lifestyle, and the beliefs of our ancestors in Guizhou,” he has said.

Earliest documentation of the existence of these ancient peoples comes from the third century BCE, and it is believed that this great valley in the south and west of modern-day Guizhou Province became a renowned political entity, with various different groups centered here. While there are no architectural remains of their tenure, it is conjectured that sacrifice rituals and other customs generally uncommon to the region took place. Some of these rites were accompanied by the wearing of Nuo masks, which were believed to assuage hardships and ward off diseases. Monumental heads and totems adorn Peilun’s site in homage to these masks.

Peilun chose this area due to the rocky outcroppings, which he uses in the construction. “I just used what was offered by the land,” he said, “and it also saved costs.” He designs each structure, but they are primarily built by local masons and villagers. “My thoughts need to be carried out by their hands,” he says. While the site is extremely extensive, covering some fifty hectares, he says he is not even close to being finished, and believes it will take at least another twenty years to complete his dream. The constructions include castle-like monuments, columns, lakes, and freestanding sculptures, all primarily created from the local stones, wood, and terra cotta.

In addition to celebrating those who have gone before, Peilun wanted to make this isolated area a center for the arts. An artist himself, his works attracted like-minded painters and musicians who now live there. His long-term commitment to celebrating the ancient cultures is lauded by the local government, and his work has been featured in local media reports. Although this forested area is relatively isolated, the government has moved several universities to the area, and some even provide partial work-study programs to help the development of Peilun’s site.

The site is generally available for visitation. Tickets cost 20 yuan, with 50% discount for students.

~Jo Farb Hernández



Map and site information

Ye Lang Da Dao
Qiannan Buyizumiaozuzizhizhou, Guizhou Sheng, China
Latitude/Longitude: 26.18448 / 106.38176

Visiting Information

The site is generally available for visitation. Tickets cost 20 yuan, with 50% discount for students.



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