We formed an unbreakable bond in our adolescent years that has endured the trials of time and distance. Despite attending different high schools, we spoke every weekend, sharing stories about our separate journeys and cherishing the connection that was so dear to us.
On New Year's Day in 2019, we were together at Lake Baikal.
When it came time to venture further, Tian traveled across the ocean to pursue her Bachelor's degree in America, while I explored China, seeking out talented artisans and craftsmen, and embracing the ancient rhythms of Eastern culture.
Despite the distance between us, we remained close. When Tian was heartbroken or feeling down, I would comfort her with the soft purring of Moon, the stray cat she had rescued in Shanghai, which had come to live with me in Beijing. Moon was a testament to the power of connection, a reminder of the passions and values that we shared and that linked us together.
As Tian and I continued to speak and correspond, our mutual desire to share the beauty of East Asian culture and craftsmanship became stronger. Eventually, we founded Oriental Design&Gift.
The journey was challenging, but our companionship and shared passion provided solace even in the face of adversity.
Looking ahead, we knew our bond would never falter, even with time and distance. For me, Tian, and Moon, our connection remains unbreakable, a source of inspiration through good times and bad.
As for me, my passion for Chinese calligraphy and paintings stemmed from a young age, when my grandmother would tutor me on the basics as a way to connect with me. It was when I was given a set of calligraphy brushes and ink stones by my grandmother at the early age of six that I cherished them dearly.
One day, when I was twelve years old, my grandmother took me to a Chinese painting exhibition where a calligraphy master was conducting a demonstration. As I watched in awe, the way he painted with his impeccable technique left me fascinated. I was captivated by how the ink and brushes could bring so much life and expression to a single stroke.
My fascination with Chinese culture began when I learned traditional Chinese medicine from my grandfather. He taught me various techniques, such as cupping, scraping, and acupuncture, which drew me towards the unique and holistic approach of this ancient practice.
Yet, my interest in Chinese culture didn't stop there. It all started with my grandfather's handmade pottery, created with a sense of wonder in his backyard. I was fascinated by his work, and every summer, I visited him to keep learning.
One summer, my grandfather took me to a traditional tea-making workshop, where skillful artisans crafted exquisite teaware with such precision that I was captivated. I spent hours observing, learning, and asking questions until the sun began to set.
We both have a hope that we can share oriental philosophy with more people through our products, and we hope to help more people understand the East. We also hope to assist those who are tirelessly working to pass on oriental culture.