Monday, December 9, 2013

A Tale of Two Sister Cities: Shimada, Japan and Zhoushan, China Presented with MK Shannon Sculptures by the City of Richmond, California

Richmond, CA In July of this year, 2013, Lucy Zhou contacted me, MK Shannon, directly on behalf of the Port of Richmond. I was a resident of Point Richmond on the San Francisco Bay for 12 years. I loved it there. Consequently, when Lucy called to ask for my assistance in ordering gifts for an upcoming official trip to the City of Shimada, Japan and the City of Zhoushan, China, I was more than a little excited to take this project. The project included the need to have one distinctive sculpture to present in Japan and a different image to present in China. Each sculpture was to reflect the importance of the cities having become sister cities of the city of Richmond. I immediately recommended three different sculptures from my collection. The piece chosen for the the City of Shimada, Japan is entitled “Partners”(shown below).

Richmond, California's Vice Mayor Courtland Boozé (right) and Council Member Nathaniel Bates (left) presented MK Shannon sculpture to Shimada, Japan's Mayor Kinuyo Soneya in the photo above. Mayor Kinuyo Soneya was recently elected as the first female mayor in the city's history. 

The sculpture selected for presentation to the City of Zhoushan, China presented a different request. The City of Richmond, representing the Port of Richmond, wanted to present one large sculpture to the city's mayor and seven identical smaller sculptures to various departments in the city to show appreciation and gratitude from the City of Richmond. Lucy Zhou and I directed the whole project for both countries and obtained approvals from the Richmond Board of Directors and the mayor as the need arose. Lucy is an outstanding woman who serves the Port of Richmond tirelessly. With her assistance I proposed to create a smaller version of the large sculpture entitled “ World Infinity” to be presented to the City of Zhoushan. The smaller versions were given to different department heads within the city of Zhoushan. 
A photo of that sculpture being presented to Zhoushan, China's Vice Mayor Lin Jiang by Nat Bates and Courtland Boozé is shown below

Lucy Zhou’s sharp-eyed management of this project allowed me enough time to create a new model, have it cast and plated at the foundry in time for the departure of the Richmond delegation in early October, 2013. One “Partners” was presented to the City of Shimada, Japan and one large “World Infinity” and seven small “World Infinity” sculptures were completed for shipment overseas.

I personally met with Nathaniel Bates, Board Councilman for the City of Richmond (and former mayor) and Lucy Zhou, the Port of Richmond liaison, after their return from their mission to Japan and China.

"Richmond, California's Vice Mayor Courtland Boozé and Council Member Nathaniel Bates presented Shimada, Japan's Mayor Kinuyo Soneya and Zhoushan, China's Vice Mayor Lin Jiang with these beautiful gifts commemorating our long-term sister city relationships. The gifts were received with great enthusiasm and appreciation", said Lucy Zhou.