SPAR – Thanks to contributors and supporters

SPAR has only been possible thanks to goodhearted people who have either donated money or other resources, helped in various ways over time and along the road or served as “connectors” and door openers.

I am immensely grateful to each one of them for every and each contribution.


Charlotte Bachman, Basel, Switzerland.

Sören Sommelius, Helsingborg, Sweden.

Lene Holmsgaard, Denmark.

Steen Clausen, Denmark.

Wang Jing, Denmark.

Since this project is a co-project with the Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research, TFF, I’d like here to also thank the donors and Friends of TFF.

Other types of contributions

Ms Julie Brink, The Denmark-China Friendship Association:
– for having introduced me, as the first, to China by leading the 1983 Danish friendship delegation and for having shared so many and important contacts and letting me publish an article in the Association’s news magazine.

Ms Laila Liu, Danish Chinese Tourism & Cultural Exchange Association, Copenhagen:
– for having introduced me to the Guizhou province and its immense natural beauty, for connecting me with many people and using me as an adviser, for suggesting that I visit Xian – and much more.

Ms Wang Jing, Tvind, Denmark:
– for having arranged my visit to the China Art Academy in Hangzhou and for translating a short summary of the SPAR project and myself to Chinese. And for supporting the project financially.

Mr Thore Vestby, Oslo, The ICHI Fund, Beijing/Oslo:
– for opening my eyes to many aspects of Chinese society and development and for his enthusiasm; Thore is a TFF Board member and frequent China traveller and experienced in things Chinese. He also carried various artefacts, I had ordered online in China with him back to Scandinavia.

Ms Liu Jian, Beijing, The ICHI Found, Beijing/Oslo:
– for inviting me to become a board member of the ICHI Fund and for travelling with me – together with her lovely 12-year old daughter Canran – to the Anhui province where we visited the old paper mill that does Xuan papers the old way and – afterwards – for proceeding to show me Suzhou. I learned so much and got so many things translated; I would never have been able to gain so much knowledge without their wonderful company and help.

Further, Ms Liu helped me search for an old Chinese door for the installation; however, we did not succeed. But she did buy, on my behalf, a number of old artefacts online and made Thore carry them over to me. And she has accepted to become a TFF Associate.

As if this was not enough, she also took it upon herself to have a unique “diulian” created for the installation. A diulian is a kind of poster produced around the Chinese new year and taped to the doors of houses with some important message in beautiful handwritten calligraphy, usually on sparkling red paper. In this, she cooperated with Fan Xiaochun (see below).

Mr Wang Zhi, Småland, Sweden and Shanghai:
– for linking me up with people in Shanghai and lending me a mobile wifi.

Ms Sofie Nilsson, Shanghai:
– for teaching me valuable things about living in Shanghai as a foreigner, taking me around the Concession Area and to a photography gallery as well as introducing me to an artist.

Mr Ulf Timmerman & Ms Chen Ke, fashion and design people, in Hangzhou:
– for introducing me to many of their local friends, inviting me to parties in their cosy home and to a community gathering which helped me connect with many people and listen to their stories.

Ms Chen Huiquan, Hangzhou:
– for introducing me to modern Chinese music and taking me around to a silk printing machine factory (and Mr Farley at Atexco, Hangzhou), a silk printing factory, and to several museums and galleries in spite of her busy schedule as an English teacher.

Ms Viola XuXu, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou:
– for spending most of a whole day showing me around to departments and exhibitions at the two campuses of the Academy.

Mr Wang Chang Lin, calligraphy artist, Xian:
– for creating a beautiful piece of calligraphy right there and then in the artists’ quarters in Xian. It’s about the Silk Road and cooperation East-West, which I can display where I want. A very humble man who speaks a few words in English and has no homepage or e-mail but is on WeChat as wxid_202sg5qaqvgz2/13629286267.

Sunny Lyn, CEO of iShareYoung Technology Corporation, Ltd. in Shenzhen:
– for donating Bobi, the yellow child’s mate for early education and taking me around Shenzhen, including to the factory and corporation where Bobi is produced and sold.

Ms Sarah Ng, a student of linguistics, Chengdu & Ms Jiangnan “Jenny” Wei, a student of informatics, IT and marketing, Chengdu:
– for having been my guides to Chengdu and its art world, taking me to a very-difficult-to-find secondhand bookstore, for helping promote the SPAR project in China in general and to Chinese media and on WeChat in particular.

Ms Kiki Wang, tourist agent and art student and collector, Hongkong and Shenzhen:
– for introducing me to the history and food culture of Shenzhen, for showing me around for two days to galleries and museums and to the Painters’ Village, Dafen, and other art spaces. And, not the least, for introducing me to her friend:

Mr Liu “Wayne” Wen, gallery owner, in Shenzhen:
– for helping me reach, through his artist mother, the owner of the paper mill in the Anhui Province I later visited:

Mr Zhu Shuibin, CEO of a very old paper mill in Jingxian, Anhui Province:
– for taking Ms Liu, Canran and me around the mill, around the local community, introducing us to his family and friends, inviting us for meals – over 1,5 days. So very generously.

Mr. Fan Xiaochun, calligraphy artists:
– for creating the 3-piece “diulian” to hang on SPAR’s second wall next to the four panels.

Birgitte Samsøe Crawfurd, Farum, Denmark:
– for suggesting cultural contacts in Beijing and good books about the Silk Road.

Lars Waldemar, Danish artist:
– for sharing his very positive experience of exhibiting at Palazzo Mora in Italy last year and very useful advice in general.

Christian Hårleman, Stockholm, Sweden:
– for having tried to find financial supporters for the SPAR project and for much encouragement.

Ulf Nilsson, Växjö, Sweden:
– for sharing his decades-long China experience and suggesting important literature, including Peter Frankopan’s Silk Road book.

Kristofer Wamling & Helena Holmkrantz, Lund:
– for converting my 1983 China Kodachrome photos to jpg format.

Anders Jönsson, Valkärra, Sweden:
– for making my Epson printer fit for this project.

Vahid Reza Darejati, Lund:
– for creating a beautiful calligraphy and writing it on a small antique mirror for the Iran section of my installation.

Séverine Renard, Canada/Lund:
– for starting working on a volunteer basis with both The Transnational Foundation and Oberg PhotoGraphics. She has edited and produced the SPAR “road movie” based on hundreds of my non-planned video shots along the Silk Road and elsewhere; she is also the producer of the two videos in which I explain the installation, and she has put together the videos in which I talk about Silk Road, peace and related issues as a background to the installation. They can all be viewed at Vimeo here.

Narges Farshi, Tehran
– for having applied her vast knowledge about the art world in Tehran and made a number of institutions interested in exhibiting SPAR – however, right before the Corona pandemic destroyed every such plan.

And thank you for the music…
– Yes, listening to music while you create photos and the installation has been part and parcel of the whole thing. So I thank the following for the music: Beethoven, Schubert, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and several others, but above all Benny Andersson (yes, the Abba guy) for the Album “Piano” published by Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft. During the many months of work with SPAR, this collection of 23 piano solos has resonated with me like, literally, no other music. In my view, this is the type of music that will stand the test of time (like much else by Abba) and be played even a hundred years from now as classical music.

To give you a flavour…

Discounts and other economic support

Ljungberg Artist in Lund
– discount on artist materials, paints etc. – and much good advice.

Drewex Ram och Konstnärsmaterial in Malmö
– discount on artist materials, paint etc. – and much good advice.

Updated August 20, 2023

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