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We have just returned from the opening of an exhibition of artworks by ‘International Disabled Artists’ at the Blue Roof Museum in Chengdu, China. With two French, one Singaporean and two American artists in attendance, the works ranged from paintings through sculptures and into photography.

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It had been a decade since I’d met Dan Keplinger, otherwise known as ‘King Gimp’ after the award-winning documentary that was made about his life as an artist with a disability (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr2GyUUEY10), at another group exhibition in San Francisco. Growing up with Cerebral Palsy has challenged him in many ways, one of which is in the creation of paintings, which necessitated the use of headgear to hold his brushes. More recently he has been able to control his hands and arms enough to grasp and manipulate pastels on canvas. Dan’s persistence and passion for painting continues to inspire me.

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Besides attending the opening celebrations, Dan and I spent time with our wives exploring local attractions and the numerous spicy foods Sichuan is famous for. Our mouths are still on fire!

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Text by Gregory Burns, Photographs by Angie Tan Burns, All Rights Reserved.
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