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Halfway to Heaven

22 September 2007

Mr Nie is 76-year old, worked as a petty government official until his retirement at aged of 60. Although he’s never a towering figure by any sense, since his retirement he began to write his memoir, recording a common Chinese man’s ordinary life.

But about a year ago, his ordinarily suddenly ends when an extraordinary idea occurred in his mind: he wanted the memory of him after his death lives on at a high level.

“When I die I don’t want to take up precious land resource at the expense of the living people,” declaimed he. So here he is, preparing his eternal residence up in the air on a cliff behind his house.

He hired two stonesmiths to cut into cliff face 20 metres above the ground to structure a double-grave for both his wife and himself.

A year late, in September 2007, the work on the construction of the cliff tomb is complete. It’s a spacious master bedroom of dead: approximately 1.5 metre wide by 3 metre long with the height from the floor to ceiling measuring 1.5 metre.

And it is a theme space too. Following the time-honoured tradition of Chinese architectural practice, a cultural dimension has been added to the tomb. On its interior walls the host's memoir comprised a total of 2,600 characters has been permanently engraved; at the entrance, couplets are accomplished by a prose on the lintel that defines the subject of his lasting resting place, which reads "Shouting to Heaven" (仰天长啸).

Think the amount of audio energy a dead man could possess! Guess one would never be able to obtain it if being stuffed deep into the soil.

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