So “Oysters and Champagne” the Shajing version opened this weekend and it was quite beautiful:
Meanwhile, Handshake 302’s installation, “n=distortion” also opened at the SZ-HK Biennale:
This rhythm of Shenzhen culture can overwhelm. Suddenly, there are installations, performances, and salons everywhere. We are inundated, but frankly often too tired to enjoy the deluge.
However, as a Cantonese proverb says, “Water is wealth.”
Tuesday was a day of tea. Had a late dim sum style tea with visiting photographer Jiangnan Jian, his son, the organizer of Jiangnan Jian’s show, and Taiwanese art critic Huang Qianfang. For dinner, Qianfang and I went to Shangchuan in Bao’an, where we had a lei cha (擂茶) dinner. The differences between the two style of tea delineate the cultural geography of Guangdong and its shifting reinscriptions in Shenzhen. Continue reading
A Handshake 302 announcement from project curator Wu Dan:
All of us have studied art, music or dance, but halfway there we gave up on it, and now our pictures don’t look like they’re supposed to, our notes don’t chime like they should, and our feet– well, you know whose toes you’ve stepped on. We gave up on our art for all sorts of reasons (some of them real, most imagined). The expression in Mandarin is 半途而废, giving up halfway there.
And yet. Those mostly forgotten art and music and dance classes still resonate in our lives; we want to get back on track (so to speak).
Handshake 302 has decided to add music to our repetoire of community art projects. This time were looking for “halfway there” muscians ” who learned and quit an instrument, but are now ready to pick it up again and play in the band. We will have professionals help us with composition and practice, but the music we make will be our own.
So dust off your instrument and join us. We’re organizing a series of rehearsals and composition sessions, and then we’re hitting the road for several community performances. How cool is that?! Continue reading
It’s grave sweeping day, and the streets were empty. So my friend and I headed out to the Fenghuang Mountain Fenyan Ancient Temple. Neither of us have been and we were curious. However, it turns out that we couldn’t get into the temple because there were too many people burning incense and all traffic was being redirected. In the middle of the only traffic jam we encountered all day (including on Guangdong 107), I jumped out of the car and took a picture of the old pagoda at the Wen Tianxiang memorial; handshakes, many, many, many migrant workers, and a touch of something ancient. My friend mentioned that during the Cultural Revolution, they were only allowed to sweep the graves of revolutionary martyrs; no sweeping family graves. Today, however, although workers had the day off, most could not go home and so they had gone to the temple or to walk the mountain paths. Then, because we couldn’t find a parking spot from which to visit either the completely restored ancient village or the temple, we headed back to guannei. On our way to Shekou, we passed the former site of the Nanyou Building; once upon a time was an important landmark but is now a building site. We reminisced about how narrow and small Nanshan and Shekou used to be, as we approached the recently erected sign for the Shekou and Qianhai Free Trade Zone at the border between Shekou and Nanshan. Reading the sign, I realized that Shekou-Qianhai is not precisely a free trade zone, but rather a pilot free trade zone, which sounds ominously unstable, with the possibility of expanding or retracting at any moment. Ramble. Ramble. Ramble.
Impressions of a walk along Fuhua South Road. This is one of the oldest areas in the city. Of note, the street is busy and vibrant and runs parallel to Shennan Road, which is wide and long and filled with vehicular traffic, but few pedestrians.
Yesterday evening shared poetry with good friends old and new: Steve Schroeder, Walter Bargen, Clarence Wolfshohl, and Huichun Liang. Impressions, below: