4A Beijing Residency
The day began with a midnight flight from Perth International to Hong Kong. Nothing particularly eventful on the 8 hour flight, I watched a few episodes of Game of Thrones and sacked out for a few hours. I arrived in Hong Kong at 8am and hustled over to the next gate for my connecting flight at 9am. Arriving at Beijing airport was just like arriving at any of the big ones with train rides and long immigration queues before popping out the other end. Justin and Eugenia found me outside Starbucks and I met up with Hamida, Veronica and Shen. We loaded into the car and drove out to 789 Art District in Beijing. We wandered around being overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the area, there are around 200 galleries and endless coffee shops. We had a look through a few of the spaces that Veronica recommended. I’m totally in awe at the scale of the spaces and the work that I’ve seen so far, it’s definitely what I came here for and Beijing delivers straight away. We went to the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art to see a talk but it was all in Mandarin so we wandered off for a beer around the corner. I’m very pleased that my bank cards seem to work no problem. After that we went to another gallery for an opening, it was a stilted flute performance in an installation of swept dirt with cast fabric and welded steel plates across the floor. I’m enjoying experiencing work with no idea how to access it through the text, it’s purely experiential which is a fantastic way of approaching art. Afterwards we headed to a restaurant set up like a series little NY loft apartments, the whole place looked like a sitcom. We feasted around a table with Shen, Veronica, Mikala, Eugenia, Hamida, Justin, myself and a bunch of Shen’s artist friends. I ate and drank everything that came my way quite happily. The food here is amazing. On the drive home nearly all of us fell asleep, apparently I was snoring pretty loudly but I am the old boy out of us three from Australia so I feel like it's expected. We arrived at Shen’s place at about 1030pm and I unpacked all my stuff, showered and sacked out exhausted.