4A Beijing Residency
I seem to be sleeping a little later each day, I got up at 7am and drained a coffee before getting a little exercise in. We had breakfast and then Justin, Eugenia, Veronica, Shen, myself and Yuan Yuan gathered on an upstairs balcony for a discussion about our practices and art in general. Yuan Yuan is the assistant curator at MOCAPE (Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning), a massive museum scheduled to open in 2017. Veronica and Yuan Yuan translated Shen's questions and we talked about the globalisation of art, historical influences and generational shifts in contemporary practices. This is definitely one of the reasons I wanted to be here, to reflect on these ideas with an artist of Shen’s calibre. We talked for a couple of hours before heading down for lunch. Afterwards Justin and I packed our things and prepared to catch the bus to Beijing. We had to find a new bus stop as the road works had caused a disruption and Veronica demonstrated her rally driving skills to overtake the bus and drop us off in time to get on board. The ticket inspector kept yelling at everyone with a grating voice and a few old people were nearly knocked out of the door as the bus lurched away super quick from every stop. The trip took about an hour before we hit the traffic snarl of Beijing. The city is massive with grey fog limiting our vision to a few sky scrapers, it’s a little overwhelming at first but the bustle on the streets brings it all back to a human scale. We checked into the hotel, not a bad place full of chandeliers, gold and plastic bouquets. I had a shower and we walked down to Mondernsky Lab, the club where Justin is going to perform tomorrow night. The club is on the ground floor of a massive Zaha Hadid building, it looks like a space cruise liner looming into the fog in huge contoured arcs of grey. We met up with Alvin and the Asian Dope Boys so Justin could check out the venue before heading of to get dinner with a whole bunch of other artists and musicians. Dinner was another boozy feast, I chatted a lot with Ivan and Anya, a Russian duo called Lovecult. They describe their music as suicidal electronica. We had people from Switzerland, Canada, Australia and China. Afterwards we headed out to a super confusing bar with a bizarre table service routine that made it hard to get a drink. By midnight we were turning into pumpkins so Justin and I found a taxi and headed back to the hotel.