With monks at the Shaolin Temple

Me with some monks

I got back from China on Thursday and I’ve now pretty much unpacked and settled back into the flat. As I expected, while I was away there was little opportunity for the sustained thinking and concentration that I need to write blog posts, but having those three weeks away from the computer was a good break from working.

For all its problems I’ve really taken a liking to China, or at least to what I saw of it, and it’s kind of boring to be back in London (this last is probably just post-holiday blues).

As is probably evident from my recent posts here, I’m becoming more and more interested in the art scene in China. It’s at a very interesting stage of development, right now in the process of creating the systems and structures which will potentially become its future institutions. This is in comparison to the West where these institutions are entrenched and have been for a very long time, with little room for manoeuvre. I’ll be writing some posts on what I saw while I was in Beijing and I’ll be trying to synthesise my existing interests with this new-found subject-matter.

To really understand China though and to be able to be involved with it, I have to learn the language. I feel that unless I can speak the language I will never be able to fully immerse myself in the culture or be able to work with it in an appropriate, productive and respectful fashion. To that end, I’m looking into courses in Beijing at the various colleges there. If anyone has any recommendations or comments, please let me know.