So, tomorrow I’m flying out of London to Bejing for three weeks. What am I hoping for or expecting from this trip?
Firstly, and most importantly from a personal point of view, I’ll be seeing Shi, my fiancée again after a five-week gap. I’ll also be meeting her family for the first time.
Secondly, I’ll be being a tourist, seeing all those things which a tourist mustn’t miss when in China (or at least as many as we can reach comfortably from Beijing in the time available). That includes all the usual suspects, the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, the Great Wall, the terracotta soldiers, etc.
And finally, I’ll be getting a feel for the art scene in China. This is something that I’ve only recently been introduced to, mainly through Shi, and the whole situation really interests me, both formally and theoretically.
I realise that I’ve been very bad and haven’t written about my fiancée and what she’s been up to recently.
Shi left for China on the 2 May to join the curator Li Zhenhua as his assistant. She’d first worked with him a few years ago on ‘Out The Window-Space of Distraction‘ show he curated in Japan. Shi’s ability to speak Chinese, Japanese and English was obviously a great help to her in this. She’s now in Beijing helping with a new show he’s developing.
From what I’ve heard the show is going to be huge. It’s split across three sites in the city (maybe more) and features a large number of contemporary artists and musicians from Japan. As soon as Shi arrived in Beijing she was whisked off to begin work and she’s not really stopped since, bless her.
But her work on this show is only one side of Shi’s activities in China – she’s also developing her own professional practice. The first fruits of this is an article she’s been asked to write for an American journal. I’ve had a look at her draughts for the piece and it’s looking good. It’s in the peer review process at the moment, so fingers crossed it’ll go through without too many problems.
All in all, I’m really proud of my baby. She’s doing really well, managing the workload and creating new opportunities for herself at the same time.
And I’m also really happy because I’m going out to China on Tuesday to see her for the first time since she left. I’ll be there for three weeks during which time I’ll do some sightseeing and take a look at the art scene over there. I’ll try and post while I’m in Beijing, but I’ll only have access to Shi’s laptop and she’ll be needing it to work on and that takes priority, so my time may be limited. In any case, when I return to London at the end of June I’ll be able to upload the photos I take and do some reporting at my leisure.