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Monday, September 12, 2011

Nearly time to go Home

As my time draws near to having to leave Brianna & Beijing, I find I have ambiguous emotions.

Bri and I at The Hutong, making & eating Chinese food

Obviously I will miss my daughter and this opportunity we have had to share such a wonderful adventure, but I am extremely surprised to realize I have grown rather attached to China . . . . this brash, confusing, contradictory, creative & exciting place.

So much creativity . . . . .

< I look around and am continuously blown away by the talent, creativity, ingenuity and sheer audacity of the multi faceted inhabitants.

Throughout our journey, just when I think I am over the pushing, jabbering, grey haze of pollution, traffic and sheer size and rate of expansion . . . I turn a corner and am confronted by someone whose generosity and humour confounds me, or an environmental panorama that takes my breath away. I do think Being an artist is a big influence. I tend to scrutinize the construction, detailing and placing of things that many confess they do not acknowledge, witness, comprehend or see at all. (This process can be annoying as a short journey may take hours. . . . . . ) Peeling paint, layered patterning, constructed landscaping, the juxtaposition of shadows silhouetted on a path, all are cause for pause, examination and reflection. China is an ideal place for this type of minute exploration. The unexpected appearance of a huge paper cut out under a bridge. The stencilling of images on abandoned buildings, the appearance of sculptures at every turn . . . .I watch people walking past all these installations without any outward sign of recognition and I am bamboozled . . . . So much talent . . .
In Brisbane I would have to walk throughout the GOMA ensuring I witness each and every item carefully accumulated, to see anywhere near as much as I can see just walking down a suburban main street in Beijing.

I am incredulous of the changes this county is experiencing. In 2007 we travelled through the major cities, to see the major tourist highlights . . . we saw a country in change and opening to all and any possibility. Now only 4 years later the changes are incredible. No more grey communist garments, no open fear of exposure, no hiding of exuberant emotions . . .

One of many Very large Paper Cuts behind glass under bridge.

We saw people holding hands and even kissing openly. We witnessed consumerism being all consuming. We saw the outward benefits of a new wave of 'liberal communism' . . . .sort of what we would consider entrepreneurial . . . . . capitalist . . . .or plain in your face avaricious money making?
Creative architecture everywhere

Through out my 6 weeks I have listened to a lot of criticism from numerous foreign individuals ( the peoples blatent production of pollution, their over- consumption, the one child policy collapsing, the want,want,want of the people . . . . .) and though I thought about their opinions and had to believe that they were observing obvious trends . . . . However, I could not help but be sympathetic with the way things are going. After the 'so long without' still in daily dialogue and current memory, I think the need to want and the want to desperately need, would be extremely hard to resist . . . . . The swift rush from Cultural revolution to consumerism is surreal.Everywhere you look there is change.
Everywhere there is construction there is planting of expansive parks.
Everywhere that something is changed a cultural installation or sculpture is installed . . . . .
Water park in shopping centre . . . .with Huge TV screen. Cool !!

The people know what they have missed, they know what they now want . . . . and who can blame them for wanting it all now.

But and the Big BUT is . . . .they are making small steps toward rehabilitation. Electric bikes, wind fans & solar power to generate electricity, planting of trees along every road and parks everywhere, the law to stop public spitting, the one child policy . . . . .the list goes on and on.

YES!, I will miss China and her people.
I have enjoyed so many of her attributes. . . .

I do wish her good management and good luck in the future . . . . .