Friday, 17 April 2009

Alone Time

I have been accidentally left alone tonight but I am OK. I have gone round 北师大 campus and collected some of my fave food here and am having a kind of feast with myself and an online illegal version of V for Vendetta (naughty, naughty Jazza).

I am going to make the most of it, I have had little to no alone time these past few weeks. Who knows? I might even read! SCANDALOUS!

I went to the art district in Beijing the other day and took some appropriately arty pictures, here are a collection:

In this district dedicated to all that is art (and very expensive food and drink - I couldn't find a coffee under 25yuan!) I found an exhibition dedicated to British artists. Me being British, I decided to take a look and was genuinely blown away - we apparently breed very good arty people.
I forgot to take down the names of any of the artists but the exhibition is called "English Lounge" and is at the Tang Contemporary Gallery until the 26th of April.

There was one piece that I really liked by ... which had a map of the British Isles:not a very good picture I admit but I think you get the gist.

Each of those flags represents a list of Chinese restaurants in a certain area in Britain. You can see Glasgow, London, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Manchester seem to have a very large amount. I even managed to find my local back home in Essex:(Yau's Chinese Restaurant, Billericay)

I just thought it was a really simple but thought provoking piece of artwork. I think it even goes into what it means to be British today - the kebab shop, the Chinese Thai or Indian restaurant down your road, they're just as British as the chippy or Woolworths. All these shops and places go to making up life on this little island just as much as the rest of us and I genuinely believe that is what makes being British today so great.

A music video that has taken this trip to Beijing by storm has been the 2008 Olympic song: "Beijing Huanyin Ni" (北京欢迎你- YouTube it, it's fantastically cheesy) and within it is shows clips of all that is considered 'Chinese' - Peking duck, tea ceremony, Peking Opera, calligraphy dumplings and more. It got me wondering what the hell is going to be in our Olympic music video? After all, Britishness is much harder to define in the modern age.

It will be interesting to see what we decide to do; if we end up clinging to traditional Britain, that of the class system, scones, Lords, Ladies, the empire and foxhunting - or whether we will have the balls to take on the gargantuan effort of representing the huge spectrum of people who live here today.

I may have ended up rambling here so I will leave you to whatever you were doing before hand.

I hope all is well where you are.



amy said...

Wow I had a take away from yau's last week!

Holly said... it's just a shuttered-up desolate warehouse in the middle of Chippenham high street. *mourn*