On the move again for the three hour flight to Shenzen- our last stop in mainland China.
On the way to the airport we stop off in the artistic zone of 798 -former warehouses and factories which have been made into galleries and studios for artists. We met our patrons at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Chinese Art for a tour and lunch.
Under a portrait of the museum's founders, Guy and Miriam Ullens, we start our tour of the exposition. We had met the Ullens first in 2000 when we performed for them in Venice. Shortly before this museum was to open two years ago, they hosted us to a magnificent evening in Verbier where we were performing. Having heard a lot about the museum on that occasion, we had been looking forward to seeing it, as well as a little bit of the rest of 798.
The exposition now showing (they change every two and a half months, which is amazing given the size of the installations) is a very sombre look at man's propensity to build monumental edifices, their inevitable decline, and the return of everything to nature. The departure point for the artist was the Nanjing-Yangtse bridge which began as one of the most grand and ambitious engineering achievements and which is now viewed in a different light. The yellow object in the first picture, the first piece in the show, is a ship which has sunk. It's a powerful and disturbing exposition.
This room sized piece puts us in another sunken ship. Real ( former) water buffalo on the floor...
We had a delicious lunch with the patrons in the museum, and a last chance to spend time with them before they go off to Guilin to get a sense of ancient China and we to Shenzen-the very modern special economic zone. It was great to have them with us, and to share this singular experience. We thank them for coming!