Two days ago, Yumiko and I arrived in China for a 3 month tour. We are focused on art, life, and biz here in Shanghai and are very excited to be here.
The trip started off immediately with a MB: Shanghai studio tour by the top executives of Sega China. We were still recovering from jet lag, fortunately so were our friends from Secret Level/Sega who were also along for the show and tell at MB. Later that night we went to a business dinner at the very fancy "Shangra La", courtesy of Sega, and were treated to great food, some cultural dance (much better than the happy birthday song at The Olive Garden), and a few fabulous drinks. There was a Prime Minister of whoknowswhere so we had to go through the metal detectors to get in. All in all, it was an awesome first day. I really enjoyed spending time with the artists of MB Shanghai as well. Strange to think that MB has been doing biz here for so long and this is my first visit. I wish I would have come sooner. Shanghai is a very exciting place.
Yesterday, a few of the talented guys from MB Shanghai brought us down to the gallery district of Zhongtan Road. The area has a very underground art sort of feel and there were a number of nice pieces on display at the various galleries. We visited about 20 galleries over the afternoon and explored some of the city. We ended up at a nice restaurant at the end and enjoyed some authentic chinese food. Fortunately no one ordered anything with eyeballs...well, except for the prawns. I got to try a lot of fruits that I had never tasted or seen too. New experiences, flavors, and sights have all been inspiring.
There are a few other silly observations so far...
1. The Shanghainese drivers will honk at anyone and anything. There are more horns going off here than anywhere I have ever been. In the USA when one goes to cross the street, we are taught to look both ways. In Shanghai I have to look both ways at least fifteen times each time I cross the street. Cars will barrel through the intersection full of pedestrians without even stopping. I have learned to walk at my own risk. The bikes will run me over too if I am not careful. I can still hear honking horns as I write this and I am on the 28th floor at MB Shanghai right now.
2. No one gets out of the way of ambulances, like they do in the US. I was watching people ignore the sirens today and was bewildered that no one cared to move out of the way of an emergency vehicle.
3. The water here makes the water in Mexico seem like it came from the fountain of youth. Holy moly...I have no idea what they put in it, or what got into it...I am afraid to ask...bottled water is the only way.
So far, there are some things I am really happy about.
1. Everyone has been very nice, and helpful too.
2. The food has been great...and is super cheap. I took all of MB Shanghai to dinner for the same price as Yumiko and I getting the same dinner in San Francisco. I am a foody so I love the fact that I can eat all sorts of things and not break the bank! Yummy breakfast on the street costs about 35 cents.
3. There are a ton of artists here. Just one of the gallery districts is bigger than the art areas of San Fran or LA. I can't wait to see the rest.
4. We have plenty of time to explore the city.
5. The insects are crazy here.
6. MB Shanghai has a new kitten! "little rabbit" is her name. She has devil horns.
Anyway, here are some pics from our adventures so far...I will update again soon.
PS...watch out for the Chinese garbage monkey. He will get you when you least expect!!
Last edited by Jason Manley; July 31st, 2007 at 12:57 PM.
That looks amazing Jason, I am sure you are getting alot of inspiration from all of your surroundings. Thanks to you and all the others who run and maintain this treasure trove of a website.
Hey, I recognize those style of paintings (last series). Some from the same artists are actually on exhibit at the local art gallery here. Huge, visceral paintings.
The studio there looks pretty luxurious.
thanks for the report. Makes me want to visit Shanghai some time even more.
Looks like you're having lots of fun there.
wow, this is beautiful, could you elaborate on what it is exactly? awesome photos.
You're right about the water man. A little tip: Do not buy the mint flavored bottled water...not tastey at all. DOnt forget to haggle! its insulting not to. And go see that Optimus Prime statue while you're there. Thanks for sharing, cant wait to see more.
looks like some crazy city alright cool stuff.
and i gotta say (hope it's not disrespectful) yumiko is looking really gorgeous in this shot.
enjoy your time and see you at the next workshop
(which i assume will be after summer sometime now)
thanks for sharing those pictures Jason, very nice.
I didn't even know there was such a strong artistic community in Shangai, and since i'm probably going for a trip there next year, its good to know
that art show looked interesting, i wonder what that plant thing is asoi pointed out and man, that insect is weeeeeird.
Nice to see you like shanghai, been living there for 2 years now, I really like it.
About the cars, I see it this way: pedestrians never EVER have priority, even when it's their turn to walk. the bigger you are, the biggest priority you have. trucks>cars>bikes>pedestrians... kinda sucks but hey.. its what makes it so special no?
Did you get to eat jiaoz (dumplings)? If you didnt you should, its really good stuff. depending on what they put in though
I would have loved to see MB shanghai once... kinda sucks I have my exams and am leaving this summer back to france...
Anyways, I really hope you enjoy your stay in Shanghai,
Wow!!! Enjoy it Jason, and Jess!!! ( I bet she's having a blast!!!!)
Very informative, and only strenghthens my desire to travel around the world and visit many many cultures! Especially with food that cheap!!
thank you for the pictures, I love the guadian tree sculpture, the twins babies, and holy crap that kitty is too cute...seriously. but she's not black like the deepest pit of hell? What's up? ;p
Red China looks pretty interesting.
I can't get over the people living in those tiny cramped apartments. And photograph with a bazillion toys covering it.
Would love to see more of the massive black studio. Great pics.
Thanks all...I will update again soon.
The carved tree roots were by a fountain with goldfish in it at the artist park (where we saw all the galleries). It was a beautiful piece and was just sitting there by the parking lot. Of all the art I saw that day, I would have wanted that more than any.
back to my breakfast!!
Yeah that bug is a trip! All creepy like. It was hanging out on the sidewalk. The main shell of the body (not including antennae) is probably about 2 inches long. I uploaded a little video of it here:Originally Posted by DanielC
Google video (funny thing is that I can upload to Google, but Google blocks China from watching any videos, so I can't tell if it works correctly. Go Chinese censorship!)-
A few seconds after the video ends our concept artist Zan ('Zan Zan' on the forums) picked it up by the back of the shell and put it in the bushes. They aren't poisonous but apparently they DO bite. They have little incisors like a spider.
Carnifex- thanks yer too sweet
Icon- Yes, we're loving the culture here for all of it's goods and bads. If we don't get run over in the crosswalk I'm sure we'll find plenty of adventures to come! Jason & I stumbled into a market of sorts and I had the fortune of running across an old man selling magazines and books at a newstand. I found a bunch of cool art books that normally would have cost me between $35-50 dollars each in the states for like $4 each. Score! Granted they might be bootlegs but the printing is excellent and I can't tell the difference, hehe.
Last edited by Jessica Hook; May 20th, 2007 at 10:49 PM.
the videos work just fine
+ I demand more kitten pics
"SHOW US THE MASSIVE BLACK PUSSY!"
friends Sketchbooks:Dile_, Stine
my flickr go there if you want to see my photography stuff
<mildly sarcastic remark that seems a little cutting at first read, but contains wisdom and is really rather funny>
Ilaekae: "I'm sick and tired of "purists" who dictate their own anal preoccupations to everybody else as the word of gods."
awsome pictures! thanks for sharing!
man.. thats amazing stuff. what a great trip it seems. im envious. have fun guys, and a bit for me too - JAG
it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
yeah I know that kinda beetle well from Colorado! The species there has yellow spots and if it bites you, you NEVER forget it.
glad to see you guys having fun!
So Sunday was the day that Yumiko and I realized we needed a break from the delights of Chinese food. Surely there is something to eat here that does not require chopsticks. For breakfast we found an awesome little pastry shop and ate until we were feeling fat and happy. Yum. Then it was off to explore the city and maybe do a little shopping.
One can find just about anything for sale here on the streets. Everything from firecrackers for sale at seven in the morning to baby chickens, knives, and spiderman 3 DVD's at 2pm. We randomly chose a direction and just started walking.
I realized by mid-day that my theory that one should look both ways fifteen times while crossing the street was not working all that well. I must become comfortable with the russian roullette of such endeavors. Unfortunately, I am not feeling at ease about it yet. We are living real life Frogger here.
About lunchtime we spotted a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Now I am never one to eat that slop back in the states but after kung pao chicken and every other assortment of Chinese food the past days, it sounded kind of good. Fortunately we agreed to skip it. Unfortunately we ended up at McDonalds where we discovered that Ronald McDonald torments the Chinese children as he does those from the USA. Same goes for the folks at Starbucks, which is still priced like we are in the US. Anyway, two burgers and fries and one flat soda later, Yumiko and I were back out on the streets and headed home.
We both agree, we are very much enjoying our visit in China. If not for Ronald McDonald's flat soda, the day would have been perfecto. So, it was not a bad day at all.
Last edited by Jason Manley; May 22nd, 2007 at 05:07 AM.
What I wouldn't give to stuff myself with that food!!
Man I hope you guys stay safe on those crossroads, the drivers here in Florida like to aim for pedestrians, so I can say I know how it feels, but maybe on a minimal scale. Keep updating, It seems like such a wonderful trip, full of food, crazy cars, chicks and Starbucks.....fuck they're really everywhere...
Yumiko: Soak it all in and enjoy it! That's one of the things I adore about travel, the ability to suddenly see things in a new perspective...of course the different surroundings kind of help with that!
Holy crap on cheap art books!!! I guess now is the time to buy buy buy! ;p Hope you have enough space on your suitcase!
So Monday came and we caved in and ate KFC. Holy fark it was bad. Chinese KFC is twisted and rotted into some sort of demon barf. Never eat it. Poor Yumiko is still recovering. We did find a walk up McDonalds...never saw that before! We also found a fire hydrant buried up to it's neck in cement. Strange place this can be.
Now for the more interesting stuff. We are about to announce the Massive Black/ConceptArt.Org Artist's Workshop: ASIA. But before we put anything up that is official, we have to settle on the space. Our first stop was a place in the heart of a traditional district which goes by the business name of Creek Art. www.creekart.cn . The space was wonderful. Four floors of artsy goodness, a bar, a full restaurant on the sixth floor, and they even make cookies. The surrounding neighborhood is also great. However, the space is a bit small and will only fit about 200 of us comfortably. The inspiration of unchanged culture surrounding the area made my eyes light up. I could wander around for hours with my camera, lost in old world China.
On a side note, this is probably the safest city I have ever been in. We have been down some of the darkest streets at night, only to be greeted by the smells of chinese bbq and the occasional person wondering what two americans are doing wandering around here. Everyone says hello and has been friendly and polite. I have the urge to respond "Hola" or "Wie Getz", just to throw them off, but am being good and smiling and saying hello back. Even the taxi's don't let psychos ride in them! haha. See below.
Anyway, after seeing such a wonderful space on our first stop, putting on an inspiring event here will be very easy for us. Italy, which was not so easy to find a space, is going to have to wait til next year. I expect the event to be late summer, just before school is set to begin. Hopefully some of you all will make it out. We are going to keep tuition very very low and everything is super cheap. ConceptArt.Org is about to wake up the Shanghai art scene.
Mucho thanks to May, my translator, and to Vivian from Creek Art, for the help today.
Last edited by Jason Manley; May 22nd, 2007 at 05:35 AM.