Festival time

Along with most of Hong Kong, or so it seems, we went to Cheung Chau on Thursday for part of Tai Chiu, a four day festival honouring Pak Tai, the "Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven" who is a protector of, among other things, fisherfolk. Cheung Chau is still an active fishing village as well as a dormitory suburb for Hong Kong Other gods honoured during the festival include Tin Hau (another important god for fisherfolk) and Hung Shing.

It was hot.

And these guys must have been sweating it.

There are bands, both Chinese and European, and "floating children" like these.

We got driven home early by the heat (people collapsed apparently) and missed the highlight, the race to climb the bun towers. Maybe next time


798 ....

..... is the name of an old factory complex in Beijing.

It is, in many ways, a great example of modernist, Bauhaus design. It is now an "art district" and has studios, galleries and cafe's along with some areas of manufacturing that don't fit the "art district" idea. I liked the way the original use still came through in places

and the way that things seemed to just work as aesthetic arrangements.

There was a lot to see. It's a big area, and you can be excused for wanting a snooze.

and some times things conspire to have a new meaning. Creative flashpoint?

and there was some very interesting art, and some very boring, run of the mill, lazy and derivative shit, errr, stuff as well.

Hi, it's been a while hasn't it .........

I've been busy, and away, and lazy.

Anyway, spent eight days in Beijing recently. Here are some crappy tourist shots.

Hey, I had to take it. This was on the day that we and 129,998 other people visited the Forbidden City. Amazing place. Next time you are in Beijing, go. But avoid "Golden Week"... the week all China is on holiday.

All you have seen in books is there, and yes, red is an auspicious colour in China. Walls and doors are painted in it along with a lot of architectural features. And they look great too.

My favourite, of the traditional tourist spots, was the Temple of Heaven. Amazing place.

and let's not mention the, well I won't then, or the cult of, well, let's just think of them as nice objects without historical and socio-cultural baggage. "Hey honey, wont one of these look so cool on the coffee table"...

Go there, be amazed by a changing city. Oh, and the food is great, from restaurant to street vendor. You name it, you can find it, from Kosher/Halal to provincial French via all the regional Chinese varieties.

That and the parks. Great parks. Trees, Lakes, Follies. And people being people in them. Eating, making music, 70 year olds playing the local version of hacky sack. Liked it, apart from the pollution and great distances to cover. Kind of like Christchurch really.