Monday, September 22, 2014

Native Repair #1

I've been giving a lot of walking tours lately. On various themes: Art Deco on the Bund, Shanghai Off the Beaten Track, Creative Shanghai (Art & Markets near the Bund.) I love doing the walks; they bring me close to the textures and details that make the city inspiring to me. (So please contact me if you are game for one!) 

What I love best is that every walk, no matter how well planned, offers itself up as improvisation. I  think of it as the walk throwing out a few gifts & I walk with curious anticipation. As we turn to exit from a derelict building, suddenly, there's a wedding shoot, the bride in a voluminous strapless gown voguing in the doorway, brilliant scarlet against all the concrete grey. Or, as I stop on a corner to show images on my iPad of Little Victories, an mobile art gallery created by artists from the Swatch Art Residency, a posse of rough&tumble three-wheel-deliverymen gather around for a rousing discussion amongst themselves about...well, I don't know exactly what but they sure are excited to see their tricycles on my screen.

Or just something perfect like this:

An improv known from my travels in Africa as "native repair."

For more chair repairs, ones that put my favorite pink plastic string to work, click here. For many more images of variously patched up chairs in Hong Kong, see Michael Wolf's wonderful collection of photographs, Bastard Chairs. And finally, to come make art in Shanghai, click here to apply for a residency at the Swatch Art Hotel.

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