shu and joe

Posts filed under ‘Beijing’

Bird’s Nest Good Times

May 29, 2008

My lovely cousin Ying is a student at Beijing Normal University and was chosen to be a volunteer for the upcoming games. Since we won’t be there in August, she was kind enough to give me a sneak preview of the interior of the Bird’s Nest during the Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open. Below are photos she and her friends took during the competition.

Some comfortable-looking chairs in what appears to be the VIP section of the bleachers. As everything is “VIP” in China, it will be interesting to see how far they take things. Super VIP?

Interesting ceiling at the entrance.

My cousin, her friend and another view of the stadium, this time with less comfortable-looking seating.

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Salon in Beijing

May 27, 2008

Andre is hosting the 20th (!) Salon at his apartment this week and it looks like it will be an interesting one, with a Hollywood writer/director as the guest lecturer.

This week Thursday, May 29th, 9pm.

Join Sam Auster, a Writer/Producer/Director from Los Angeles California for a shocking confessional, a lurid tell-all and a harrowing journey into the heart of darkness that is the development process for an independent feature film in today’s Hollywood snake pit. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer.


The salon is a trading place for knowledge, information and opinion. People who are having a special interest in any field of art or science, music or what ever and who are interested in sharing their passion with others are invited to talk. All others are invited to listen and discuss…

BY: Andre Schmidt, 13718590833
LOCATION: China Central Place, 6-1502, Jian Guo Lu 89, Chao Yang district, Beijing
TIME: 9pm.
DRINKS: sure, sometimes snacks as well

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Liu Bolin

May 9, 2008

Asian Photography Blog pointed me to a recent series of photos by Beijing-based artist Liu Bolin. The series is titled Hiding in the City, and it is currently on view at Robischon Gallery in Denver, Eli Klein in New York, and Galerie Bertin-Toublanc in Paris. Louis Lannoo Gallery in Belgium will feature the work later this month. Liu’s project appears quite extensive, with more than 50 pieces in the series developed between 2007 and 2008.

Shu and I developed a conceptually similar series of photographs while we were living in Beijing, although our pieces were executed with silkscreen on cloth, not direct painting as in Liu’s work. Our series, Beijing Backgrounds, was presented at the 798 Space during the DIAF last September.

Here are a few images:

Another artist who has explored what he calls “camouflages” is Laurent La Gamba.

Laurent La Gamba, Royal Chien, 2002.

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Die Wahren Orte

April 29, 2008

Taking its curatorial impetus from Captain Ahab’s observation that “true places” can’t be found on maps, Die Wahren Orte at Alexander Ochs brings together a really quite nice selection of recent work from China. The exhibition marks the gallery’s move to a new space on Sophienstrasse and will continuously evolve during its four month run. The highlight of the show is Yin Xiuzhen’s 15-meter-long van covered with a canopy of sewn garments titled Collective Unconscious.

Yin Xiuzhen, Collective Unconscious, 2007, van and textiles, 1500 x 150 x 300 cm

(artist unknown)

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Zhao Liang – In an Instant

April 17, 2008

For those in Beijing: Zhao Liang, whose work is featured in the Berlin Biennial, has an opening this weekend at the Three Shadows Photography Center in Caochangdi. I’ve seen a few of his films, which I would recommend for their insightful observation of everyday absurdities (Crime and Punishment in particular). Plus, Zhao Liang is an approachable, humble guy who always seems at ease. Opening reception on Saturday, April 19, 3pm.

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Berlin Biennale

April 9, 2008

The fifth Berlin Biennale, titled “When Things Cast No Shadow,” opened on Friday with the exhibition dispersed among four primary locations: Kunst Werke, the Neue National Galerie, the Schinkel Pavillon and the Skulpturenpark Berlin.

We’ve only made it to two of the sites—KW and the Mies van der Rohe-designed Neue National Galerie—but, thus far, the two most engaging pieces I’ve seen have come out of Asia. First is a series of 53 small black and white photographs by Kohei Yoshiyuki taken in various Tokyo parks during the 1970s is captivating. His subjects are the voyeurs who gather in the parks at night to observe couples engaged in intimate acts. The layers of voyeurism multiply as both Yoshiyuki, the photographer, and you, the viewer, stand in line to peek between the bushes. These photos from more than 30 years ago have received a lot of attention lately—an exhibition of them at Yossi Milo Gallery this past winter was featured in the NY Times and the long-out-of-print catalog of the series has been reprinted by Hatje Cantz.

The second piece that stood out was our friend Zhao Liang’s City Scene (2004-2005), a 23 minute video featuring dramatic and humorous vignettes from everyday life in Beijing. Bike riders running down blind men, villagers hurling bricks at each other, a man dwarfed by tower-block apartments practicing his golf swing amid the urban rubble and a German shepherd mounting a cowering Pekinese dog (irony?) are just a few of the sequences offered in City Scene.

Zhao Liang, City Scene, 2004-2005, video transferred to DVD, 23 min.

From inside Mies’ glass pavilion—the Neue National Galerie.

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Pash Buzari Review

March 16, 2008

A piece I wrote back in November for NY Arts Magazine about Pash Buzari’s exhibition at Universal Studios Beijing finally surfaced in the March/April issue. It’s also online at

Pash Buzari, Colima, 2006. C-print, 35 x 45 cm.
Courtesy of Universal Studios-Beijing.

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Top Five Tips for Working in China

February 12, 2008

Okay, this is a companion post to the previous one. I realized that most of my “tips” referred to living in China, but none of them referenced any on-the-job to-do’s. This is mainly because I don’t have many. After giving it a thought, I’ve come up with five.

1. Be prepared to sit next to people who smoke. If you’re a smoker, hooray, even the staunchest of multi-nationals let this little transgression go by and you have license to smoke at work! If you’re a non-smoker, put HR on speed dial and threaten to report anyone you see puffing into their monitors. The latter requires more evolved language capabilities, but waving your hand in front of your wrinkled nose also helps offenders get the idea.

2. The working hours at an advertising agency are 10:30am to 10:30pm. Depending on what you do, you’re looking at midnight or later. Working on weekends is not strange. Nor is having a co-worker call you at night (usually while you’re comfortably curled up on your couch watching a DVD box set of 24). There seems to be a fine line between work and non-work and the line is often and unapologetically crossed.

3. Bring something back for everyone after a long trip. Food usually elicits excitement, but feel free to be creative with your gifts. Just remember not to forget anyone when you’re in line at the duty free.

4. Jokes are tough. Even physical humor may not elicit a smile as some people assume you’ve actually fallen. Irony and sarcasm don’t translate too well, so you may want to skip that part of your getting-to-know-you repertoire.

5. Please refrain from touching, hugging and/or kissing of co-workers. In general, physical affection is limited to immediate family and loved ones. Work colleagues do not hug you unless it’s your last day of work and you have physically forced them into your arms. Ditto with the kisses. Putting lips to someone’s cheek is an act of impropriety that will surely turn said cheek pink with discomfort. A gentle touch on the shoulder might be okay if you want to get someone’s attention, but make it light and quick. Almost a non-touch kind of touch. Does that make sense?

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Goodbye Beijing

February 10, 2008

It’s a temporary goodbye. Can’t believe it’s been two years.

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The Last Beijing Foot Massage

February 3, 2008

As a final farewell to Beijing, Patrick, Joe and I decided to get a proper Beijing foot massage, complete with unlimited food and a DVD of our choice. We picked up My Blueberry Nights and went for the daytime 30% discount. This is what I’d been missing out on the entire time I was working!

This was Patrick’s first time getting a foot massage in China. The masseuse seemed to know immediately when she touched his feet! According to Chinese medicine, you can learn everything about someone’e health through their feet. Joe was in “perfect health” while Patrick and I had “restless sleep and bad digestion.” Uh huh.

Did I mention the unlimited free food, featuring massage mainstays like sausages and eggs?

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