High on a ladder
Blues at Green Wave Gallery
With friends and strangers
I have been waiting for a few days for a swim and today I made it to the local open air 50m pool in Sham Shui Po. Busy at 7.30 am but I find a lane and really enjoy putting my body through the water. I have been coming to this pool for a few years now and it is all very familiar.
Back in my room I get to work again sorting out emails and catching up with the blog and photo sorting before heading to CCCD to pick up a guitar and then on to meet collaborator and artist Evelyna Liang for an early lunch. We sit in a Vietnamese restaurant above an ice rink in a huge mall at Kowloon Tong and share stories - of refugee work in the UK and Lebanon, old fisherman projects (I made a soundtrack with Ash and Eric for one of her shows last year - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KImcb8UsaSI&feature=youtu.be) and she tries to draw me into planning a project in a village in Hainan province where she has been working for many years. She is a brilliant visual artist and also a great facilitator with a long history of great projects and I do wonder what we can do in the future.
She drives me in her beautiful bright red audi up to Chinese University where I am giving a talk and a workshop for students on the MA Arts Management course run by the radical Oscar Ho. He is another of the old time great arts activists in the city alongside Mok and Evelyna and is also trying to subvert China by influencing his mainland students with thoughts and concepts of community arts.
The talk is titled The Joy and Pain of Community Arts and I am joined by Nancy (an ex student of the course and an old intern from CCCD) who is delivering in this context for the first time. I set the context and rant on about the need for radical change alongside the powerful community arts work and then we share stories about work in HK and the UK. There are 22 students and in the Q&A their questions are intelligent and show an understanding of community arts. We then head into a workshop and sing, play and write a lovely song that responds to Nancys stories of developing an urban village project earlier in the year.
By the end I am so tired (only 4 hours sleep the night before) and arriving back at the office at CCCD collapse on the floor for a sleep before our celebratory meal for the end of the conference. 14 of us from CCCD and the visiting guest head for the Golden Vegetariian restaurant where we eat a banquet of many courses including fake oysters!
The day ends as I head to Green Wave Gallery with Ashok to join a monthly Blues and Poetry night. It is a space run by Mok and his team in Yau Ma Tei and I have performed there before.
We have great fun playing various tunes with a bunch of musicians including a great jazz erhu player, guitarists, double bass, fiddle and sax. Red wine flows!