China Beach to Neighbouring Sounds

7 02 2017

The US primetime series China Beach, set in Vietnam War-era Danang, which I used to watch as a young teenager for the theme song, which I only later realised was by the Supremes. And below: another strange cinematic echo of Danang. While walking through the beachside streets my boyfriend remarked how much it reminded him of the Brazilian movie “Neighbouring Sounds”, set in Recife, with its beaches like Danang floodlit at night, fringed by palms and pounded by surf, and the same wide sunny streets with uneasy hints of tension between the rich and poor (after all, who had lived here before all these hotels?)

Ai Wei Wei absent

15 02 2012

Ai Wei Wei became an international cause celebre last year when he was “detained” by Chinese authorities, for what was widely considered to be a thought crime (China claimed it was tax evasion). Other than his political significance though, he is first and foremost an artist – and a pretty good one. I don’t know that much about his work, but what I’ve seen so far I like, like his whimsical nude selfportraits:

This Han Dynasty vase, emblazoned with consumerist logos:

His disembodied animals of the Chinese zodiac:

And this mind-melding installation of interlocking bicycles.

Much of this is was on display in Taipei at a retrospective titled “Absent” at the Fine Arts Museum. Hopefully it will make it to Hong Kong next.

27 10 2011