splash life

Maybe it was last year, or very early this year, when we sat around the outside table at Sleepywood, mesmerised by the pitchers of Long Island Ice tea, strong enough to float a spoon in. Michael was bitter about the absence of an art scene in the city like there is in every western town, where people from all arts, music, dance, whatever get together and make stuff. He had an idea, and a piece of music he wanted to use too.

Last night, in-between rainstorms that made feeble attempts to cool the sweating town, I took off to Shamian Island, the once bastion of the opium trade, and all things colonial. Art64 Gallery, along the island’s main drag, choreographer Long Yunna from the Modern Dance Company, Michael and Izumi from the Orchestra, and several dancers, artists and musicians had all got together in the perspiring basement to make art, dance, performance, installation.

It was strange, surreal, funny, sometimes a bit clichéd, sometimes naive, innocent. Once again Long Yunna shows why she is the most interesting choreographer in most of Asia, and also along with several others lurking in the cellar is part of a group that could finally push the art scene in Guangzhou out of its persistent vegetative state.