Following on from the attention 岭南启示录 Apocalypse PRD got in 周末画报 Modern Weekly, I spent the afternoon in Haizhu Park being photographed for a feature in another magazine. I managed to attract a lot of attention in 海珠广场 Haizhu Park especially once I pulled out the Cantonese Opera headpieces, which made for colour-saturated props next to the old guys playing Mahjiang, The old guys, and their small bunch of on-lookers were the only ones who couldn’t give a fuck there was me using them as my personal backdrop, and among all the – at times – large crowd, they interested me the most for their absolute seen-it-all-don-t-care-the-game’s-more-important nonchalance.
It has been raining since before the typhoon missed Guangzhou by a few degrees of latitude, and today the sky leaked uncontrollably, either in a splattering deluge or in almost obnoxious drizzle. I got to recline beside the Pearl River, underneath Haizhu Bridge, storm-water drains vomiting dirt-yellow gouts into the deep main current, it is not an approachable river like the Limmat in Zürich, it is the land here that is tenuous, and the river an inexorable, erasing artery. The banks of which stink of piss.
On the way home I was feeling slightly frustrated. To make a work here, even to have a project-based group here is such a real possibility, the cost of an artistic director alone in Melbourne would pay for three or four performances. For me to keep doing what I have been here, to make something worth the attention I’ve been getting in the media is such a pathetically mediocre sum of money in Australia, so little it’s not worth mentioning. Yet again, I feel like this is it. No more. No more art for Guangzhou from me, no more making strange worlds with amazing, creative, intelligent, avante-garde people who are – who are the future of Guangzhou and Asia. I wonder why bother starting something if there isn’t a commitment to see it through? More than a lack of money, the arts in Australia suffer from something far more pernicious; the lack of imagining a future.