I'm attending the 3rd European-Chinese Cultural Dialogue discussing such topics as Culture & Ecological Civilisation, Mutual Undertstanding & Cognition in Chinese & European Art Circles, and so on. Interesting up to a point, and good people there, but these kind of circular discussions always seem to focus on state-supported high arts while ignoring anything at street level, not least anything 'commercial'. The fact that we were a room full of middle-aged (or older) bureaucrats, with probably only a hazey understanding of what young people want or young artists do, only reinforced my skepticism. Hope we get to the point tomorrow.
That said, I sat next to Fang Dian, probably the most respected curator in the country and now Director of the National Art Museum of China... and it was good to meet old friends: Charles Landry (Mr Creative Cities), Markus Wernhard (whom I knew from Tokyo days), Gabriela Massaci (ex-BC Romania, now freelance cultural commentator), etc.
Nice to get out on to the Bund for the evening for a couple of exhibition openings and drinks/dinner with Markus & Caroline again. It's such a gorgeously romantic stretch of buildings, all renovated, floodlit and oozing retro glamour. Drinks at the Long Bar in the Waldorf Astoria, dinner at Jean Georges and nightcap at House of Roosevelt (sounds decadent, and it was)... while across the river Pudong's skyscrapers told another (21st Century) story.