A day of hopping around Chengdu with my colleague Jenny Zeng, meeting contacts. First up, Mr Zhao at East Chengdu Music Park. This is essentially the same kind of set-up as Beijing's 798: old factory area transformed into a new arts quarter, with music venues, galleries, cafes and studios set amongst the pre-requisite chimneys, pipes and industrial chic. Nice, creative vibe about the place. We showed the Rockarchive exhibition there in May.
Then lunch with the charming playwright Ms Li Ting from Sichuan People's Theatre (we're supporting collaborations with West Yorkshire Playhouse and The Curve in Leicester), before heading to Chengdu's Museum of Contemporary Art where the Tony Cragg exhibition has been on for a month or so. It looks good there, better than I expected actually. It's a new museum in a newly developing part of the city, so visitor numbers aren't that great but Director Lu Peng and Dep Director Lan Qingwei are really good people so we're keen to support them.
We drove past a massive, under-construction shopping centre, the banally-named Global Center, and behind that will be China's biggest ever Arts centre designed by - wait for it - Zaha Hadid. It will look like a giant futuristic spoon. China has gone crazy for ZH.
Just time enough to meet the affable Mr Dou Weiping, Deputy Director of Sichuan Cultural Bureau, whose first question to me was: "Ah yes, East Chengdu Music Park. Not making a profit. Any advice?"
Finished off the day talking shop with Jenny over Sichuan food. Aside from her day job as Arts Manager for SW China, Jenny is a very accomplished guqin (zither) player and featured on Gorillaz' Demon Days tour. What talented people I work with.