Friday, September 7, 2012

Cragg Opening

Opening of Tony Cragg exhibition, but plenty else besides. To begin with, a talk about art education at Pudong Library. Afterwards, we felt the full benefit of Jaguar Land Rover’s sponsorship. In addition to the cash, they’ve kindly given us on-tap use of a Jag and a Range Rover – the latter coming into its own when were faced with an absolute downpour. It was only 50 metres from the library’s front door to the street but we would have been drenched. So the Range Rover mounted the kerb, drove up a pedestrian ramp and all but parked itself in the lobby. Would have made a great ad, or perhaps a light-hearted scene from a James Bond film.
Not so impressive was the pre-opening talk which was supposed to be a dialogue between Tony and Patrick, but at the last minute three Chinese speakers were added to the bill – which would have been OK had it still been a dialogue, but unfortunately they were badly briefed (by the Museum) and simply gave powerpoint lectures, and we just couldn’t stop them.
The gremlins continued with the opening ceremony in which a waitress dropped a tray of champagne glasses, a bird somehow flew in and then a combination of bad acoustics and the constant babble of a (gratifyingly) large crowd meant that no-one could hear the speeches… which may have been a good thing. But no matter, it was a good turnout, nice atmosphere and everyone seemed happy… which carried on to the Museum-hosted dinner afterwards with speeches by Tony (discernible this time) and an important Chinese art collector who looked the spitting image of 90s superstar footballer, Ronaldo.
Back to the hotel for drinks with Lorand Hegyi, Director of the St Etienne Museum of Modern Art, and his lovely Korean wife Eunmie Lee. What a nice crowd Tony’s attracted to Shanghai.

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