Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Audience Halts

Early morning flight to Wuhan with Yuxi. Yes, it’s huge and sprawling but I rather like it. We visited Hubei Art Museum and Wuhan Art Museum, the latter for the first time. It’s in a grand, classical building, what used to be a bank, renovated four years ago. We were shown around by Mr Liu, Deputy Director, including an interestingly presented exhibition on traditional ink painting. Instead of simply hanging them on walls, limited numbers of visitors sign up for exclusive ‘private viewings’ complete with tea ceremony, the artist explaining the works on a table top, and an opportunity to try painting something yourself if you wanted to. It was a zen-like experience, perhaps a little elitist – but then that kind of art was always by and for the few.
It was hard to imagine the Rankin exhibition here. I couldn’t think of anything more different. Lovely signs in out-of-bounds areas by the way, poetically saying “The audience halts”. 

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