Day 8 30/7/2015

Today's theme has been Hong Kong. I watched the first of Joanna Lumley's Trans Siberian programmes on ITV player last night, beginning in Hong Kong. She began the programme on The Peak above the city looking down at the incredible view of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon below. In January 2012 I was lucky enough to visit Hong Kong. It was somewhere I'd always wanted to go but was never likely to play a gig there, so when Pietro asked where I'd most like to go in the world it was top of my list. The excitement of the long haul flight, a new airport, a different smell, futuristic transport, sky high hotel rooms, congee at midnight, ponds full of koi carp, incense filled temples at every corner, British road signs, excellent cocktails, trams, tea-coffee, posh dim sum. Hong Kong is the perfect meeting of east and west. Culturally foreign but visually familiar. The night we arrived we were so tired that we couldn't take much in. The next morning, from the glass window/wall of our 44th floor hotel room, I cried at the sight of one of the most stunning views I've ever seen. The buildings, largely tessellating white concrete tower blocks, interspersed with fluorescent blue swimming pools and rust-coloured clay tennis courts, were my artist eye's wet dream.
Back to today. I don't often get the chance to talk to someone about the buildings in Hong Kong but Keith Watt, an Ipswich based photographer, is talking to me about my work. He asks why I'm drawn to these Brutalist buildings. I think it's because I like the shapes that they make in the landscape and also because I associate them with culture. He says he also photographs buildings, in sharp focus, without a context or setting and devoid of people. He's recently visited Hong Kong and taken a series of photographs of the tower blocks I liked so much. 
One of my best friends from school, Lucy, has just had a baby. I've never met little Arthur before but they come into the gallery today. Lucy tells me that Arthur is a terror who never sleeps but he seems very docile in his pram, snoozing and yawning and snoozing. It's lovely to see her. The last time I saw her was the day she gave birth 8 weeks ago. We were joking about how she could pop at any minute. 12 hours later and 12 days early Arthur came into the world. 
Thisafternoon I do manage to fix 'Flyover'. I understand it now more as a piece of graphic design than a painting. Bruce comes into the gallery to see me. I'm not sure how long he's been standing there but it could have been a while. I'm concentrating. He looks around and says he likes the view from the gallery window and the large cast iron radiator underneath it. He says it goes with the paintings, which I suppose it does, although I hadn't noticed it. James brings more wood in for me to prime ready for the next paintings. I always seem to be just getting into the work at five o clock when the gallery is about to close. Progress has been made today though.
Later The Hairy Bikers are in Hong Kong, eating an English style breakfast in Lan Fong Yuen cafe where they serve tea-coffee strained through a stocking filled with eggshells. It's really good. Another circular day. 

1 comment

  • Chris Waugh

    Chris Waugh Upper Bucklebury

    Flyover looks terrific. Another great blog too. Each one has had me going off on tangents of following links and Googling references and artists names...all of which were new and interesting and elightening in different ways. Thanks.

    Flyover looks terrific.

    Another great blog too. Each one has had me going off on tangents of following links and Googling references and artists names...all of which were new and interesting and elightening in different ways. Thanks.

Add comment