The PACKING exhibition opening was held on a very hot and humid Hong Kong evening, nevertheless plenty of people managed the steep climb through the thick, sticky air to John Batten Gallery. I hung four large works and two dozen smaller pieces all with an Asian , Antarctic, Australian flavour. (Whatever that means?) The feedback and press were both excellent especially the half page article in the South China Morning Post.
Outside the gallery at night the skyscrapers performed gaudy light shows. Showing off with neon pulses impressively designed heights of steel and cement. During the day opposite the gallery sits the umbrella repair man in his tiny one metre square shop busy mending thousands and thousands of bent and broken brollies. These pop-up portable rooftops protect us from both chilly rains and the burning sun. This time of the year it is typhoon season so tropical storms come and go, making umbrellas a must. August is the time to avoid these downpours, avoid the heat and high humidity and definitely avoid the vile smog. Too many mouthfuls and you are not feeling so good. This month saw me busy with the exhibition and also it was a good time for drinking with ex-pat friends and others.
Hong Kong is a money making machine with a blade runner skyline, pretty islands, delicious food and a non-stop hyperactive manner. It can be extremely attractive for many reasons but there is a vulgar side to the city displayed by its minimal interest in culture (excluding food and mah jong.) and a kind of rudeness that must form when you cram millions of people into a small area. Government TV advertisements even remind people to be more considerate and helpful. My dealings with Hong Kong folk have always been good and I do enjoy the buzz of this incredible mega-city, as long as the buzz is not the neighbours constantly drilling holes in walls while jack hammers rip up cement roads. This is when I try to locate a cheap and cheerful restaurant, sit down and order some steamed dumplings or roast duck on rice and watch the visual cacophony swirl around and around.