ASIA BELONGS TO US
27 August 2009, Beijing
MA Studio presents soon Asia Belongs to Us - a collaborative exhibition by Judas Arrieta and Riiko Sakkinen, featuring Cao Huan Yi as a special guest star.
Asia Belongs to Us explores Sinospehere, also known as the Chinese World or East Asian Cultural Sphere, and it's political, economic and cultural influence in the rest of the world. The economic supremacy of Sinospehere is inevitable but a more interesting question is that will it conquer the world also culturally? Does the economy alone provide enough substance for the domination?
In classical Chinese political thought, the Emperor of China, having received the mandate of heaven, would nominally be the ruler of the entire world – Tianxia. Although in practice there would be areas of the known world which were not under the control of the Emperor, the political rulers of those areas derived their power from the Emperor. Is the culture – both high and low - one of these areas?
SWISS CORSAIRS IN CHINA
23 August 2009, Beijing
The 798 Beijing Biennale was a bullshit event organized by real pirates. The culmination of all the humiliation was the so-called goodbye dinner for the artists. We had to pay for our meals and then we were left alone by a highway where it was impossible to find cabs. The corsair captains said that they lived close and walked away. Finally, I lost my temper and told them to fuck off. The others said me that they appreciated that somebody made this clear - but why that person has to be always me? I'm not sure I've understand this role I've been given...
Anyways, now it's past and I'me working energetically with Judas. We are painting 12 works for our one-day show 18th September at MA Studio. It's not too much time and it's also possible that I have to go next week to Skopje, Macedonia, to select some young artists for a project in Helsinki. I go there if I have to but I'm enjoying enormously of painting and the most beautiful thing is that we have five puppies newborn puppies in the studio.
THE FORCE OF A THUNDERBOLT
19 August 2009, Beijing
Capitalism is at once a complete system of an ideology and a social system. It is different from any other ideological and social system, and it is the most complete, progressive, revolutionary and rational system in the human history. The ideological and social system of communism has a place only in the museum of socialism. The capitalist ideological and social system alone is full of youth and vitality, sweeping the world with the momentum of an avalanche and the force of a thunderbolt.
NO BIENNALE BLING BLING
17 August 2009, Beijing
It's Monday morning and I had my last The Westin Chaoyang five-star hotel breakfast and sauna. Now I'm moving back to the real life from the abstract and smooth non-site luxury.
I'm happy with my installation The Magnetic Eternal Life Device and the exhibition The Man Who Fell to Earth but the 798 Beijing Biennale is rather ridiculous constelletion (Constellations is the title of this first edition). Why to call an exhibition bombastically biennale when you have no solid funding or resources and can not offer even the basic production, help and hosting to the artists and curators? I think that some of the artists thought that they were going to participate in a real top level event and found them in a humble group show without any biennale bling bling. I heard that there were some awesome parties but, unfortunately, they didn't invite the artists. I don't mind because I'm here for the MA Studio residency and the biennale was just something extra and, after all, I'm in the show for my inconditional loyalty to Raúl.
14 August 2009, Beijing
My installation The Magnetic Eternal Life Device is almost finished. The 798 Beijing Biennale didn't have any assistants for me but Judas helped me to find Gene who has helped me in the production. The funny thing is that Gene is a fan of Finland and even speaks some Finnish - this was something that I found out during the first day working with him. The labor is inexpensive in China and I hired also two art students to paint the mural of my installation and now Gene is looking for a pretty girl who will smile and distribute my flyers in the opening reception tomorrow.
Last night, I took Raúl, Emma, Erika, Ana, Francisca and Damian to Xinjiang Red Rose Dining Room. It's a muslim show restaurant where you can eat fanatastic mutton while you watch the musicians playing and the girls shaking their buttocks. The highlight of the show is the snake performance - a gorgeous girl dancing with a four-meter viper. She asks every night one person from the audience to the stage. Yesterday it happened to be me. I think she hypnotized me smoehow. I find the snakes extremely disgusting but there I was on the stage with the reptil around my neck and insering its head under my shirt.
Maybe the biennale doesn't have enough workers but they are lodging the artists in one of the most exclusive hotels of the megapolis. I have my flat here but now I'm moving also to the unreal elegance of The Westing Beijing Chaoyang.
07 August 2009, Beijing
I'm surprised how good tourist I've been - thanks to my wife who's vacationing here until Sunday. We've seen loads of temples, palaces, parks and hutongs. We've eaten tons of Beijing roast duck. We hiked two days in the Great Wall and slept in one of its watchtowers.
On Monday, finally, I begin to work. First, I do my Amazing Eternal Life Devide instalation for the Beijing 798 Biennale, that opens next Friday. The following week I start working with Judas. We'll paint eight big canvases together and show them in September at MA Studio. Judas' idea for the project is to conquer and share Asia - Manchuria and Japan for me, Canton and Vietnam for you.
The most beautiful thing I've seen in Beijing is the water calligraphy that people do on the park pavements. It's beautifully delicate and ephemeral. I want to contract one of these calligraphers for an hour to draw the Houhai pavement full of Louis Vuitton monograms.
02 August 2009, Beijing
My Chinese friend (I think it's better not to tell any names, I really don't want to cause any trouble to anybody) says that they don't have and they never had socialism in China. She thinks that Mao just needed any ideology to back up his regime and the political extreme left was just an opportunist choice.
I was thinking how the Chinese Communist Partydares to call itself communist when they are applying most of the principals of capitalism in the country. Then I realized that this was a stupid an naive idea of thinking - I live in Spain when the ruling party is the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party that has absolutely nothing to with socialism nor workers.
Anyways, I'm surprised that it's impossible to see any Mao paraphernalia in the streets besides the huge portrait at Tiananmen. The only place where you see his face constantly is the paper money. Ironic? I don't know but I've been shopping here more than ever before.