China, so exotic, so ancient and yes, so far away, became our destination as artists representing Art Center Miami at this years 16 Beijing Art Expo 2013.
Having never been to Asia before, both terrified and awe where my reactions. The feeling was prophetic, as the China experience became a rollercoaster ride. It is the land of the extremes, the place where one can ride in a car for an hour just to travel a few blocks and the next day be walking on top of one of the marvels of civilization. Where most days you can see two hundred yards in front of you because of the pollution but then on any given day the sun comes out and you cant believe what you are seeing. The architecture, both old and new, is spectacular.
As a reflection of the extremes, the historical buildings serene and stoic through the centuries stand alongside the most daring and modernistic designs I have ever seen.
The first five days of my adventure where totally taken up by the art exhibition. The first day,setting up the booth was an all day affair and a lot more work than I had anticipated. I have even more respect for Ana Carolina Moreno, who took blank walls and a lot of paintings from ten different artists and made a beautiful exhibit of it by the days end. Once the fair started it was anever-ending stream of people and cameras. Even though we had signs posted advising not to take photographs, its was shamelessly ignored and the snapping began in earnest and didn’t let up until we finished.
They were even taking pictures of us, it was insane! The exhibition days were fantastic. We met artists and galleries from all over the world, shared time with them afterhours and started working relationships with quite a few. A true melting pot of like-minded people all brought together in China because of our love and dedication to art.
Our Art Center Miami experience at the Beijing Art Expo was a total success with a lot of the art works sold to individuals and collectors and some of the remaining works in galleries in Beijing.
After hours, the adventure entailed hours haggling with merchants at the Pearl market, eating strange meals of unknown origin, riding subways with millions of Chinese who pushed with impunity, being abducted by taxi drivers and laughing at it all, a lot. All I have to say about taxi drivers in China is OMG!
The last few days where spent visiting the sights. My favorites where the Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, The Summer Palace,The Lama and Confucius Temples, Tiananmen square and The Great Wall. All I haveto say about the Great Wall is OMG! It is absolutely magnificent and even more impressive than any photograph you have ever seen, an absolute marvel of man kind.
My China experience was part reality show and part National Geographic/History Channel, but all of it was absolutely wonderful and at times even sublime.
China, the land of extremes.... A trip of a lifetime.