I'm back in Beijing, almost exactly twelve months after my last visit, to interview artists Ma Yanling, Tao Aimin, Bingyi and Xiao Lu about how they are using Chinese ink as a material imbued with many meanings, some of them subversively feminist in intent. Beijing in Spring is lovely, although the blue skies of the past weekend had sadly returned to the familiar haze by the time I arrived.
|Beijing wiring: scary sky calligraphy|
But every little successful exchange, from recharging subway cards to asking passers-by which street you are standing on in a maze of grey alleys, to negotiating times and days with a driver, builds confidence. And at least this time around I didn't ask him to pick me up the day before yesterday! ('Houtian' - always so confusing. 'Hou' is behind so how can it mean the day after tomorrow for heavens sake?)
|painting attached to hutong alley wall|
|Love the KFC advertisement on the bottom of the Spring Festival calligraphy!|