Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 07 2014

Hangzhou 6

The reason we got up early yet again on Tuesday morning in Hangzhou was because, in addition to the exhibition of around 50 of my photos taken in Taiwan, they also want to feature some photos I’ve taken in Hangzhou, which is a challenge for me as I am used to setting my photos aside for a period of some months before really being able to evaluate them. Also, I’d spent the past week out of Hangzhou touring seemingly every single ancient water town in the province, so I hadn’t taken many shots here.

We were met downstairs by a couple of older men who were part of the organizing group; we all piled into a taxi and headed to Xihu, which they said was interesting in the mornings.

Xihu is a large lake, surrounded by parkland, so many people in Hangzhou go there to exercise in the early morning. We walked past people doing taichi, running, biking, dancing, etc. One old man was hitting a wall with his back in a violent fashion. I asked him how many time he was doing this, and he said 87, which happens to also be his age. Further on, I couldn’t resist doing a little sword work with one group, but I managed to stay away from the tuishou practitioners, as they seemed a little rough.

We had some buns for breakfast near a large map of old Hangzhou before piling into another taxi to go to the old Wangjiangmen neighborhood we’d visited before. The near-misses in the taxi seemed less frightening after a while, which was frightening in itself.

The neighborhood is crowded during the day, the market street packed, so we explored alleys. We met Mr. Wang, who, it turns out, is much less enthusiastic when he is not drunk. He was friendly and remembered us, though, so there’s that, but there was no beer forthcoming in the morning. We gave him some pineapple cakes anyway.

Back at the hotel, we met up with some of the other invited exhibitors, including a photographer from Hong Kong and his entourage, for lunch at a nearby restaurant. After lunch we took a nap and then returned for one last look at Wangjiangmen, venturing into the touristy reconstituted bit. By that point I was so tired I stopped looking both ways before venturing into the street and was tapped by a motorcycle, but aside from some cursing on both sides, a bruised ankle and some spilled documents, nobody came out much worse. I would have liked to have gone right into the bathtub, but I had to process a handful of photos for the exhibit first.

This morning we finally had a chance to have breakfast at our new hotel, which is quite nice, even without air conditioning. I suspect they put us on a floor where the A/C is broken, and they made an excuse that the government won’t let them turn it on until it’s really, really hot outside.

The Hangzhou People’s Photography Festival or whatever it’s called, it being held in a large, interesting old building near Xihu. The printers did a really nice job, and some of the photos have been printed very large. We spent most of the day arranging and directing the installation, and then it was back the hotel. Tomorrow’s the grand opening, in the afternoon, so we can go make last-minute changes in the morning if necessary.

posted by Poagao at 10:57 pm  

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