Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 09 2014

Hangzhou 8

Hangzhou was foggy this morning as we headed back to the gallery. It seems that everyone here has a DSLR around their neck, always with the kit lens. From little old ladies and old men, all the way down to kids, the DSLR is king here, in stark contrast to Japan, where everyone seemed to sport a micro-four-thirds camera.

Fu Yong-jun, the main organizer of the exhibit as well as a talented photographer in his own right, was taking people through the gallery. One of them, I was told, had won a Pulitzer Prize, but I didn’t recognize him. Another guest was a tall, thin Chinese man whom I was informed was an American-born Chinese. When he met me, he said, in accented English, “They told me you were fun. You don’t seem very fun.” He had a quick look at the photos, and shrugged dismissively. I did get a lot of interest from the media as well as the organizers of other photography festivals in China, however.

We had planned on leaving at 4 p.m. to go explore a neighborhood recommended by the woman whose exhibit was next door, but there was a sudden influx of visitors wanting to know about certain photos and taking pictures with me, so it was closer to 5 by the time we left, and it was starting to rain outside. We caught a ride with one of the friends of the organizers to the area, called Mantou Hill, where the emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty supposedly had his palace, but digging it up would be too expensive, so the government just lets the residents stay there, and the area has consequently become one of the less-developed and therefore more interesting parts of the city as a result.

The rain was coming down in earnest, however, so we eventually caught a cab back to the hotel, which, incidentally, sports “-1” and “-2” floors instead of “B1” and “B2”. This seems to be true everywhere I’ve been in China. I learned that the reason there are no gasoline-powered scooters is that motorcycles are illegal in Hangzhou. Electric scooters count as bicycles, need no license or helmets or anything, however, so all the scooters are electric.

Tomorrow and Sunday, being the weekend, are supposed to see huge crowds at the gallery, and there will be discussions and other activities. I’m going to have to miss those, however, because the long-awaited premiere of our movie is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Taipei, so we’re going to have to be up once again at the crack of dawn in order to make our morning flight back.

posted by Poagao at 8:55 pm  

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