As the saying goes, bloggin ain’t easy. I think one of the trickiest parts of this type of thing is how to incorporate anecdotes from your daily life without seeming like some sort of attention-hungry child. I’d like to avoid the vanity and exhibitionism that ruins most of the personal blogs I’ve ever checked out, but, you know, fingers crossed…

Last week I happened to do a bunch of things that involve taking photos, so I figured why not string a few together into a little recap. Let me know if you think it’s worth doing this sort of thing. I’ll take no comment to mean dumb-struck fascination and begging for more.


As final effort for the MAD Dinner book that we’ve been working on, my friend Shuyu and I ran around Beijing looking for the perfect image to express “Realizable Utopia,” one of the book’s themes. I liked this one, but it got nixed for an image of couples dancing outside of an Outback Steakhouse.


These were taken during my first trip to one of Beijing’s many many many home furnishing depots. Home decoration is an obsession here and the general aesthetic vibe is upscale Hong Kong psychiatrist’s office meets 18th century French aristocrat’s country home. Many of the vendors are so adamant about the German, Swiss, French, Italian, or Britishness of their goods that at times the market had a feeling not unlike what I imagine filled Europe immediately before the start of World War I. Except that everyone’s Chinese. There were so many funny shop names that I couldn’t even decide which to include. But I guess my favorite is Big Wig. And Kingliness. And, for some reason, Boloni.


On Wednesday I relaxed. But not as hard as this dude.


This is taken from the top floor of the CCTV Headquarters now being built in Beijing. I was there with my friend Tomas who’s filming it for a documentary. This is really an amazing building and a heroic feat of construction, and I’d love to include more, but there are some controls on the images released. In fact, I may have to take this one down. Let’s see.


Friday Tomas and I traveled to Shenzhen, the irregular heartbeat of China’s Special Economic Zones. Shenzhen is basically the epicenter of a design style that you see throughout China, especially in clubs, karaoke bars, and all-night spas. If I was going be to pretentious, I could make up a name for it like Baroque Modernism, but whatevs.


We were in Shenzhen filming for a video art piece called Green & Grey by my main woman and Tomas’s sister Charlie. The idea for the piece is to capture the strange mixture of nature and construction that you find everywhere in the city. Shenzhen has a subtropical climate with the jungle foliage to match, but it’s also home to tens of thousands of factories that power the city economically and wreck it ecologically. Towards the end of the day it started raining. Tomas was wearing a white t-shirt and when the rain drops hit it they left black and gray stains. According to government estimates, acid rain is falling on 30 percent of China. Shenzhen is part of the dirty 30.


Sunday I came back the socialist market stageset that is Beijing and, for the first time ever, remarked on how clean it felt.

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