now that i'm two weeks gone from beijing, i've had time to fully reflect. the few days i spent in china on "tourism" were largely devoted to consuming the art underground. first up was the 798, which features galleries in converted warehouse spaces. i made it to the exquisite space of a porcelain artist, who fuses new colors and imagery with traditional techniques. there is always a sense of continuum at the 798, from materials to form.
on our last night, we made it to XP, a place owned by michael, an american ex-pat who runs the independent label maybe mars. we saw a few short sets by a couple of different bands, and michael told me that the beijing bands the label represents - beginning with the carsick cars - have a permanent nyc home at baby's all right. i credit florent ghys, who played his set "television" at firehouse space recently, for telling me about the DIY space. it's incredible what can operate under the radar in a country like china, and how quickly such projects have to adapt under the firewalls.
© 2017 Martha Cargo