I'm artist in residence at a school here in HK called CIS (Chinese International School). It's a very privileged school for HK's elite. I didn't realise that when a teacher friend asked me to come hang out and it's only later I realised it's stuffed full of rich kids.
I can be a reverse snob sometimes, coming from a less than privileged background, but I've really enjoyed the experience. I come here at 9am and just paint in a large and light studio. Every now and again kids roll in and watch me work or chat and I do the same, watching them work too. There's no real structure to my being here other than maybe doing a talk at some point.
On the whole they're an articulate and confident bunch, they all work really hard, not like the school I went to where kids were just trying punch each other and I spent most of my time sneaking out and getting drunk in the park.
Hope and Glory work is never ending. Will be meeting the skate ramp builders tonight to discuss that part of the installation. We're then on set tomorrow to shoot our 3D film. Out in the middle of nowhere we're taking a white horse and shit load of lights and a big fuck off 3D camera and shooting this thing galloping around at night. Thursday I'll be spending time with Douglas (G.O.D.) to work out his part of the installation.
I'm still editing a ton of film to go into Douglas' area for the 2 big screens. Editing is fun but, man, it takes a long time. Lucky I now have Florian Ma helping, he's working on the trpaeze film.
Meanwhile Alvina is hard at work testing more costume variations for the freakshow part of the exhibition.
Graphic design is my biggest problem right now, Diesel's guy is busy and now I got another couple of people on it but it's moving slowly.
Mimi was building spaceships but she's been off sick. Goose had a meltdown and quit!
Trying to squeeze in the Shanghai Tang work too but just too stretched right now. Did a good deal with KplusK to help take the pressure off the sculptural work that needs to be done for Shanghai.
Go go go.
The government continue to ask or more information so I spent a couple of long nights re-organising accounts and clarifying various aspects of the show. It's content, the marketing, the contributors. It's very drainign but useful for me also to be very clear about what I'm doing and how. I'll share with you an anecdote that was included in my cover letter where I was explaining how come Swire, Louis Vuitton, Diesel, Daniel Wu, Lisa S, Stanley Wong, Douglas Young, HKU, etc are all supporting the show.
"Ultimately it is the productive and positive relationships that I have
built up over the years in Hong Kong that has given me access to so
much support. Working as an artist has allowed me these wonderful
opportunities and somehow my ambition, enthusiasm and belief in the
positive impact of art has attracted many people to this project.
When I was preparing the paperwork for the mega fund application I
needed to do a better job on the accounting side, so I employed an
accountant, Stephen Chan, who I've known for some time. He took all my
notes away and came back a day later with the finished excel
I asked him how much the bill was for his time. He said, 'no charge'.
I asked him why and he said 'To produce these accounts I read the
proposal you had made to the government for funding. I understand what
you are trying to do, something powerful and inspiring for Hong Kong
people, for us to be proud of. I wish I could be an artist and be
involved in some way. My father always pushed me to be an accountant
and I'm good at it even though it's not my dream job. So, I may not be
able to contribute to your project in a creative way but I would like
to contribute, so please accept my work on these accounts for free.
And good luck, I really hope you can make it a reality, I can't wait
to see it.'
It is this spirit, this reaction, this enthusiasm I have encountered
again and again when discussing the project, whether to the kids at
CIS where I'm artist in residence, or to the guy in the printing shop
when I needed copies of the PDF for the application, or the Professors
up at the HK University. Everyone seems energised to be involved or just
to see something that is so homegrown but so spectacular. That is not
about commerce but about art."