It's Monday and only a couple of weeks left for the show.
My buddy Greg has been here to visit. He has been in China doing business. He told me that Europe will be to the Chinese what Venice is to the rest of the world, a once mighty city, now just a tourist trap. That China has moved beyond the West already and they will no longer need us other than for 'amusement'.
We had an amazing turnout for the exhibition with 62000 people coming to see the work. And the wonderful thing was 90% were local Hong Kong Chinese.
This was very satisfying to see as I'd always hoped there would be an impact on the local community so clearly the word of mouth has been working, as has the generous pushing by all involved. Dan Wu, Grace Huang , Race Wong, Prodip, Alivenotdead, our staff and many more have all been promoting the show on blogs and facebook pages.
People who come to the show take a lot of photos of the work. It's a ripple expanding from the splash we've made. Well, I know HK people will take photos of anything, mostly what they eat at restaurants, but still, it's all about sharing information and recording experiences, so it's all good. Someone asked me why I would allow people to take photos of the work as it wasn't the usual practice in art galleries and museums. I don't see what is negative about people taking photos of my work.
I've certainly made a few complaints over the weeks but I think I have to take some of it back. The government took a huge risk by giving us any money at all and it sends out a wonderfully positive message to the HK art community; that the opportunity is there for support.
As far as I know this is the biggest contribution they have ever made to a HK artist project and they must be applauded and respected for this support (as should Swire). So they may be a little bureaucratic about how the event works and how we spend the money, but then so would I be if I gave someone a million HK$.
So to all those at the HKSAR Mega Events Fund, thank you so much for giving us some funding. We are extremely grateful.
Hopefully this opens the door for more artists in the future.
Building Hope and Glory has been a tremendous learning experience for all involved. I now know how to run an art museum! From construction, to PR, to accounts, to admin and event management. And so do Gary, Ingrid, Lyn, Viola, Coco and all our other staff.
We've managed to develop a full on art organisation. We can deal with government, corporate, audience, education, celebrity, kids. disabled....and handle maintenance, technology, security, finance. construction.....and on and on.
We've genuinely developed cultural 'humanware'.
I'm not sure what happens to all that knowledge and experience after the show. Maybe we should build our own permanent space out on that wasteland at West Kowloon.....
I think we'll all start work on the next project and see where it takes us but in the meantime for any artists or organisations out there, we have a wealth of information which you are welcome to access. For artists of HK especially, my door is open, you can have all my contacts, government application forms, inside info, whatever you need. Even the grumpy 60s,70s and 80s HK artists who think the show is shit. All you need to do is reach out and I will give you whatever information you need for free. Email me direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazing show. Amazing People. No complaints. Everybody wins.