Cultured afternoon of Art, Moganshan Road, North Shanghai

After skimming through my Shanghai Guidebooks i noticed that there was an area of small artist shops & exhibitions just around the corner from my flat in Moganshan Lu. The guide went on about 2 specific exhibitions, but we ignored that and just went around and met different artists. There was quite alot of political art which surprised me, plus also contemporary oil paintings and other handcrafts, photography and sculpture. It was a good way to spend the afternoon and we stayed for several hours in the end. Please see the photos below. After wandering around for so long i had a sleep before going out for Sushi in the evening.

Although i liked a lot of the stuff here it was a little overpriced as compared other art in other parts of the city and particularly other cities. I saw a fantastic painting that Ruby and i both wanted, but at 6,000 pounds i don’t think it will be sold anytime soon!

It was good to see that there is a sprawling contemporary arts seen within Shanghai from just around the corner and that freedom of expression does exist to a certain degree here despite what some might think. I can see myself coming back every few months to see what new artists and styles appear in the future.

Which painting would suit my bedroom best?

Let me know which of the following paintings i should order for my particuarly sparse bedroom. Being a typical bloke i haven’t made ANY attempt to spruce up my room yet, but it really is about time i make a start before Ruby comes over. It needs to feel a bit more homely and a splash of colour on the walls would certainly be a good start. I am thinking a wide painting would fit the space best, but those are rarer to find as most have a standard portrait or landscape ratio of 4:3-ish
The main consideration is the colours more than any actual detail. Perhaps you might have some ideas of your own. I like Renaissance style stuff but that would not be a great idea here without a large frame and matching antique furniture! So think 20th century, bright colours and preferably quite wide…

After that, i ought to sort out my desk and chair which are still only half set up (DIY ain’t my forte!) and have a serious think about how i actually laid everything out. At the moment i just crawl in from work and lie on the couch watching the One Show or whatever. (When i left UK that show used to be rubbish, but i actually quite like it now!) I really do find it hard to get round to small tasks in the house when it’s so easy to put them off for eternity. I think most people are like that, though. There is a word for it… mmm… ‘lazy’!

My bedroom – very bland!

Paintings ideas i have so far

Canyon – David Hockney

Jungle – Henri Rousseau

Castle and Sun – Paul Klee

Starry Night Van Gogh
Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh (You can find Starry Night Van Gogh here)

Garrowby Hill – David Hockney

Tree of Life – Gustav Klimt

Nighthawks Edward Hopper

How’s the UK design industry fitting into a recession??

There is much talk at the moment about problems with the economy in general but i am wondering how this affects the design industry and in particular the internet. When i return eventually i wonder how easy things will be for me. I am hoping that people will just move from print to cheaper web advertising media, and so we’ll be fine. But i’ll keep a close eye on things as i also need to get a mortgage eventually too. In the meantime i will just enjoy things here and take advantage of the solid currency here :-)

My ex-colleagues seem to not have had any problems so far in the contract market which i’d hope to return to in order to save funds for a deposit. I am still hoping to find somewhere in East London eventually, but would need to research where is good value, safe, and modern. I don’t think my budget would suit North London but who knows. That could be my ideal choice but i’m not too choosy. There are many new builds which would be ideal as they are linked to special offers for first-time buyers and also would not require too much of my appalling DIY skills! Design-wise, they are also normally COOL, and fit with my ideas for minimalist design with occasional funky things here and there.

Blog Editor Update – 03 Feb 2009 – “…This blog post has proven quite popular, and gets plenty of interest from Google, so i shall take a little care to tidy up this blog entry on ‘How’s the UK design industry fitting into a recession’ and add further content…”

I have some ‘great’ ideas for when i finally get my own place, with chandeliers, Moroccan furniture and furry walls all considered!! (Ok, the last one was a joke, but it could still end up looking like a tart’s boudoir!!) The key is of course a monster flat screen TV for sports. I will seek my sister’s advice on this nearer the time, as she has done a nice job on her own place, and shares a similar taste for design and style. One worry i have is that my love of oil paintings will not really fit well with the ideas i have in mind, and will need somewhere to display either some of my funny works, or others from my favourite painters, like Van Gogh, Monet & Klimt.