What a day! A total contradiction to what textile art promotes, which is peace. It was raining all night and the morning was dark and misty, so much that I had to wear my glasses to see clearly in the distance. I walked, having a few hours free of any programmed plans, towards the centre of the city, passing through the “Moat Haohe Scenic Area”; first little stop at the Jugue Pavilion where people do their morning exercises looking a the river water.
I felt a bit of their energy and walked further on the riverside; second stop at the Bonsai garden, another place of peace. Then my walk became more adventurous, battling against cars, motorbikes, mud of the constructions spreading all over and of course the rain. All this was happening before 8am; I walked and walked and as much as I wanted to look around I felt that something was missing. I will not be embarrassed to say that I stopped at a KFC to have a coffee; then life could be reasonable again.
On my way back to the hotel to get ready for the day’s activities, I stopped at the Nantong book-store where they also have books with English titles but that was all that was in English. Of course the people felt embarrassed for my sake so I did not stay long; the only book that could make sense to buy was the dictionary but I found this a bit premature. This embarrassment or surprise to see me, is something I myself face with equal surprise; so, we are all a bit surprised but with good or indifferent intentions. I must say that the young people that have been around us, coming mostly from Universities and working for the show as volunteers, have the most innocent eyes and did their utmost best to accommodate us. Their English is fantastic especially if I think that they don’t really use it! They look more used to “the others”.
But it is already late; after a seminar, which was basically a panel discussion between consultants/ jury board members, an award ceremony and then a deadly diner a the Four Seasons hotel, it is time to pack my bags and get some rest. Tomorrow morning at 6:30 am a bus will take us to Shanghai; other stories there. Still, I have more to say about the deeds in Nantong, but that will come later. I got the catalogue and can be more precise with the photographs of works but now, in a little haste, I will only publish some generic photos (apart from one, check the captions). Goodnight or good day; word of the day “Grassroots”