Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Back from Shanghai. The expo is really odd. Someone called them 'architectural press releases' - buildings representing each country often not filled with much apart from tourist propoganda. The site was SO large. People would queue 4 to 6 hours to get into a single space.... I only really saw North Korea. Which had a fountain with multi coloured neon lights and naked cupids doing acrobatics. And they sold 'Kim Jong Il - The collected works'. Their space was situated next to Iran at the expo - a match made in heaven.
I went on the tube a rush hour and 400 people all moved with me like ants to change lines. It makes you feel very drone like. You rethink personal space. Not a lot of individualism here. Its also quite dirty, and um fragrant... with beacons of capitalistic consumption like a faux Tokyo. Found some old buildings here and there which I searched for, though large swathes of the city had been knocked down for progress. Which means less people were using the gutter and pavement as an extension of their kitchen surfaces..
Best bit was I read JG Ballard's autobiography there - which touches on his Empire of the Sun, 30s Shanghai days. I am growing increasingly obsessed by him...