Whilst tourists crammed into the sectioned off China Town to see thrusting Chinese dragons and children enveloped in gold for Chinese New Year, minus seven floors below in a car park, there was calm. Until a man in the corner blew up a balloon beyond bursting point.
But far from being the car park monster of yesteryear, this man was performing as part of the Chinese Open 2014 exhibition to celebrate the year of the horse. Or year of the whores, courtesy of the BBC.
Over 100 artists contributed work to the exhibition, put together by artist and curator Vanya Balogh and sponsored by Geoffrey Leong. The underground show certainly filled up the space usually reserved for fancy automobiles, and was as refreshing to the eyes as a cold spoon. It was well worth the stress I encountered on the way, crowd battling and selfie-dodging up on the street level.
From a bottletop monkey to a woman singing in a horse mask,the eclectic mix of art not only stood out from the drab and concrete setting; it made a song and dance of it and shouted out loud.
Apart from providing a place for escaping the mania outside, the exhibition also put forth a platform for thought and interaction. Reeps One turned up in the afternoon to turn his pen to the photography of Ben Hopper, families played with the wheels of Mark Sowden and viewers dodged the horse-and-carriage bike rolling around and giving rides.
It’s an art crowd, so expect heaps of men who keep their sunglasses on at all times and kids who bring their pet rabbit.
Here’s a close up if you don’t believe me.
A great use of space with some thought provoking and playful work. It’s on until 9th Feb so do yourself a favour and go underground. For more info see the facebook page.
And here’s some more art featured in the exhibition: