Balls and China

Life After the excitement of yesterday I spent today in Manchester to relax and have a change of scenes. Because its late and I've much to write about here, in bullet points, is were I went and what I did:

The China Show at Urbis. Collection of artwork emphasising the new urban nature of China as it rapidly (apparently) becomes the centre for the world's economy. Highlights include the work of Xing Danwen who places herself into giant photographs of new architecture. If there's a problem with the exhibition it doesn't really address the restrictions that are being placed on new media in the country -- this gives the appearance that young people are being allowed to express themselves when they really aren't.

Chetham's Library. Musty old Public Library in the Music School which looks like the inspiration for Hogwarts. One of those experiences which is very difficult to describe, from the musty smell, to the imposing feeling that the books themselves are alive and waiting to be spoken to. One of Manchester's best kept secrets.

Manchester Cathedral Shop. Mum's looking for a new nativity set for Christmas and although they had a lovely one, carved in cedar wood, a hundred and fifty pounds seems a bit steep for something that will only get a viewing once a year. Was able to enjoy the madness of the holy socks which allow you to have Daniel and the Lions on your feet, and the Glory Golf Balls: for a holy in one! featuring such golf related bible quotes as "those who seek me diligently, find me." If was at all religious ...

Christmas Markets. Although similar has visited Liverpool lately, there's nothing like the Christmas markets in Manchester for finding the unusual present and spending far more than you should for it. Managed to make a Swedish girl's day by buying her cinnamon biscuits. Must stop buying Christmas presents. Really must.


  1. Anonymous9:47 am

    Fair comment on The China Show, though that wasn't really the point of the exhibition. The political themes do get addressed in the tours we do of the show, however...

  2. Oh no I understood that wasn't completely the point, however I was addressing something that appears in the labeling and in the press release:

    "Charting the shift in Chinese society from the communal to the individual, The China Show explores how the different levels of China's new society are creating their personal lives and shaping their private identities through an emerging landscape of private apartments, new technologies, and the personalised virtual spaces of blogs and online culture. New media, design and lifestyle culture are replacing the mandates of centralized politics as aspiration and image become the catchwords for what some are already referring to as the 'Chinese Dream'."

    Which gives the impression that people there now share the same freedoms of expressing their identity that are available elsewhere in the world, when online culture is still restricted and people are looking over their shoulder when they blog. It's a fine line but it's good to know its addressed in the tours.

    I wrote this very late last night and possibly didn't emphasise enough the real positives of the exhibition which also includes those excellent videos -- I loved the riff on 'Sex and the City'. Congratulations.

  3. Anonymous11:52 pm

    What did you do that was so tyring yesterday ?

  4. Well the whole finding out that I'm actually going to graduate and whatnot.

    Who are you Lisa? You're almost, in fact, probably the most prolific commenter. It would be nice to do the email thing soon.

  5. Anonymous1:40 am

    What is the email thing ? And, more importantly, why don't you ever answer my questions ;)