Over 20 years covering China, travel, and culture for publications across the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Author of multiple books on China.
Whether you’re a regular gallery-goer or someone who finds drawing boring, you’ve never seen anything like this. The Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) is accurately described by its oft-quoted creator, Australian professional gambler David Walsh, as “a subversive adult Disneyland”.
VIENNA, Austria — Vienna’s maps number its districts in a spiral out from the centre, making the Austrian capital resemble a shell from one of the snails farmed in its Tenth District that slide in season onto Viennese menus. But the city centre’s First District is so densely packed with museums, galleries and palaces that few visitors venture further out.
And that’s a shame because there’s much more to the city.
Swiss art connoisseur Uli Sigg began to assemble his Chinese art collection from around 1994 when there were few other buyers and even a thousand dollars was a substantial amount to spend. No national institution was systematically documenting developments in Chinese art, so he set out do that job himself, even purchasing works that did not appeal to him.
When West Kowloon’s M+ museum finally opens, perhaps towards the end of 2020, Uli Sigg hopes it will completely change the world’s idea of contemporary Chinese art.
While around the world there have been several exhibitions of parts of his 2,500-piece collection – the world’s largest – Western curators have tended to choose items for display according to their own preconceptions about China.
But there’s much more to contemporary Chinese art than politics, and the 1,510 works from his collection that will appear at M+ will paint a broader picture.
The older part of the city is a jumble of steep-roofed mansions from as early as the 15th century set on a hill in a curve of the Rhine and looks as if lifted from a Brothers Grimm fairy-tale illustration.
But what really makes Basel stand out from Switzerland’s many other pretty cities is the multinational Art Basel art fair, and a passion for art that goes back centuries.
For a small city of around 180,000 people, Basel has a remarkably high international profile.
Its location, at the junction of the Swiss, French and German borders, certainly makes the city popular for business, and the annual Baselworld – that bling fest of watches, gems and jewellery – attracts global attention.
But, as the Hong Kong version of the Art Basel fair (which runs from March 27 to 31, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, in Wan Chai) reveals, what really makes Basel stand out from Switzerland’s many other pretty cities is its commitment to art.
The guidebook is on the verge of joining spats and the rotary dial telephone as an object whose purpose needs explaining to children. But back in the 1980s, long before online travel forums were a twinkle in Daddy’s iPhone, young travellers sitting down to meals at shared tables in Beijing backstreet guest houses brought out neither smartphones nor tablets, but copies of a certain book...
In his new book on the rise of electric propulsion, tech reporter and freelance journalist Hamish McKenzie makes some very large claims. This is “the most important technology story of the twenty-first century” he writes, and suggests that the Tesla Model S in particular is “the most consequential automobile since the Model T”.
HONG KONG — Asia’s most bustling metropolis is infused with tea. Of course, Hong Kong has branches of Starbucks and hundreds of other slick coffee shops that envy Starbucks’ success as well as hidden hipster cafes that want to be something entirely different. But the former British colony was once part of an empire where everything stopped for tea, and is now once again part of the country where tea was first tasted more than two thousand years ago.
Modern Hong Kong embraces ancient tea tradi...
BERLIN, Germany — I’m in the heart of Berlin, sitting behind the wheel of a small and gently throbbing 1960s vehicle once widely considered a symbol of freedom. But suddenly a voice crackles from the dashboard speaker. "I talk, you listen!" it barks. "Just like in the old communism times."
The man at the microphone is only Jordi of Trabi Safari, the guide in the leading vehicle of a convoy of rattletrap Trabant cars. He merely wants to make sure we remember the rules of the road before we bra...
A hidden crime wave in China, caused by corruption and party policies, documented in ‘Crime and the Chinese Dream’ – review
President Xi Jinping’s oft-mentioned “Chinese dream” is an idea of near-infinite flexibility and its meaning is adapted as necessary to fit the needs of the moment.
However, the modest prosperity it sometimes promises the people is out of reach to hundreds of millions of Chinese, so they must often resort to crime to just get by, let alone get ahead.
‘I’m the worst daughter ever,” says Delia Hou over the music of a tango orchestra. The lissome 35-year-old Taiwanese-American quotes her parents: “You graduated once and you’re still not married. You graduated twice and you’re still not married.”
Ms. Hou has degrees in astrophysics and law, but here in a milonga, or tango-dancing club, they are forgotten. She and other Asian milongueras speak of the dance in almost metaphysical terms.
“Tango is about what you really genuinely want but you don’t even dare to admit,” says Ms. Hou. “Here you are, you don’t have a serious respectable job, you’re spending your evenings pressing your body against strange men. It’s not really typically Asian behavior.”
Only an hour from Tokyo by bullet train - tradition meets tranquillity on a walking tour of Izu Peninsula
“Jumbo?” asks the kimonoed room attendant, perky yet deferential, looking me up and down. “Jumbo!” she decides, then disappears and returns a minute later, doffing her slippers before stepping back into the tatami-matted room bearing a yukata, the cotton gown worn in traditional Japanese inns, in a size more suited to my height.
She bustles to open a sliding door and show me my haori (a jacket to be worn over the yukata), my obi (the belt with which to tie it) and little white socks with a se...
In 1978 Deng Xiaoping launched his policy of “opening and reform,” which permitted a carefully restricted measure of private enterprise. The official view from Beijing has since been that conditions across the country have continually improved, and some foreign pundits, relying on economic data that even the Chinese consider unreliable, parrot the case for China’s inevitable rise to global economic dominance.
Carl Minzner briskly and bluntly rejects this position. In “End of an Era: How China...
The aim was to create a living museum of the 1950s, offering everything that would have been found in a trailer park of that period. The business had hardly started when Smith’s phone began to ring nonstop. The calls were not only from potential guests, but also from trailer owners looking to sell or give away the once-loved, now superannuated vehicles cluttering their driveways.