I was stuck at the office tonight until 10:30 and when I got home I found I was not terribly sleepy, so I started going through my picture files to see what hasn’t made it to the blog yet. And there it was: October 28.
It was a Sunday, and I had planned a little trip with a coworker to a park outside of town to look at the fall leaves. For some reason, the trees in Beijing stay green until the leaves drop, never changing color regardless of the kind of tree. But that morning, my friend called and said that some workers had showed up to replace all the windows in her apartment – with double-pane glass I think. Anyway, she couldn’t make it, so I was at loose ends.
I got out my city map and looked for a potential site I hadn’t been to that was near a subway station. I settled on the Beijing International Sculpture Park, west of downtown.
Since it was a clear day, there was a particular building I wanted to take a picture of, and it was kind of on the way.
OK, so maybe I’m a bit of an architecture geek. As if I wasn’t enough kinds of geek already. But I think it’s a cool building.
Like many things in Beijing, the Sculpture Park is really big. In the course of the afternoon I covered about half of it, and as you can see, it was pretty much empty. Maybe the temperature had something to do with that. It was breezy and not warm at all in spite of the sunshine.
In fact there were more people in the park flying kites than looking at the sculptures. I particularly liked this group. Beijing is not terribly friendly to people in wheelchairs, with the majority of buildings having accessibility issues, so it’s nice to see a family taking care of each other.
The artwork is a broad mixture of modern...
And, um, whimsical. There is also the intriguing bubble-on-the-water attraction, which is probably more popular in the summer.
There were some I didn’t care for, and some I liked a lot. Here’s one I liked, by an American artist if I remember correctly.
And an alternate view to show what kind of difference the viewing angle makes, especially late in the day.
These girls seemed really fascinated by this piece, and took dozens of pictures of it from different angles. Artist from either Hong Kong or Taiwan.
I also like this one a lot. It’s like the aftermath of a Borg visit to Xi’an. Artist almost certainly Chinese.
I’m more than a little partial to a light touch with art. This one was called something like “The Dancing Philosopher” and was by a Swedish artist. I probably should have taken pictures of all the stones with the artist names, but they were almost impossible to read and wouldn’t have photographed legibly at all.
This one was “Camel in a Mirage” or something similar. Neat
OK, maybe this one is just a pile of bricks that workers left sitting around. I didn’t see a credit stone, but I'm pretty sure the artist was from Mainland China.
And in what I’m coming to regard as typical Beijing fashion, the mundane sometimes overwhelms the sublime. Though I’ll admit this particular piece of art may not actually qualify as “sublime”…
There were a bunch more, but I won’t take up more space with them right now. I’ll just leave you with an image of this really cool kite.
Yeah, it’s a giant red flying squid.