Perhaps my favourite place for sitting down and listening is on the steps of Chaotianmen harbour of an evening. At that time it is bustling with life and, in fact, it can be difficult to find somewhere to sit. Amongst the crowds are families, friends young and old, business colleagues fresh from work, and so on – all there to simply soak up the atmosphere.
My preference is to sit on the bottom steps next to the water, listening to the occasional lap of the Yangtze in balance with the evening’s busy ambience. Further up the steps is full of conversation and the sound of children playing interspersed with the occasional passing hawker selling everything from cigarettes to boat trips along the river. Closer to the top there’s more movement with people walking from one end to the other. This is also where temporary fairground type games are set up – the most popular being to shoot at a big piece of board covered with inflated balloons. Again, sounds of hawkers, laughter (and popping).
By the end of this week the museum should be completed and so the sounds of building will leave the harbour area, at least for the time being. They are already much less intense than when I first visited. The end of the week also sees the opening of my installation, and so on Monday I will move into the gallery space to set the work up. If all goes well I hope to take advantage of its proximity to the harbour steps and return to soak up some more of this wonderful atmosphere!