The Tokyo-imported concept is this: each presenter at a Pecha Kucha night narrates a slideshow of 20 images — each for 20 seconds — on any topic of their choosing. Last night saw 14 speakers each give a 6 minute 40 seconds presentation on topics from development around the Moganshan district to urban investigation through art.
A few standouts:
–Nial O’Connor who took the audience for a spirited spin though the mad mind of an artist. His presentation on creating picture stories was as informative as it was visually impressive — talent drips from this man’s pencil.
–Kong curators Rodney Evans and Nick Barham on locating street culture in Shanghai. Their stimulating talk raised the very legitimate question of whether imitations of rituals and style codes from foreign lands constitutes ‘street culture’.
-Full-time adwoman and part-time cultural observer Liana Chang, who presented her documentary-in-progress (made with partner Liu Feng, see four posts down) on stumbling upon a massive beatboxing movement in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town in northeastern China.
Several shutterbugs strutted their stuff, but only three — Peikwen Cheng, Ariana Lindquist and Hugo Tillman — had us swooning. Cheng was not actually in attendance, but his black and white prints from The Dreamer’s Shangri-La (Shanghaiist suspects they were taken at Burning Man) appealed to our mind’s eye. Lindquist showed a series of snapshots from China, with some jarring beauties from her Internant (is that a word?) Circus collection. Tillman presented works from a project whereby the fine art photographer (on loan from the Big Apple) explored the subconscious worlds of local Chinese artists. Our Beijing comrades are in luck — these carefully crafted, stunningly shot portraits of fantasia will be exhibited at Beijing’s [email protected] Gallery in May.
Several rude folks in the back refused to be shushed and distracted from the environment, but no grave matter — all in all, a bang-up night. Next Pecha Kucha is slated for June, watch for information on the FAR’s Sinocities site or in Shanghai Talk.