Wed-Fri 18-20 Nov
Having written the publicity, I then of course go into a spin of nerves and crises about the pieces. I know they’re not right, but can they be made right? This week already feels like a long stretch with the Speech is Code work and we’re only at Wednesday. I suspect that the way out is to go in deeper. From here onward, my work days become 12 hours plus of studio time, broken with dog walks and meals.
Mornings, I wash myself and some clothes, then step into the hurry of the streets. There’s a little outdoor market by my block and I meander that for my zaofen – watch the marketers and the shoppers, the toenail clipping and the fish sales, hold my breath past the piss-smell of the tripe stall, inhale the cake maker, the mah jong café – then up the steep hill to 501 munching bananas. If I’ve a yearning for miantiao I drop by the noodle shop near the gates of “Wu ling yao” to spiceblast my tastebuds with chilli.
Yan Yan will be in the studio already and Koko too, who bounces with enthusiasm when I come in. He asks politely for a walk, then pleads, then gets angry and finally huffs. I don’t like to be bossed by him so I wait until he’s calmed – tho I talk with him if he’s barking. When he’s mollified, or sulking quietly, I look at the pieces from the previous day, hustle the inks, brushes, pencils and rulers in one place, make some tea and make a start.