Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Present for Xmas

Julia appears briefly at CQ arrivals gate, waves, gives a little skip and disappears again. 15 minutes and she reappears with her luggage, grinning sleepily. We hold hands as Yan Yan rockets us through the city and I point out the neons and mist. She's been held up by worldwide snow, made it onto one of the last two planes out of Manchester, got past delays in Helsinki (due to other less efficient airlines than Finnair) and Beijing (a mysterious medical emergency). 36 hours of travelling with no guarantee of arrival. Yan Yan drops us at the flat and we stroll Huang Jie Ping in the early hours, to let her descend from the adrenalin. She's my Xmas present.

Next day, I try to show off the studio and artworks to her, but Ciao Q effortlessly steals the moment by chewing open a tube of Yan Yan's oil paint and then licking it over his paws and around his muzzle. He doesn't like the taste, but loves the squeals of consternation when he chases people aropund the studio with the threat of blue paw marks. Yan Yan scolds; he hates it when Ciao Q's coat gets muddy and blue oilpaint is worse. My observation that Yan Yan's dog has the good taste to select a close match for International Klien Blue doesn't help. The favoured pronounciation of Ciao Q has changed once more to "Ciao Ko". I wearily start calling him "Ciao Ko" and the favoured pronounciation changes to Koko. Whatever he's called - not that he cares - his IKKB paws last two days.

Julia is wearing a vivid orange quilted coat that miraculously receives only one little blue smudge. Ciao Q likes her because she finds him funny. Later she takes him for an afternoon jaunt and he's won over entirely.

Later again she says to me - "You need to start thinking about how you light those pieces, they're dying in here when there's no daylight." She has a photographer's eye - unforgiving at times, but invaluable. She starts taking some experimental shots with her Leica, using the window in the hallway to frame people in the street outside.

The show is imminent and I haven't thought about light.

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